Tip: You Can Use PlayStation VR As A Monitor For Other Consoles

If you’ve got a shiny new PlayStation VR headset, or are thinking of getting one, here’s a cool little feature Sony didn’t really make a big deal of prior to release: it works as a basic head-mounted monitor on pretty much anything, including rival consoles.

It looks like the PSVR will accept pretty much any HDMI signal outputting video, and automatically display it in “cinematic” mode. Which basically means it will show that content on the screen in front of your face, albeit in a way that’s not actually virtual (like, you won’t get 360-degree support or anything).

Here’s an example from Japanese user @chirnoice, using Splatoon on the Wii U:


Our own Kirk Hamilton also tried it out on his Wii U, playing some Super Mario 3D World, and got the same result.

Pretty neat! Sure, the footage isn’t in “true VR”, but this makes the headset handy for households where there are fights over who gets to use the big TV.

Luke Plunkett is a Senior Editor based in Canberra, Australia. He has written a book on cosplay, designed a game about airplanes, and also runs cosplay.kotaku.com.

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Stephen Totilo

I just tried this with my Xbox One. It mostly works.

I could see a virtual 2D screen, and I was able to boot up Forza Horizon 3 without any trouble.

But I was mostly unable to manually reposition the screen. You can do that on PS4. When you are using cinematic mode on Sony’s console, you can hold the Options button and have the big floating screen re-center in front of your face. Turn 90 degrees, hold Options again, and it’ll snap to being in front of you again.

When I had it hooked into the Xbox One, even with the headset’s micro-USB cable still plugged into the PS4, the PS4 controller would not re-center the view. Obviously the Xbox One controller couldn’t do anything about it either.

It seems that the headset will follow your head movement for about 5-10 seconds after you put it on, moving the cinematic display so it stays in front of you as you turn your head. Then it locks in place. To reposition it, it seems that you have to take the headset off. That’s what worked for me.

Why would you want to do any of this? Primarily for the amusement of being able to see your games played on a relatively huge screen. It can feel like you’re in the front row in a small, dark movie theater. There seems to be a resolution trade-off or at least graphics don’t look as crisp and vivid as they do on your TV.

Note: You don’t need to be hooked up to a PS4 for this to work. You don’t even need to have the PlayStation Camera hooked up, as it doesn’t seem to be used for cinematic mode.