Sony Explains Purpose Of PlayStation VR's Processing Unit
This week's PlayStation VR announcement (date and price, baby!) has gotten the gaming world talking.
Everyone has questions about Sony's new virtual reality endeavor; as for support, there are 160 games currently in development. So that's good news.
Beyond that, though, concerning the device itself, everyone has been wondering what that Wii-sized processing unit is all about. Well, we know it's necessary for PSVR and now, Sony senior staff engineer Chris Norden has shed more light on the unit.
As reported by Polygon, Norden first made it clear that the add-on box doesn't increase the power of the PlayStation 4 from a development perspective:
"It is not extra GPU power [or] CPU power. It is certainly not a PlayStation 4 expansion unit or upgrade. Actually, it's not really accessible to the developer in any way. The PlayStation 4 is perfectly capable of [running games at] 120 Hz."
Norden added that it performs a series of essential functions, and this includes powering PlayStation VR's object-based 3D audio. We also need the unit for displaying a "social screen;" it can simultaneously output to the PSVR headset and other inputs such as regular TV. The unit further does the work when the headset is in cinematic mode and as we learned earlier, non-VR games can actually take advantage of this mode, which simulates a five-meter screen within a virtual space.
So, that should satisfy you. As we now know, PlayStation VR will release this October with a $399 price point, the PlayStation Camera ($60) is required, and Sony will turn a profit on each sale. Previously, the company said this virtual reality device is designed to be a mass market product.
3/16/2016 9:21:30 PM Ben Dutka