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Sony Explains Purpose Of PlayStation VR's Processing Unit

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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.

Tags: playstation vr processing unit, psvr, playstation virtual reality

3/16/2016 9:21:30 PM Ben Dutka

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Legacy Comment System (13 posts)


MRSUCCESS
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 @ 9:49:31 PM
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$400+? No thanks. I prefer to save that towards a real experience like a vacation in the Caribbeans.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Wednesday, March 16, 2016 @ 10:49:59 PM

That's gonna cost a lot more and be a lot more boring.

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Banky A
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 12:59:38 AM

You know, I always thought if someone needs to save heaps for things like vacations then they wouldn't be gaming at the moment.

Do you play SF with a pad/controller?

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MRSUCCESS
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 8:25:57 AM

@Breadlover,

I don't have much time to play as I would like to. I am in graduate school and I work full time. Just ask Jawknee, I am not online much. I play Street Fighter with a controller.

@World, I respect your opinion.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 10:12:37 AM

Well it's a fact though right? Costs more, and there's a lot more sitting around. Airports, planes, taxi, hotel. All for those for a few nice moments on the beach with your honey.

I'll be stomping on Tokyo from right here for cheap and laughing at my honey who thinks she's about to fall off a cliff :)

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MRSUCCESS
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 12:13:08 PM

Very clever response from you but don't try to minimize the lasting impact a real experience leaves with you.

Yes it does cost more but "more boring" is an opinion.

While you may not like sitting at an airport, taking taxis, etc. others enjoy see that as part of an adventure. A "few" nice moments varies from person to person.

Last edited by MRSUCCESS on 3/17/2016 12:13:54 PM

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Breadlover
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 1:58:36 AM
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$400 so I can play non-VR games without my LED T.V.'s brightness waking my brightness-sensitive wife? ... Not to mention the VR games I can play :D

Count me in!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 10:14:16 AM

Your girlish screams might wake her :)

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Ather
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 2:50:34 AM
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So, people actually thought that Processing Unit would enhance the PS4? Why? It's clearly VR related, what with their selling it with the VR.

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Shauneepeak
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 9:58:57 AM

Because even with that statement the PS4 is not powerful enough to run games with the quality we expect at 120hz. Hell the PS4 rarely gets games up to 60 FPS.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 10:13:38 AM

They thought it would give more processing power to the PS4 to handle VR games. Apparently that is not so.

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BikerSaint
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 4:17:54 PM

OK, I'll paste the link for the gazillionth time once again for those not still not fully understanding about the do's & don'ts with the VR's add-on box.

Here's exactly what it does & doesn't do, straight from Sony.......

http://www.eurogamer.net/articles/digitalfoundry-2016-what-does-playstation-vr-external-processor-unit-actually-do

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slugga_status
Thursday, March 17, 2016 @ 5:53:01 PM
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That's a steep price to pay. Definite pass for now

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