PlayStation 4 Needs External Processing Unit for PlayStation VR

Hardware 27 December 29, 2015 by

PlayStation VR, otherwise known as Project Morpheus, has been something of a hot topic for the GTPlanet community upon discovering Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios, would like the platform to support Gran Turismo.

The premise was made more promising when a Driveclub tech demo was shown off behind closed doors that displayed the possibilities racing games could have on the platform, and was made euphoric when compatibility was confirmed for next year’s Gran Turismo Sport.

With the Q1 2016 release window drawing near, quite the interesting piece of information has emerged: the PlayStation 4 isn’t powerful enough to operate the headset by itself, opting for an external processing unit as shown above to deliver on the promise of VR.

The reasoning behind the external unit, or ‘PU’ as referred to by Sony, is to create the social screen through the available HDMI output. This allows gameplay to be displayed on an HDTV for others to watch and participate, while the main player is fully engaged in the VR environment.

As previously mentioned, PSVR will make use of ‘asynchronous time-warpPSVRCable3‘ which will allow 60fps games to be frame-rate upscaled to the native resolution of the HMD (Head-Mounted Display) at 120Hz. Asynchronous time-warp can be applied to all frames, even those on native 120Hz code, and will help to reduce potential nausea issues by ensuring that the visual response to HMD movement is as natural and fluid as possible.

PlayStation VR has undergone some slight alterations since its original unveiling and these alterations are apparent in the new inline controls, joining the headset and its connection to the external processing unit. While hard to identify the buttons in the image, they represent volume control, a microphone input and a power button.

PlayStation VR is undoubtedly a sizable investment for Sony and a risky one to boot, but we’re interested in its possibilities and what direction it will drive the racing game genre in all the same.

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