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PlayStation VR to feature external processing box “as big as a Wii”

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PlayStaion VR

PlayStation VR, and VR in general, is pretty exciting technology. It’s also technology that punches way above the capabilities that current-gen consoles can provide, considering the headset itself needs to render not one, but two screens at least at 60FPS at all times. It’s more than the PlayStation 4 can muster alone, but that’s why it’s getting a little help in a little black box.

That’s according to Polygon, who went hands-on with the retail version of PlayStation VR (although weren’t able to snap any pictures). The headset itself is largely unchanged, with a few improvements to comfort and fit making it feel like a final product. The biggest change (although it was probably always just hidden when shown off) is the addition to a black processing box that connects the headset to the PS4. A box that Polygon says is about the size of a Wii console – or a third of the PS4.

As we learned earlier this year, the PlayStation VR headset doesn’t plug directly into the PlayStation 4. Instead, it plugs into a processing box, which in turn plugs into the PlayStation 4. This allows people to use the TV and PS4 to interact with, or just watch, the person playing their VR game.

This box is there to handle additional processing required for VR, and in turn alleviate a lot of computational work on the console itself. When we got our hands on the headset at E3 and Gamescom, most of the wiring went into cabinets and boxes making it impossible to see how it all hooked up to the PS4. Sony has mentioned the need for the processing box previously, but this is the first time it’s actually been seen out in the wild.

That might mess with your living room setup, and confirms that the headset will need to be rather close to your console to operate (were you expecting something wireless?), but it does give an indication of what to expect when Sony finally enters the realm of VR in the first half of 2016.

Last Updated: December 17, 2015


  1. Hey its a start to something better. I thnk when a revised PS4 comes out then that black box will be integrated into the system.


    • HvR

      December 17, 2015 at 19:25

      At double size and double price do not think so.


      • CypherGate

        December 17, 2015 at 19:29

        Possibly, but I think that is something they will look at cause it would put many off to have another section attached to the console. They most probably will bundle the lot next holidays with a ‘FREE’ VR game to boot for a healthy +-R8000


        • HvR

          December 17, 2015 at 19:46

          Basing my assumptions on Oculus Rift tech data, you need 3 times the processing power of 1080p 60fps (which the PS4 can not get to with the latest releases) for VR.

          To make this work I think they will need extra very beefy GPU (950 equivalent at best, likely a 970 or 980), to integrate this into existing box means redesigning the board, heat dissipation, and power supply. Pretty much R&D for a whole new chip, board and console.

          The Oculus Rift headset price alone will be around $350.


    • SentientSlug

      December 18, 2015 at 08:01

      They wont do this, that would literally kill their market.


  2. HvR

    December 17, 2015 at 19:24

    Thought so, that probably something like a 980 in a separate box with power supply. Expect their VR solution to at least double in price (R8k+) than the Oculus or be major loss for Sony and serve as tech demo for first adopters and go properly at it next-gen.

    Probably point to M$ with the Hololens.


    • SentientSlug

      December 18, 2015 at 08:10

      IF it sells at 8K+ it then unfortunately playstation VR will be dead in the water. you simply cannot compare console market pricing to PC pricing, you just cannot. There is not a bigger enough market for additional hardware at that price. Not enough people will be willing to fork that out. Without market your developers wont touch the technology. That I can guarantee. They also cant just afford to produce a “tech demo” as their entry into the market, that would be terrible business sense and Sony wont do that, its suicide. if they bring in a R5000 tech demo I can promise you next gen, no one is going to bite any new VR offerings. Mark my words they will go all out with VR this gen, with a product under R6000 (around 400 dollars or less). But please, if the rand drops the way it is please don’t come back to me and say I told you so. Just remember I said 400 dollars.


  3. Jonah Cash

    December 17, 2015 at 21:30

    Every time new tech comes along I cry out loudly that I won’t buy it… then it launches and I see someone using it or I try it for myself and low and behold my wallet comes out and I buy it… I hate being me sometimes!!


    • miaau

      December 17, 2015 at 21:38

      I prefer to wait for the tech to prove itself


  4. HvR

    December 17, 2015 at 22:03

    Something that comes as a potential feature for VR capable console is that they be able to handle 2 independent displays and the extra processing with ease. Dual screen multi-player from single console sounds like it could be fun.


  5. James Anderton

    December 18, 2015 at 07:22

    No shit. You can’t VR on one of these


  6. The Grand Admiral Chief

    December 18, 2015 at 07:29

    Dat face


  7. Pieter Kruger

    December 18, 2015 at 07:37

    LOL, just what the PS4 needs……a camera, bigger housing & MORE cables! While they’re at it, why don’t they move the power source externally so the thing doesn’t sound like a drone taking off when over heating..?!????????????


    • Hammersteyn

      December 18, 2015 at 09:05



      • Pieter Kruger

        December 18, 2015 at 09:14



        • Hammersteyn

          December 18, 2015 at 09:27



  8. MacDoodle

    December 18, 2015 at 10:33

    Be so cool if you can plug this box back into PS4 to boost normal gaming when not using VR


  9. Guest

    December 22, 2015 at 00:07

    So…the moral of this is don’t spin around really fast or you’ll yank out your ps4, the separate box, and your headset all while falling on your ass?


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