PlayStation VR sort of works with the Xbox One and PC

Were you lucky enough to pick up a PlayStation VR yesterday? Do you also own an Xbox One or PC? Then you'll get a little extra bang for your buck than you expected - it turns out that Sony's virtual reality headset works surprisingly well with rival machines.

The PlayStation VR features a "cinema mode" that offers a floating screen on the  headset's visor. It essentially mirrors the action from the PlayStation 4 from any 2D source, letting you use the headset even for applications and games not specifically made for PS VR.

And, thanks to the way the PlayStation VR's processing box works, that feature can be used with, well, pretty much anything that makes use of HDMI video output.

How it works

Essentially, all you need to do to get the PlayStation VR to work with a non-PlayStation source is to plug the device's HDMI lead into the port intended to receive signals from your PS4.

PlayStation VR's processing box effectively works as a pass through unit, letting the cinema mode be activated on anything from a set-top box to a Wii U or Xbox One.

Now, there are some considerable limitations with this process, as you'd expect from something not officially supported by Sony. Plugging into a PC, for instance, will let you view your desktop and workspace apps, but don't expect HTC Vive or Oculus Rift games to work as true virtual reality applications. The PS VR headset is merely replicating a monitor in this instance. 

Similarly, while you can play Gears of War 4 on your Xbox One through the PS VR's huge simulated IMAX like screen,  you won't benefit from any of PS VR's head-tracking smarts (allowing you to focus on portions of the screen) as the console's camera won't be active.

It's a nice little extra then, just be aware of its limitations.

Gerald Lynch

Gerald is Editor-in-Chief of Previously he was the Executive Editor for TechRadar, taking care of the site's home cinema, gaming, smart home, entertainment and audio output. He loves gaming, but don't expect him to play with you unless your console is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. Before TechRadar, Gerald was Editor of Gizmodo UK. He is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press.