PlayStation VR can do more than just Gaming

Social VR PingPong

Virtual reality is shaping up to be revolution in gaming because of the impact it has on presence – players feel like they are actually present at the in-game location; which leads to a more immersive gaming experience. And Sony has cleverly identified that virtual reality technology can have advantages beyond gaming.

There are news of Sony including services with the PlayStation VR, which take advantage of the console’s capacity to also create a strong sense of presence for various non-gaming applications.



The first of these is the PlayStation VR’s cinematic mode. The PlayStation has always featured the ability to play movies, and the PlayStation VR extends this capacity, by enabling players to watch pictures and movies in virtual reality.

All you need to do is put on the PlayStation VR headset and enter cinematic mode. Players will see a large virtual screen in front of them which will display the content. This mode has up to three levels of zoom. The virtual screen can measure up to 225 inches at a distance of 8 feet from the player.


Apart from multimedia, the cinematic mode feature can also be used to play any regular, existing PlayStation 4 game and other PlayStation services, such as Share Play. Players can use PlayStation 4 Media Player to view photos and videos captured with omnidirectional cameras on the PlayStation VR. What makes this experience special, is that virtual reality imparts the feeling that the user is actually inside the captured scene.

Netflix VR

Popular video streaming service Netflix has plans to release a virtual reality version of its app. It is supposed to be based on the same principle as the cinematic mode.

An additional benefit is, that the player can be transported to a different environment, in which they can watch the movie or TV show. For instance, in Oculus’ recent app for Samsung’s Gear VR; users are transported into a cabin in the mountains with a giant television screen in front of them. Sony is working with potential partners to bring more virtual reality multimedia services to its PlayStation VR.


Social Networks

Virtual reality technology can also eventually be expected to appear in some form in social media; after all Oculus is owned by Facebook. However, social networking can extend beyond such services. For instance, in the Social VR demo for the PlayStation VR; players are transported to a virtual space that is functionally similar to a chat room.

Players are represented by avatars in the demo. The players can see each others movements and hand gestures. They can also hear the voices of other players. It has been hinted, that future PlayStation VR games, particularly MMOs (“Massively Multiplayer Online games”), may feature this kind of social interaction as well.


Sony’s virtual reality headset is all set to release in October 2016. Of the three mainstream virtual reality platforms, the other two being the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive; the PlayStation VR is the cheapest with a retail price of $399.

The PlayStation VR also has the additional benefit of running off a PlayStation 4; unlike its competitors, both of which require expensive high end gaming computers to operate.

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