With VR headsets nearing launch, the focus has turned to looking at the platforms driving them. For the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, the PC is the obvious choice but Sony will be rolling their own with the PlayStation VR. Richard Marks, the head of the PlayStation Magic Lab at Sony has recently shared more information about how VR will work on the PS4. The biggest points, however, are what Marks has to say about the performance.
“The hardware was designed and built for real time. It’s a video gaming system so the operating system is very low latency and very tunable.”
According to Marks, the PS4 will be a better platform for VR. Most of the benefits are the usual ones that the console has, mainly the uniform hardware, setup and accessories that all PS4 owners will have. This will make it easier for developers to create games for the console. Performance is also better as the PS4 OS is designed for real-time gaming and is able to have much lower latency, in the area of 18ms. Low latency as we know is very critical to have an optimal VR experience.
“This isn’t my number, this is some middleware people said, that a console about the same specs as a PC, the console is about 60% more powerful, because of all that kind of direct access you have and knowing every piece as it should be and not having variability like this is a different process here and things like that. You can just tune things and get effectively 60% more performance.”
Finally, the main point Marks hammers home is that consoles simply perform better at VR than PCs. According to middleware vendors he has talked to, the PS4 should be 60% faster than a comparably specced PC. This is due to the OS and the direct access to hardware the PS4 offers. Furthermore, the PS4 should be in the realm of a GTX 970 equipped PC in terms of VR.
It’s well-known that consoles are more tunable due to the direct hardware access it offers. A 60% boost might even be believable. The claim about the PS4 matching the GTX 970 though is pretty outlandish, though. That would entail an 110% boost in performance which is incompatible with the 60% figure. With DX12 and Vulcan coming as well, the PC may very well catch up to consoles very soon.