Although we all certainly use larger monitors and TVs than we did a decade or more ago, they aren’t that much bigger. They certainly aren’t cinema-wide, which is perhaps one of the few reasons why people still go to see big-screen films, despite rising prices. Sony, however, thinks it can emulate the big-screen experience at home, and is claiming that its PlayStation VR (PSVR) headset offers a the virtual equivalent of a 226-inch screen.
Sitting at home in your very own virtual reality multiplex is something that has been possible in VR for years using headsets like the Oculus Rift DK2. This writer watched the Lego Movie all by himself in a 300 person VR screen sometime back in 2015.
But Sony is targeting an entirely new, slightly more mainstream console audience with its headset. Augmenting its VR gaming offerings with a virtual cinema mode is a smart move.
Watching movies with such a set up will of course be possible, but Sony is also suggesting it as an option for those who want to play their non-VR PS4 titles on a screen that’s bigger than most people’s houses.
Users will be given options of 117 inches, 163 inches and 226 inches to choose from when sitting in their own virtual theater, according to the PlayStation Blog.
The largest of the screens will actually require you to turn your head to see the edges of the screen, something that may add a level of 3D feel to more traditional, two dimensional games. However for those looking to relax, the smallest of screen sizes will follow your gaze, so Sony suggests you could lie down and look straight upwards while continuing to view the screen.
However good this is for those considering the PSVR headset, it must be pointed out that at existing resolutions, even the higher pixel density headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive, struggle to make games look as good as on large virtual displays. The screen door effect – where the lines between pixels are visible – is still present, and it will not look as good as if you were watching a real 226 inch screen, nor will other PS4 games look as good as they would on a standard 1080p display, regardless of the size.