PS VR; Console Effectively 60% More Powerful Than Equally Specced PC

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Feb 25, 2016

During the AR/VR Vision Summit, Sony’s Richard Marks held a presentation about PlayStation VR (PS VR, previously known as Project Morpheus). The presentation provides an overview of PlayStation VR and the basic development process.

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The AR/VR event was held some weeks ago, but the presentation from Marks hadn’t been published until now. Some interesting details can be discerned from it, and you can check it all out below.

Neogaf user Man summarized some highlight, such as the fact that the PS4 console is effectively 60% more powerful than an equally specced PC setup. Please note that this was reported by middleware providers – not by Marks.

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Seemingly, this has also been confirmed by a VR developer on Reddit, who reports that PS VR is extremely close to being on par with the HTC Vive and the Oculus Rift:

PSVR is extremely close to being on par with Vive and the Rift w/ a gtx970 based on the tests I’ve done. The team from Epic (Nick & Tom) have also stated the same in at least one of their VR Twitch streams. If your app runs at 90Hz on a PC with a gtx970 then you should be very close to 60 on the ps4. And with the 120Hz reprojection applied it’s glassy smooth.

Yes, I do! In brief, the PSVR only requires about 1/4th of the render target size that the Vive requires. This has a lot to do with the display they are using that can run a 60Hz game at 120Hz (in addition to the 90Hz mode). So comparing the PSVR at 60Hz>120Hz to the Vive at 90Hz:

Vive = 457 million pixels/sec (1512x1680x2x90)

PSVR = ~100 million (1920x1080x60 – ~20%*)

*The ~20% is accounting for some additional (classified) techniques that further reduce the render target size.

There are other things to consider as well, if you want to go further. For example, the PS4 has hardly any driver overhead compared to Windows so it’s a fully dedicated gaming system that can focus purely on performance. For example, the draw calls on the PS4 are faster than with dx11 which is something that a lot of people don’t realize.

They have also started beefing up their small conversion box unit with processing power to help do some heavy lifting.

Due to fixed hardware, a super low latency of less than 18ms  has been achieved. While reprojection was previously available via an option, Sony has now made it an always-on feature. According to Sony, it has no down-sides however. The breakout box doesn’t touch the signal between the PS4 and the PSVR; the only thing it feeds to the PSVR, is the 3D audio which it *does* process. No PS4 GPU/CPU cycles is spent on Audio.

We’re pretty hyped about VR in general, and the possibilities it will offer. As always, we will keep you updated about PS VR, the Vive, Oculus Rift and other VR-related news.