Sunday, January 22, 2017

PlayStation VR - YouTube 360 Support is Live

If you have a PS4 and PSVR, then you may have noticed that a new update was released for the YouTube App. While most might not think much of it, considering updates aren't uncommon, but this time around they have brought us something special -- 360 video support for PSVR.

For anyone who doesn't know, YouTube supports 360 VR videos for most VR headsets. These include both the VR sets you can buy for your phone, and the higher end ones such as the HTC Vive. Now that very same support has been brought to the PSVR, and it works exactly the same way. Upon opening the YouTube App you now have the choice between the standard YouTube, and the PSVR version. The difference here is, the PSVR version will allow you to not only view the 360 videos, but it'll also set the YouTube video player at a set location within your virtual reality space. In other words, it'll become a movie theater screen floating in front of you, and your headset will track it's position. It's similar to the PSVR's default viewing mode for non VR content, but in this case you don't risk screen drift (which is sadly still an issue with the PSVR when it is not in full tracking mode).

As for the 360 videos themselves, they can be watched by going to the new 360 Video tab located at the top of the YouTube app, or you can simply search YouTube for them yourself. There's a lot of them out there, and they all offer different experiences. Of course this doesn't mean they are perfect. Sadly not all 360 videos are uploaded in 4K, so the resolution on some can be much lower than expected. Also since these are video files, they are not in full 3D like a standard VR game would be. Yes they do allow you to look around the world, but it isn't as immersive as full VR content. Even so, there's a lot of fun to be had with these videos, and it's a great addition to the PSVR's library.