HolidayBuyer's Guide

Two ways to use PlayStation VR that have nothing to do with gaming

Gaming is just one way to enjoy virtual reality. Sony's showing off other ways to use its PlayStation VR system.

Josh Miller/CNET
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Sony's Playstation VR headset is so close we can taste it. At a event in San Francisco Tuesday, Sony showed off the final consumer version of the VR headset. The design is the same we've seen before and we already knew about the tech inside, but Sony unveiled a few never-before-seen features that have nothing to do with gaming.

Cinematic mode

You'll be able to watch regular movies, from a DVD or Blu-ray, with Playstation VR. It looks similar to watching a movie in a theater, with a widescreen 16:9 display. A simple black background surrounds the digital display, which adds to the movie theater effect.

It's nice to have the option, but frankly I don't know that I'd ever watch a movie through Playstation VR. It simultaneously looks like I'm at a movie theater and sitting a bit too close to the TV and it's a bit disorientating. What's more, I doubt I'd want to have a VR headset strapped to my head for two hours at a time since it's just not that comfortable.

Watch your own 360 videos/photos

With the launch of Playstation VR, Sony will also update the Media Player app on the Playstation 4 so it can play 360 videos and show 360 photos. You're probably not shooting in 360 degrees quite yet, but you might be soon. Cameras such as the LG 360 Cam and Ricoh Theta S make it easy -- though not necessarily affordable -- to shoot 360 content. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to check this out in a live demo.

We don't know yet if you'll be able to watch 360-degree video from YouTube or other online platforms through PSVR, but it's possible.

More to come

Playstation VR is due in October 2016 for $399 (£349 or AU$550) and while we've had the chance to play around with it, there's much more testing and exploring to do. For more about the headset, check out CNET's hands on with Playstation VR.