Sony announced that its PlayStation VR HMD now supports YouTube's 360-degree videos.
Games are the PSVR's focus, but Sony also wants the headset to offer a well-rounded media experience. This was previously limited to a "big screen" mode that allowed people to watch videos as if they were being projected onto a giant display. Considering the fact that PSVR relies on a PlayStation 4, which is probably connected to a real television set, this simulated theater probably wasn't the best use of the virtual reality (VR) platform's capabilities.
Gaining access to YouTube's library of 360-degree videos is probably a better use of the PSVR. YouTube was the first major platform to support the immersive video format, which allows people to look around a scene as if they were actually in the video, back in March 2015. Facebook and Twitter followed suit in September 2015 and December 2016, respectively, and several upstarts are working on 360-degree video cameras, apps, and services.
"Back in October, when we first launched PlayStation VR, our mission was to deliver cutting-edge virtual reality experiences to PS4 players right across the globe," PlayStation said in its announcement. "Following a hugely successful launch and masses of positive feedback from players everywhere, we’re continuing to build on what we started."
PSVR debuted in October 2016 to a rather warm reception from VR enthusiasts. Our initial impression of the hardware and software was favorable, and in the few months since its launch, many games and VR experiences have made their way to the platform. Sony doesn't appear to be dabbling with VR; even as it's released the souped-up PS4 Pro, the company has continued to work towards making PSVR a viable platform for consumer VR.
The updated YouTube app can be downloaded now from the PlayStation Store.