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How to use PlayStation VR on Xbox One

Sony’s new headset plays nice with the Xbox

Megan playing PlayStation VR with an Xbox One controller Jeff Ramos/Polygon

The PlayStation VR headset is now on the market, and it turns out that the requisite PlayStation 4 isn’t actually required for play with it after all. The Xbox One — and the Wii U, presumably — is playable using the hardware, no hacks or customizations required.

We tested this out ourselves after reading some reports from Xbox One owners about playing the console’s games with the new headset. Connecting the Xbox One to the PSVR is really simple: Just plug the HDMI cable that is meant to go into the PlayStation 4 into an Xbox One instead. (For more detailed setup instructions, Sony has provided several video tutorials.)

If done correctly, turn on the headset to find the Xbox One menu inches away from your face. Obviously the games aren’t optimized for the headset, so don’t expect full immersion; instead, it’s like playing the Xbox One in a cinematic mode. You’ll see a static screen, and there’s no head-tracking, but considering we didn’t think this was possible at all, it’s still a pretty neat view.

Plugging your headphones into the controller will even provide sound, although not the 360-degree audio promised by actual PSVR-capable games. Games also look a little worse for wear; we tried out Forza Motorsport 5, which looks fine, but certainly not as good as it usually does on our 60-inch HD television.

We weren’t able to try out the headset with a Wii U, but we imagine it would work in the same way. One person wrote that they’d gotten the PSVR to work with the Nintendo system, playing Splatoon up close. As for PCs, in our experience, PSVR still remains a console-only device. Our PC didn’t recognize or even acknowledge the hardware when we plugged it in.

It probably doesn’t make a ton of sense to buy the PlayStation VR if you don’t already own a PlayStation 4 too, of course. But this secret option certainly broadens your choices for what to play on the headset.

If you’re still on the fence about whether to pick up the $399 PlayStation VR, peep our video review below for our thoughts.

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