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PlayStation VR should not be used by children under 12, Sony warns

How does that compare to Oculus Rift and Vive?

Sony has added a new health and safety notice to the PlayStation 4, and in the process updated its guidance for virtual reality headset use by children.

Sony says PlayStation VR should not be used by children under the age of 12.

Reddit user KGrizzly spotted a new virtual reality safety notice had been added in the 3.5 beta firmware health and safety section.

This PS4 update states that Sony's PlayStation VR headset should not be used by children under the age of 12.

So how does that advice compare to the Oculus Rift and the Vive?

Let's start with the Vive. We've had a look at official documentation provided by Valve's virtual reality experience, and while it does not carry a specific age warning, it does include a "use by children" instruction.

Here's what it says:

The HTC Vive fails to specify a minimum age for use, but does stress it wasn't designed for children.

As for Oculus Rift, it states the headset should not be used by children under the age of 13.

Here's the relevant blurb, taken from Oculus' health and safety documentation:

Oculus' guidance lines up with parent company Facebook's age restriction for its social media platform, as revealed by CEO Brendan Iribe in a June 2015 interview with VRFocus.

"We put a warning on right when you put it on and the age of 13 was something that made a lot of sense when we became a part of Facebook, their age is 13 as well. And so we just felt 'let's start at 13, let's evolve the technology more, let's build more confidence, in the health and safety side of it. And eventually, one day, we definitely want to have Oculus for kids, especially for all the educational use of this."

There are a variety of concerns around virtual reality headsets and their use by children, including the potential for motion sickness and eye strain.

Typically, the headsets allow users to move the lenses closer together and farther apart for better focus.

However, the minimum distance between the lenses may still be too far for some children to focus comfortably on the displayed image, which could cause eye strain.

The news comes ahead of next week's Game Developers Conference, where Sony is expected to announce a release date and price for PlayStation VR.

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