Best answer: No. Sony’s PlayStation 4 does not provide support for standard USB webcams. In fact, the company requires that you use its proprietary camera, which uses a different jack than USB.
- The only PS4 camera: PlayStation Camera ($41 at Amazon)
- A professional option: Elgato HD60 S ($135 at Amazon)
Cameras and PlayStation
Rather than adding support for third-party USB cameras, Sony has been trying to make its camera a must-have accessory since they first introduced the EyeToy camera for PlayStation 2. Unfortunately for Sony, the EyeToy and upgraded PlayStation Eye were far from that must-have. Camera games were limited at best throughout the life of the PlayStation 2 and 3.
It wasn’t until 2010 with the launch of PlayStation Move that the camera started gaining a little traction. Over 15 million Moves were shipped by 2012, but the continued lack of any games worth owning meant it would eventually die out as EyeToy had — if the upcoming PlayStation VR headset hadn’t been able to save it.
With the announcement of PSVR, it’s connection to PlayStation Move, and streaming, the PlayStation Camera is back. Twitch and other streaming services were growing in popularity by the launch of the PlayStation 4, and players wanted a camera so viewers could see them as they played games. However, PlayStation still hadn’t added USB webcam support, which left streamers with only two options: They could use the PlayStation Camera, which plugs in via an aux cable rather than a standard USB, or get a capture card. For the average user, the PlayStation Camera was a good enough option and it sold out quickly during the PlayStation 4 launch.
The newest model offers 1280×800 resolution at 60 frames per second (FPS) and the dual-lens designed for Move and PSVR games offer player tracking. With a built-in microphone its a great option if you need a webcam for your PS4. However, it does lack bonuses like background removal and low light correction, which some USB webcams offer.
Without support for third-party webcams, a number of streamers have opted to use a capture card like the Elgato HD60 S. These cards are either internal cards for the PC or external gadgets that allow you to record or stream your PlayStation 4 gameplay to your PC. With the gameplay being streamed to a PC, streamers can use their own USB webcam.
These webcams often have better image quality and more resolution options than the PlayStation Camera. They are designed specifically for image capture and recording, whereas the PlayStation Camera was designed for games first and as a camera second.
Webcam or no
So, no, technically you can’t use your USB webcam with PlayStation 4, but with a little workaround like using a capture card your webcam isn’t useless. However, for the average user this is an expensive solution.
With the history of Sony’s cameras over the years, I don’t have high hopes for USB webcam support on the upcoming PlayStation 5 either. So if you are just wanting to video chat with friends, I suggest you pick up the PS Camera.
PlayStation 4 Camera
$41 at Amazon $13 at Walmart
The PlayStation Camera is a must-have for PSVR and PlayStation Move. It uses dual lens to track the players movment as well as the movement of those ice cream cone controllers. As for the camera itself, the 1280×800 resolution and 60 FPS is good enough for the average user.
Elgato HD60 S
$135 at Amazon $135 at Walmart
Connecting to a USB cam
Elgato’s external HD60 S is a great solution for a streamer wanting to upgrade without adding an internal card to your PC. This little gadget plugs into your PlayStation 4 and your PC, allowing you to record or stream PS4 gameplay to your computer. This connection means you can still use your USB webcam on your PC.