Photoreceptor degeneration diseases, such as retinitis pigmentosa and age-related macular degeneration, are major causes of blindness. Photovoltaic devices or materials activates retinal cells in response to light, hence are promising retinal prosthesis in treating blind patients. The restoration of image-forming vision with high sensitivity is the key. Here we demonstrated that Au nanoparticle-coated titania (TiO2-x) nanowire (NW) arrays can restore vision in blind mice and non-human primates with photoreceptor degeneration. We first showed that blind mice with subretinal implant of NW arrays were capable of detecting static, moving and flashing objects with low light intensity threshold for 22 months, having a visual acuity of 0.3 cpd (0.4 cpd in normal mice). Results in chronic in vivo calcium imaging in primary visual cortex (V1) collectively suggested the plastic change in V1 neurons as well as the improvement in visual information encoding for natural images after NW implant. What’s more, macaque monkeys with subretinal implant of NW arrays were capable of detecting an LED of 0.5º in diameter at 10 μW·mm-2 in visually-guided saccade experiments. Our findings opened up the possibility to utilize nanomaterials as artificial photoreceptors to ameliorate visual deficits of patients with photoreceptor degeneration.