Sony Announces Project Morpheus VR Headset


Sony announced at GDC yesterday their latest foray into virtual reality, Project Morpheus. In a blog post, Sony’s Eternal G, Shuhei Yoshida, elaborated on this next step in gaming and why it’s so near and dear to his heart.

I have long dreamed about VR and the possibilities it brings in regards to game development. This new technology will deliver a sense of presence, where you as the player actually feel like you’re inside the game and your emotions feel that much more real.

The current prototype, pictured above, looks stunning, featuring black and and white surfaces, highlighted by a subtle Playstation blue LED. It goes hand in hand with the PS4’s design language.

How about some specs? The prototype features a head mounted 1080p display with a 90 degree field of view. It also features built in accelorometer and gyroscope sensors. The Playstation Camera tracks your head orientation and movement, so “as your head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates intuitively in real-time.”

Of course, immersive sound is required for a truly convincing VR experience. To that effect, Sony has implemented 3D audio technology which sounds an awful lot like binaural audio – which is a good thing. The sound will be accurately portrayed relative to your head position and orientation.

Shu continues,

The prototype for Project Morpheus is the culmination of our work over the last 3+ years as we’ve refined our vision for VR. This prototype will serve as the first development kit for PS4 developers that are as enthusiastic about this new medium as we are.

On a personal note, I am very excited for VR. I don’t necessarily see this as the gimmick that motion control is. However, from a technical standpoint, an awful lot of horsepower is required to portray convincing VR. Framerate and antialiasing are king and the more power you have, the more convincing the VR experience will be.

Given that Project Morpheus’ competitor, the Oculus Rift, is PC-oriented, I am hesitant to fully embrace Sony’s effort. The PC simply has more power so it stands to reason that it will provide a much more convincing VR experience. Still, I am excited nonetheless and am eager to learn more as both Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift edge closer to launch.

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