Sony has just announced its solution for bringing virtual reality to its home console, the PlayStation 4. At the Game Developers Conference, Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida held an event where he unveiled Project Morpheus.
Yoshida began by saying, “VR has been a dream of many gamers since the computer was invented. Many of us at PlayStation have dreamed of VR and what it could mean to the gaming community.”
Still a prototype, Project Morpheus has been in the works for over three years, and while it has primarily been designed for games, one of the company’s guiding principles on the project is that it will not be limited to just interactive entertainment.
On the technical side, the headset has a 90-degree field of view and uses a 1080p display, and will utilize the PlayStation Camera for tracking and Move for motion control, though we assume a DualShock 4 might also work alongside the visor. Compared to Oculus’s Rift headset, Project Morpheus contains similar specs, including an identical field of view, though it is unclear if Sony’s system utilizes two displays like the Rift, or if it goes solo with a single image.
It appears Sony has taken this project very seriously as opposed to having gone the route of gimmicky motion controls. *Ahem*.
The team behind Project Morpheus has focused on six areas that need to be nailed in order for the project to be a success: sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content. The company seems to have the technical merit to tackle the project, so the last three areas are where we have the most interest.
Sony says the PlayStation Move and PlayStation Camera are already in the hands of consumers, lowering barriers to entry, and making it easy for consumers to jump into a new experience like Project Morpheus. The company also plans to make the headset plug-and-play, likely utilizing USB connectivity, or perhaps some sort of HDMI-passthrough from the rear of the console. Content-wise, Sony has already lined up the big guns in the industry, including Epic Games, Crytek, Autodesk, Unity, and the company is showing off demos of Thief, EVE Valkyrie, and other games running on their brand new platform.
It’ll be interesting to note the success of Project Morpheus (or whatever it ends up being called; we’re going with PlayStation Vision), and whether or not it will dwarf Kinect sales or if it will even surpass PlayStation Move sales.
We’re hoping to get a hands-on (and eyes-on) with Project Morpheus at E3 2014 in just a few short months, and will of course report back our findings. Stay tuned!