Sony announces VR headset, codenamed Project Morpheus

Sony project Morpheus

Last night at GDC, Sony revealed that it is working on it’s own virtual reality headset, currently called Project Morpheus.  It features a head mounted display with 1080p resolution and a 90 degree field of view, along with accelerometer and gyroscope sensors built into the head mounted unit.  The PS4’s camera will track your head’s movement, allowing the displayed world to move as you move your head.  Alongside all of these features, Project Morpheus has “new 3D audio technology that re-creates stereoscopic sounds in all directions and changes in real-time depending on your head orientation”.  On top of all of that, it works for those who wear glasses.

Project Morpheus will work with the PS4, as you may have guessed from it’s use with the PS4’s camera, and features support for the Dualshock 4 and PlayStation Move system.  The announcement involved footage of a God of War title in VR, which was followed by Shu Yoshida, President of Sony Worldwide Studios “When I looked down, I saw my body was that of Kratos. That was an empowering experience.”

The engine devs on board for Porject Morpheusimage credit: Gamespot

The engine devs on board for Porject Morpheus image credit: Gamespot

The headset is available for developers and press today on the show floor at GDC, and features four tech demos currently playable.  Valkyrie, the multiplayer dog-fighting game from the creators of EVE Online, Thief from Square Enix has had certain sequences reworked for the headset, Castle, which will allow you to use the PS Move controller to control a sword., and The Deep, which allows you to explore an underwater reef.

On top of those, NASA & Sony are working on a virtual walk of Mars, showcasing how it’s uses can expand beyond gaming.  Major engine developers like Epic, Crytek and Unity are also already on board.  Sony plans on releasing the headset “As soon as possible, for as little as possible”.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing more about this at E3, so stay tuned for more on this exciting news.  Could this project be the reason for DriveClub’s delay?  I’m sure we’ll learn more soon.

This reporter’s opinion:  This is a big deal for Sony.  Project Morpheus puts Sony in a very interesting place, where they now can compete with the Oculus on PC and are ahead of Microsoft in the console space.  I do worry that the VR headsets may become gimmicky, but this is the future of gaming we have all envisioned, ever since Ray Bradbury’s The Illustrated Man.  I’m quite excited to try something like this, and hope it can really feel like I am the character now.  After all, being Kratos would be pretty bad-ass.

by, Bobby Marquardt

sources: PlayStation Blog, IGN, & Kotaku

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