As we suspected, Sony announced their own virtual reality headset for PS4 today and it’s a thing of beauty…
It’s strange to think that just a decade ago VR was something that was seen as an experience of the far distant future, yet now virtual reality, is a reality! We will soon be entering the new worlds coming to PS4 through this revolutionary peripheral. With real-time head tracking and PS Move integration, your body movements can also be integrated thanks to the extra precision that comes with the PS camera.
Imagine exploring the vast wilderness of the next Elder Scrolls game with your vision completely covered by the awe inspiring landscapes that come with open world titles of such calibre. Combined with 3D steroscopic audio, high framerates and low latency, could this be what truly defines this generation of gaming?
President of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuheu Yoshida, shared some of his own words on the PlayStation Blog about his delight after revealing the prototype:
“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.”
“Our current prototype for Project Morpheus features a head mounted display with 1080p resolution and a 90 degree field of view. Accelerometer and gyroscope sensors built into the head mounted unit as well as PlayStation®Camera accurately tracks head orientation and movement, so as your head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates intuitively in real-time. Project Morpheus also features our new 3D audio technology that re-creates stereoscopic sounds in all directions and changes in real-time depending on your head orientation. In addition to PlayStation Camera, Project Morpheus works with DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller and PlayStation®Move to deliver an easy-to-use, plug-and-play VR experience.”
“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.”
Of course having the new technology is one thing, but consumers need games to play. And that’s why it was great to hear that Sony already have a great group of developers signed on to produce content for VR compatibility including Crytek, Epic Games and Havok who’s engines are used in many top titles. It’s expected that many more devs will sign on eventually given the staggering sales of the PS4 and the incredible optimism following the announcement on the web.
Of course Sony has been developing this prototype behind closed doors for a while now, and whilst the patents for it were released early last year, some were still sceptical as to whether VR was a field that the company was brave enough to delve into. We’re sure glad they did. Here’s how Project Morpheus looked in three different stages of development, the first picture is the earliest prototype model.
The headset will be highly adjustable to make for comfortable and prolonged use, it will also support custom headphones and will allow players to wear glasses while wearing the peripheral. The current prototype is wired, but Sony is investigating other solutions. It’s also worth noting that Sony are researching eye tracking, and it may be implemented in the final product which could add to what is already sounding like a spectacular experience.
The current demos are Thief from Square Enix, EVE Valkyrie from CCP Games, The Castleand The Deep by Sony London Studio. Other Sony development teams are experimenting with the technology.
For the moment Project Morpheus is exclusive to PS4 and no PC support has been announced. A release date hasn’t been specified yet, and the only window that has been given is “as soon as possible.”
When the panel was asked “what is the significance of the Project Morpheus name?” Shuhei Responded, “We decided on this name last week.” to which the audience laughs. “Morpheus is the god of dreams… it’s supposed to evoke being a dreamlike experience in the headset.” So no, it’s nothing to do with The Matrix. But we all thought the same thing when we heard Morpheus…