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It has long been rumored that Sony has been developing a Virtual Reality (VR) headset for the PS4 which would compete with the Oculus Rift.
But, contrary to popular belief, this isn’t Sony’s first venture into the VR headset market; It has been there for years. In fact, it’s VR models are currently in the 3rd generation.
Sony felt that it’s offerings weren’t geared towards gaming and so felt the need to unleash upon the world it’s very own gaming oriented VR headset.
Sony has fulfilled our wishes and has unveiled Project Morpheus (Matrix, anyone?) which is an addon that makes your PS4 games THAT much more immersive.
“The game industry has grown by leverage experiences that people didn’t know they were expecting or think were possible. We push the boundaries of play,” Yoshida said. “Nothing elevates the level of immersion better than VR. It delivers a sense of presence.”
Sony took off the wraps at GDC 2014. Sony announced that it is still in prototype but this feels like a finished design which is elegant…but also uncannily similar to that of the Oculus Rift.
The design undoubtedly is futuristic, what with the glowing blue LEDs and what not.
The full package is smaller and presumably lighter than Sony’s other VR headset line, i.e the HMZ-T3.
Project Morpheus will only be the display… To control it you need to use a Dualshock 4 controller or the PS4 Move or the PS Eye.
The display has a resolution of 1080p (1920*1080 pixels) which is quite sharp and the current industry’s standard as far as Virtual Reality goes. It has a low latency rate (refresh rate – 1000 hz) which may remove artifacts and make for a smooth experience when playing or watching content with fast motion. Sony says it has made the headset such that there is minimal eyestrain, if any.
You also have a 90 plus degree field of view with positional and rotational head tracking, 360 degrees of movement and 3 meter volume with binaural sound for a great sound.
The whole set up still uses wires and currently doesn’t have any wireless, less cluttery option available unlike it’s competitor, the Oculus Rift. However, since this is a prototype, we cannot say what will and will not be in the final version, but we can presume that wireless versions will be present in the consumer version.
At GDC. Sony used a 5 metre long wire to connect the headset which is really too long.
Sony has already signed up some developers with big names such as Crytek, Unity and Epic among them. So you may expect games compatible with the headset when it finally hits the consumer market.
At GDC 2014, Sony demoed the headset with games such as Eve Valkrie and Thief.
However, for now it seems, the headset will only be compatible with the PS4 and not with PCs or any other device. That shuts off a large amount of users for Sony. Also, due to limited compatibility, the Oculus Rift will be chosen over the Playstation Headset for purposes other than gaming.
That is too bad. If compatibility had been wider, Project Morpheus could potentially give the Oculus Rift a run for it’s money. Still, excluding that point, the Oculus Rift is a better, refined and more functional product than the Playstation Headset, which is a given since, the PS Headset is a prototype while the Oculus has been developed on for more time than PS Headset.
Sony says it is focusing on six areas of Virtual Reality: sight, sound, tracking, control, easy of use, and content.
Sony hasn’t yet revealed details about price and availability, since this is just a prototype.
Will Virtual Reality be successful? Will it fail? With headsets such as the Oculus Rift and major manufacturers such as Sony entering the game, the answer seems to lean towards successful.
Virtual Reality is the next big revolution in games and it is fast gaining tread. Developers are coming to VR in flocks and it seems VR will be the success for gaming that 3D never was.