Sony have finally revealed their secretive (or not) VR Headset project for the Playstation 4 and it’s called Project Morpheus.
Breaking: We’ll be updating this story as it develops.
In a packed event at the Moscone center in San Francisco, President of Sony’s Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida took to the stage to unveil a highly developed prototype VR Headset that Sony have apparently been working on for some time now. Project Morpheus is the result of years of tinkering by Sony engineers, the slideshow demonstrating images form earlier prototypes dating back to 2010. After a brief history lesson, the object that had adorned the stage since people had filed into the room was revealed.
The prototype looks somewhat as you might expect, sleekly designed and looking not unlike a prop you might discover on the set of Oblivion or perhaps 2001: A Space Oddyssey. It was stressed that what was shown is not final hardware, but if it was – we probably wouldn’t complain.
OK, details are thin on the ground here. Project Morpheus has been designed it seems from the ground up with positional tracking. The four glowing edges at the front of the VR Headset are key to the unit’s positional tracking system. These are used for visual tracking by the PS Camera accessory, so no dedicated hardware required here.
In terms of display – no hard details, merely references to “hi-res”, “high framerate” and “Low persistence” displays. The current development units posess a 1080p display and can produce a 90+ degree FOV. Rotational tracking is sampled at 1000Hz.
There’s a headphone jack to plugin your own audio, and the unit overall is designed to allow free flow of air around your face. The unit is currently wired, but Sony are investigating wireless solutions.
One thing was made very clear though, this unit is a Playstation 4 exclusive device for now. Although Sony wouldn’t be drawn on whether any future PC compatibility would arise.
One phrase that was heard many times was however “presence” and Sony’s pursuit of it. Seems this will become the overriding term used to encompass the power of good VR form hereon in.
The Games / Software
OK, so there wasn’t much to show evidently at this event. However, it’s fairly clear that Sony thought carefully about it’s audience before piecing together this presentation. The rhetoric was designed to appeal to game creatives, in fact the slant was almost an appeal.
In a surprise announcement, EVE Valkyrie was announced as playable on the show floor with Project Morpheus. Up to now, Valkyrie has ben the soul preserve of Oculus Hardware for demonstration purposes, it’s interesting to see how it will measure up on Sony’s hardware.
Sony will have Project Morpheus on display on the show floor from tomorrow (Wednesday 19th), so we’ll do our level best to spend some time with the unit and report back whatever we find.
“So when’s it out?!” I can hear you all cry, the answer “As soon as possible!”.