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Sony Unveils Project Morpheus, Virtual Reality Headset for PS4

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 9 comments
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Sony's Project Morpheus, revealed at the Game Developers Convention in San Francisco, Calif.Sony's Project Morpheus, revealed at the Game Developers Convention in San Francisco, Calif.

SAN FRANCISCO — As rumored, Sony today (Mar. 18) announced a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4. Called Project Morpheus, the device joined the growing ranks of virtual reality gaming hardware at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) here. No price and availability information was released, as Sony said the device was still in development.

Project Morpheus is a sleek white headset with a curved black visor that goes over the eyes and has blue lights on the trim.

"Nothing elevates the level of immersion more than virtual reality," said Shuhei Yoshida, Sony's President of Worldwide Studios, as he unveiled the device.

MORE: Xbox One vs PlayStation 4: Console Comparison

Yoshida revealed that Sony has been working on virtual reality for several years now, using its PlayStation Move motion controller technology as a baseline. The prototype shown at GDC has a 1080p resolution and a minimum of 90 degrees of display. Sony would not disclose specifics about the finished product.

Designed to fit any head, and even slip over glasses, the headset features an open and adjustable design to avoid fogging and overheating, Sony said. It will also support custom headphones.

Project Morpheus will integrate with the PlayStation DualShock controller and the PlayStation Camera. Sony also suggested that the PlayStation 4's camera had been designed with virtual reality in mind.

Sony is already working on a Project Morpheus demo that puts players on the surface of Mars, partnering with NASA to use data collected by the Mars Curiosity Rover to create an immersive experience.

Virtual reality has been a strong trend at GDC so far, but Sony's entrance into the virtual reality space adds a whole new weight to this growing gaming trend. Yoshida said Sony chose GDC to reveal the device because they wanted to get feedback from the other developers and videogame professionals.

Project Morpheus and a few different demos, including one based on the recent first-person stealth game "Thief,"  will be testable on the GDC show floor, so we'll add our own impressions when we get a chance to try it out ourselves.

Email jscharr@techmedianetwork.com or follow her @JillScharr and Google+. Follow us @TomsGuide, on Facebook and on Google+.

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  • 6 Hide
    alextheblue , March 18, 2014 8:54 PM
    What I'd really like to see is something like Oculus Rift get support for multiple systems, so you don't need a different VR headset for each system! The best move MS could make to counter would be to embrace Oculus Rift so you could use the same headset on PCs as well as XB1.
  • 0 Hide
    sirskeetsalot2013 , March 18, 2014 9:18 PM
    How when it can barely run 1080P 60fps as it is? back to 720p, 30fps like the xbone for sony on supported games....
  • 1 Hide
    bustapr , March 18, 2014 9:40 PM
    I cant really see devs embracing Sonys VR headset the way they are embracing the Oculus Rift. Hopefully Sony decides to work with Oculus for the next one and make a deal to use the same Rift software because thats the only way I think Sony can be succesful with this. Devs who are working on games supporting Oculus Rift could just quickly port Rift support to Sonys headset easily. Its not a great idea to fragment the VR business before it even starts, especially if the business isnt 100% to be a success.
  • Display all 9 comments.
  • -4 Hide
    Juliana Fitzwater Julia , March 18, 2014 11:52 PM
    Cool looking headset, but I doubt its close to being functional.Documents - Word Processor and Reader for Microsoft Office App will be available from the App Store on iPhone, iPad and iPod touch.
  • 0 Hide
    rohitbaran , March 18, 2014 11:53 PM
    For some reason, I was reminded of Morpheus AI in Deus Ex when I saw the title
  • -1 Hide
    jasonelmore , March 19, 2014 12:14 AM
    Virtual Reality does not work for everyone. In fact, i would wager that 3 out of 10 people cant use VR because of health conditions. Nausea is one thing, but some people are incapable of merging 2 screens into 1, similar to binoculars.
  • 1 Hide
    andy_mc29 , March 19, 2014 4:40 AM
    I'm sick of people saying the PS4 can't output 1080p at 60fps. It can easily do this. The reason games don't run at that is that the game engine is using graphics that are too complex to run at that rate. It all depends on how nice you want the graphics to look. You could take any PS3 game and run it at 60fps at 1080p on PS4 and it would look awesome in VR. Don't expect VR games on PS4 to look the same as the games you play on a flat screen because flat screen games are much less dependant on a constant frame rate. However a drop in frame rate when playing in VR can cause motion sickness, so it makes sense that VR games will look a little simpler but run much smoother and therefore give a better experience.
  • 0 Hide
    wanderer11 , March 19, 2014 8:17 AM
    I was at a Sony demo about a year ago and they had a VR headset. I tried it with GT 5 and thought it was absolutely terrible. It was really uncomfortable/heavy, and just looked like a big tv.
  • 0 Hide
    Steveymoo , March 19, 2014 9:18 AM
    Quote:
    I'm sick of people saying the PS4 can't output 1080p at 60fps. It can easily do this. The reason games don't run at that is that the game engine is using graphics that are too complex to run at that rate. It all depends on how nice you want the graphics to look. You could take any PS3 game and run it at 60fps at 1080p on PS4 and it would look awesome in VR. Don't expect VR games on PS4 to look the same as the games you play on a flat screen because flat screen games are much less dependant on a constant frame rate. However a drop in frame rate when playing in VR can cause motion sickness, so it makes sense that VR games will look a little simpler but run much smoother and therefore give a better experience.
    No one's disputing that. And everyone understands your point already. Fact is, people demand better visual quality over fluidity in certain games. For twitch based shooters and RPG games, 60fps is pretty useful. But for RPG and racing games, people would probably prefer a better visual quality experience.
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