Sony has officially announced it’s VR headset to the world, code named ‘Project Morpheus’ – it marks the first serious attempt at virtual reality on a home console since the virtual boy. Project Morpheus is being developed with the PS4 in mind, with in-built sensors that allow the PlayStation Camera to accurately track head movement (finally a real use for PlayStation Move technology).
Sony pointed out that developers working on content for Morpheus will be able to “deliver a sense of presence – where players feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world” and it will achieve this with its visor style headset and with the implementation of 3D audio technology. Players won’t just experience the ‘typical’ surround sound effect as they explore these virtual worlds, Morpheus is also able to recreate sounds both above and below the player – the examples Sony used were that of a helicopter overhead or footsteps while climbing a set of stairs.
The PlayStation Move will also be utilised beyond the tracking technology in the headset, players will be able to use the Move controller as an object within the world and Morpheus will recreate the players hand and the object – such as a sword – in-game with the effect being that players “feel like they are physically fighting off enemies with their sword”.
Specifications for Project Morpheus are as follows:
- Display Method – LCD
- Panel size – 5 inches
- Panel resolution – 1920xRGBx1080 per eye
- field of view – 90 degrees
- Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope
- Connection interface – HDMI + USB
- Function – 3D audio, Social screen
I am quite excited to see what developers can come up with when the development kits are finally made available – while PlayStation Move had a lot of great games, it always felt like a bit of a Wiimote rip off (a much better version of the Wiimote but a rip off all the same) however imagine being immersed in the world via Morpheus and using the Move controller as a tool or weapon to navigate the world. One example that comes to mind is the PS3 Move exclusive Sorcery, a game in which players assume the role of a Wizard, using the Move to cast spells, while the casting worked well and the gameplay was enjoyable, it fell into the category of ‘another Move gimmick game’ – now imagine a Harry Potter licensed role playing game where you can explore Hogwarts, cast spells and duel against other Wizards – All while being immersed in the world through VR, exciting stuff and the possibilities are endless.
It will be interesting to see how many developers adopt this technology, and with Oculus Rift also in development, will developers already working with that technology care enough to also develop for Morpheus? with over 6 million PS4s sold, it seems like a no brain-er, but only time will tell. Can Project Morpheus become anything more than just another gimmick, are you excited? Let me know in the comments.