Building on the VR momentum started by Oculus a year ago, Sony aims to get seriously immersive with its own PS4-compatible heads-up display accessory.
Sony on Tuesday lifted the curtain on Project Morpheus, a prototype virtual reality headset that works with the company’s PlayStation 4 console to present gamers with a fully immersive gaming experience.
Project Morpheus was revealed at the Game Developer Conference here in San Francisco, where Sony will be giving attendees demos of the prototype headset starting on Wednesday.
For now we’ve only got Sony’s specs for the headgear to get an inkling for what this accessory may bring to the PS4 table—and a pretty strong feeling that the consumer electronics giant stood up and took notice at last year’s GDC, where plucky startup Oculus VR became the breakout star of the conference with its own Oculus Rift virtual reality-driven, heads-up gaming goggles.
And it may be that Sony goes mainstream with its virtual reality accessory before Oculus. The Project Morpheus headset “looks more like a final product” than the Rift, CNET noted, though like the Oculus system, the Project Morpheus hardware is initially being packaged as a development kit for game developers interested in creating for a VR interface.
“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,” SCE Worldwide Studios president Shu Yoshida said in announcing Project Morpheus.
So here’s what we know about Project Morpheus before braving the sure-to-be long lines to take it for a spin at GDC. It’s a head-mounted device featuring a 1080p-resolution display with a 90-degree field of view. Built-in sensors, specifically an accelerometer and a gyroscope, combine with the PlayStation Camera to “accurately track head orientation and movement, so as your head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates intuitively in real-time,” Sony said.
The headset works in tandem with Sony’s DualShock 4 wireless controller, the PS4’s primary controller, and the motion-sensing PlayStation Move wand. In addition to the immersive visuals, the VR headgear also features Sony’s new 3D audio technology which “recreates stereoscopic sounds in all directions and changes in real-time depending on your head orientation,” the company said.