At the Game Developers Conference today, Sony took the wraps off a virtual reality device for the PlayStation 4, codenamed ‘Project Morpheus’. The immersive headset creates “presence” via sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content, Sony says.
Shuhei Yoshida, the head of PlayStation’s videogame software division, explains Sony’s rationale for the headset: “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.”
Yoshida says Sony has worked for over three years on developing the VR headset. The current prototype for Project Morpheus features a head-mounted display with 1080p resolution and a 90 degree field of view. There are accelerometer and gyroscope sensors built into the unit, while the PlayStation Camera tracks head orientation and movement, so this means that as your head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates too in real-time. Project Morpheus also features 3D audio technology that provides stereoscopic sounds in all directions in real-time depending on the head orientation.
Other than PlayStation Camera, Project Morpheus also works with DUALSHOCK 4 Wireless Controller and PlayStation Move.
Project Morpheus still isn’t a final product — it’s a work-in-progress so users may not get their hands on it till some time further down the road. The company, however, declined to give a possible timeline of when the headset will be launched or how much it would cost. Sony will begin demonstrating the headset at GDC and gather feedback from developers. Some Project Morpheus VR demos at GDC include The Deep, The Castle, EVE Valkyrie and Thief.
Virtual reality in gaming has been cool again thanks to Oculus Rift — and it’s little wonder that game console makers also want a slice of the pie to make gaming even more immersive.
Images via Sony, headline image via Getty Images