Sony unveils prototype Virtual Reality headset for the PS4 @ GDC

Project Morpheus: Protoype Virtual Reality headset
Sony Computer Entertainment Inc.

With Project Morpheus and PlayStation®Camera, Games will Immerse Players in Virtual Worlds, Delivering a Sense of Presence in Gaming Never Before Possible.

Last night, Sony presented "Project Morpheus" to the GDC audience which is essentially a prototype virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4. This VR headset resembles the Oculus Rift, except this one will be exclusive to Sony's platform.

Morpheus will work with the PlayStation Camera, PlayStation Move controller and the DualShock 4 in order to deliver a innovative immersive gaming experience. Inertial sensors located inside the headset in conjunction with the PlayStation Camera will accurately track head movement and orientation, delivering a responsive 3D image of the game's virtual world in real-time. Morpheus is said to recreate stereoscopic sounds heard from every direction in real-time, creating a realistic audio environment. Sony promises the VR headset will be easy to use and a great addition to the PS4 experience.

Developers will be able to create Morpheus content for PS4. The Morpheus dedicated SDK is currently in the works.

Here are the current prototype's technical specifications:

Component: Processor unit, head-mounted unit
Display Method: LCD
Panel Size: 5 inches
Panel Resolution: 1920xRGBx1080 (960xRGBx1080 per eye)
Field of View: 90 degrees
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Connection interface: HDMI + USB
Function: 3D audio, Social Screen


GDC attendants can try the VR prototype for themselves at the Sony booth.

As exciting as VR gaming sounds, there's a reason we haven't seen a headset like this since the Nintendo's ill-fated Virtual Boy. Most of the cited issues with VR headsets and Oculus' and Sony's greatest challenges in developping their prototypes, range from limited field of view, visual and position tracking latency which often results in visually induced motion sickness, comfort of the headset which can be bulky and heavy and lack of tactile feedback. Recent development in 3D animation, graphics and rendering will most likely help adress any latency and refresh rate issues. I think gamers will need to see it to beleive it, try the headset for themselves to see if it's really worth investing in the finished product. Developers will also need to support Project Morpheus by actually making VR games because what's a gaming accessory without games?

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