Sony just announced their virtual reality technology dubbed Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida announced at GDC 2014 today. The headset, which is a prototype, will bring VR gaming and non-gaming software to Sony’s new console.
Yoshida reviled Project Morpheus, a slick black and white prototype headset for PlayStation 4.
“We believe Morpheus will further enhance the world of PlayStation 4, with seamless integration with PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move,” Yoshida said. “We will continue to improve on this prototype by gathering feedback from developers. That’s why we unveiled it at GDC.”
Sony will demonstrate Project Morpheus at GDC, the prototype headset will have a handful of demos playable at its booth.
Morpheus will use Sony-developed 3D audio technology that takes sound to the next level, “such as footsteps climbing up stairs below them, or engine noises of helicopters flying overhead”. Sounds will change along with players’ head orientation “”creating a highly realistic audio environment within an immersive 360-degree virtual world”.
Position tracking, Marks said, is key to providing the “presence” that’s at the heart of convincing virtual reality. He presented control as an even tougher problem, say there are “a lot of [control] problems to solve down the road”, but highlighted the DualShock 4’s tracking via the PlayStation Camera as an advantage for Sony.
In concert with the PlayStation Move motion controller, Sony says players will be able to see their hands — and weapons — in-game allowing them to feel like they are “physically fighting off enemies with their sword in the virtual world.”
Richard Marks, senior director of research and development at Sony Computer Entertainment America said, “You’re going to have to be able to go to the store, buy one, plug it in and [have it work],” Marks said, explaining that users shouldn’t have to be bothered with drivers or set up.
“We really want it to be easy for people,” he said, describing Morpheus’ pick-up-and-play goal. “We want it to be comfortable.”
We’ll have more on Project Morpheus for PlayStation 4 later this week. Just from what we have seen and heard about Project Morpheus, it seems like Sony wants to make that big leap of faith with their technology. Will Project Morpheus compete with the Oculus Rift? We are just going to have to wait and see what Sony will tell us more about the Virtual reality headset.