When you hear the words “Project Morpheus”, you might be inclined to envision Keanu Reeves having an intense discussion with a sunglass-clad Lawrence Fishburne in some type of simulated environment. In truth, the association with “The Matrix” isn’t that far off, because the codename actually refers to a Sony-led virtual reality headset development venture which will likely revolutionize next-gen console gaming altogether. There are so many great reasons as to why this concept will likely end up being awesome; here are a few to consider while we wait for an official release date…
It’ll be a field day for game developers
There’s something to be said for creativity when it comes to designing video games. Aside from the technical know-how and big budgets required to pull it off, one needs people on board with the sort of wild imaginations to construct interesting virtual worlds for us to play around in. Needless to say, if Project Morpheus is a success, it will mean that game developers will have access to a whole new platform to work with, of sorts.
No longer will first-person perspective games feel like some type of disembodied experience, with Sony’s VR headset, you’ll literally feel as though you’ve merged with the lead character’s perspective. This only covers the obvious technical side of things though, there’s no way to tell just how truly resourceful the industry’s better developers will utilize the technology. Similarly, if we are to assume that the headset will become a standardized facet of the PS4 package, it’s very likely that some developers might end up using it when physically working on a new title, which further immerses them in their own creations as well, affording an entirely new artistic viewpoint.
It’s going to look amazing, inside and out
If the prototype is any indication of Project Morpheus’ intention, Sony is already off to a wonderful start. Most noticeably, the model headset looks outwardly appealing in terms of its aesthetics. Sleek and streamlined, featuring a distinctive white-on-black design, the initial build of this VR machine is certainly not ugly. While it could be a bit smaller, the test model is comfortable and provides an amazing 90º viewing area. This basically means that you’re mostly looking at a screen, regardless of the extent of your peripheral vision. Touting a display resolution of 1080p, the Morpheus Headset also provides incredible intimate visuals which will trick your brain into believing that you’re actually standing around in the game environment.
It’s designed to work with the PS4
Even better, this VR headset is going to be specially designed to work with the PlayStation 4 gaming console, which itself is wildly powerful and capable of processing multiple data threads simultaneously. In other words, not only are we talking about a device which features fully integrated head tracking, but the Morpheus headset will also take advantage of the PS4’s next-gen graphics. Simply put, this type of enhanced realism requires a more potent machine capable of rendering staggering graphical details in full HD. Assuming that this technology were to have been released during the era of the PS3 it probably would have been largely undermined by larger HD televisions. Of course, the PS4 is a whole new beast altogether and provides for not just better visuals, but also larger maps and additional options as well. It seems as if this is going to be a very nice pairing.
It’s going to be compatible with the Move Wand and PlayStation Camera
While it goes without saying that the Morpheus Virtual Reality headset is going to be compatible with the DualShock 4 controller, Sony has also made it known that their other peripherals will work with it as well. In short, if you own a PS camera of Move Wand, prepare to be treated to even more amazing gameplay potential. In particular, the use of the Move Wands in tandem with the VR headset and PS camera will open up a whole new door of possibilities. Utilizing motion tracking to capture the movement of one or two wands, you’ll be able to both move the perspective camera around with your head as well as direct action with each hand. It doesn’t take a genius to realize the amazing potential here with regards to game design.
Speaking of which, it’s going to open the door for some highly creative game design(s)
Arguably, the most awesome prospect here relates to game design and what the industry’s top minds will end up doing with the tech. We see great examples from all previous game console generations (where some new breakthrough concept or item was used to transform the very essence of the gameplay experience), and there’s no reason to assume that this development will be any different. For example, the mind boggles when thinking about how a company like Bethesda (known for producing titles like Skyrim or Fallout 3) might integrate this VR headset into their impending creations.
Currently there’s no distinctive timetable available as far as a release date is concerned, but Sony seems extremely optimistic that it will be happening soon. The challenge of course is in getting the timing right and lining up a few good game releases in tandem with the official unveiling, which can be quite tricky. At any rate, it’s a great time to be a gamer and own a PS4, we know that much.