Just when you thought that virtual reality gaming was to be solely developed by the Oculus Rift people, Sony comes along and starts to fabricate their very own approach to the concept. Their recently unveiled “Morpheus Virtual Reality Headset” project is already turning heads in a number of ways, and why shouldn’t it? We are, after all, talking about a company that’s known for its trailblazing attitude, especially when it comes to video game consoles and related accessories / devices.
So, what is it that makes this particular VR headset so special, you’re probably wondering? Well, for starters, it’s going to be connecting to the PlayStation 4, so add one big giant checkmark to the “awesome” category. The prospect of being able to feel like you’re physically inside a game environment is something that gamers have been dutifully begging to experience for ages now, and thanks to Sony’s efforts, it’s going to happen. Sure, they weren’t necessarily the first to the plate (as they say), but they’re definitely working on it now and that’s what counts, isn’t it? Of course most might be surprised to learn that they’ve actually been working on the prototype for 3 years as part of a unified project to develop an appropriate VR system.
In terms of specifics, the Morpheus VR headset is going to display in 1080p resolution, which implies an extraordinary level of immersion potential. Even if you’re the type of gamer who simply cannot be satiated (always craving more graphical detail), you have to admit that having an HD screen close to your eyes and covering a 90º field of view is pretty spectacular. This essentially means that you wherever you look you’re seeing a projected series of images, resulting in the effect of feeling physically immersed in whatever game you’re playing.
Part of what makes developing a virtual reality headset difficult is its ability to be congruous with movements of your head. In other words, when you look around, turning your head, you want the screen to mimic your movements exactly. Since we’re all used to controlling camera angles with the right analog stick (unless you’re left-handed), the notion of a true VR headset which is able to track movement is likely to alter the way we control the onscreen action. Of course, this isn’t a bad thing, and it might even mean that you can permanently keep one of your thumbs hovering over the shape buttons.
Regardless, this VR headset incorporates gyroscopes and an “accelerometer” in order to pull off the magic required to turn your neck into a big joystick, of sorts. Additionally, the sound design aspect has also been considered and taken care of via a stereoscopic 3D system. Just like the visuals, every nuanced snap, crackle, pop or explosion will be fully directional and placed within the field relative to your position. Quite simply, this adds up to one amazing experience where gamers are going to be faced with an entirely new level of realism.
Even better, the Morpheus VR headset is also going to be fully compatible with all the other PS4 OEM accessories and gear, like the DualShock 4 controller, PS Eye Camera, and Move Wand. In particular, the Camera will be used to help refine tracking and smooth everything out. It’s going to be extremely interesting to see how many of the industry’s top game developers end up utilizing this technology in their creations. One can easily see an entirely new world of possibilities opening up before our very eyes (no pun intended).
The whole idea of standardized (and dare we say it, affordable) VR gaming coming to consoles is nothing short of a revelation for most hardcore gamers. Whether or not Project Morpheus ends up being an amazing success or simply turns belly up, this is a very exciting development which shows tons of potential. If it works properly, expect to be “wowed”.