Sony looks like they’re very serious about gaming, so serious that they’ve committed themselves to Virtual Reality. How committed are they? Well, they’re committed enough to have not only announced their own VR headset, but to also talk about how they’re going to bring game developers onboard to make it a successful project. The VR headset that they have made is codenamed Project Morpheus, which is supposedly named after the Roman God of Dreams. The Project Morpheus VR headset is specifically designed to be used in conjunction with a PS4 as well as a PS4 eye camera and PS Move, which should bring some incredible levels of accuracy in terms of head tracking.
The headset itself is obviously Sony’s play to bring VR to consoles, something that hasn’t happened for a long time, mostly because the software simply wasn’t there to support it. Not to mention a lot of the hardware we had simply wasn’t good enough. Now, with the PS4, the boundaries between a PC and a console have blurred quite a bit and the PS4 is without a doubt one of the fastest if not the fastest console ever built. Not just that, but Sony has put an absolutely laser focus on the gaming experience of the PS4 and implemented features that simply make gaming on the PS4 a fun and unique experience for all that use it. This likely explains why Sony continues to not only outsell the Xbox One globally, but also in North America, Microsoft’s home turf.
Sure, this will probably be seen as a competitor for Oclulus’ Rift VR headset that has been developing for the past few years. However, the Oculus Rift doesn’t work on consoles (yet) and it currently only works on Windows and Android. I don’t really see the Oculus Rift ever going to consoles, but there’s a chance that Microsoft may back the Rift in order to combat today’s announcement from Sony. Sony clearly understands that VR is one of the future growth sectors for gaming and they want to make sure that their console is part of that. This announcement once again displays Sony’s brilliance with the PS4 and their absolutely amazing focus on what gamers want and what gaming needs.
Sony has said that they already have games working on the Morpheus headset at GDC and that people can actually try it out at GDC starting tomorrow on the show floor with Eve: Valkyrie and Thief. The fact that Sony is already demonstrating games working on this headset also means that this isn’t merely a paper announcement with a concept, but rather an already working prototype that they are seriously trying to get developers to adopt. If they are successful, the adoption of VR for PS4 will also help the adoption of VR gaming in PCs as well and I believe as each of them becomes more successful and gains more developers they will be able to elevate eachother’s userbase and relevance to the game industry.
We’ll be at GDC 2014 tomorrow and will hopefully try to see if we can try one of these Project Morpheus headsets on for measure and play a little bit of Thief. Although, if the line is anything like it was the Oculus booth last year, I probably won’t get a chance until maybe E3.