News Article

PS4's Virtual Reality Headset Project Morpheus Officially Unveiled

Posted by Sammy Barker

Hold onto your high-tech helmet

As anticipated, Sony has announced its rumoured PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset. Elaborately dubbed Project Morpheus, the wearable peripheral is the culmination of years of research, which dates all the way back to the origins of the PlayStation Move project. As a consequence, the device — pictured above — takes advantage of both the PlayStation Camera and the platform holder's popular motion tracking technology in order to transport you to different worlds, which you'll be able to examine in real-time by simply moving your head.

Speaking during a panel at the Game Developers Conference to a packed out crowd, Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida revealed that the device merely represents the next step in the platform holder's pledge to "push the boundaries of play". The firm has been working with NASA on the unit, as well as engine developers such as Crytek and Epic. According to the organisation, the device will not just work great with games, though, but it'll also allow you to virtually scout out real-world locations.

According to Dr. Richard Marks, the man behind the ill-fated PlayStation 2 peripheral EyeToy, the device has been designed around six key attributes: sight, sound, tracking, control, ease-of-use, and content. The manufacturer's longstanding experience in various audio-visual fields apparently puts it in an ideal position to innovate, and the current unit boasts a 1080p display with a 90 degree field of view. Naturally, it also supports full 360 degree head tracking, and features an audio module that simulates the sound of 60 different speakers. These specifications, however, are not final.

Current Specifications (Subject to Change)

Component: Processor unit, head-mounted unit
Display Method: LCD
Panel Size: 5 inches
Panel Resolution: 1920×RGB×1080 (960×RGB×1080 per eye)
Field of View: 90 degrees
Sensors: Accelerometer, Gyroscope
Connection Interface: HDMI + USB
Function: 3D audio, Social Screen

In its present guise, the unit will be compatible with both the PlayStation Move controller and DualShock 4. There'll be a handful of demos on display at Sony's booth during GDC, including an underwater taster by London Studio tentatively titled The Deep, as well as a medieval combat game, CCP Games' intergalactic space sim Eve Valkyrie, and a special demo of Thief. The Japanese giant stressed that it had opted to announce the unit in front of developers in order to spark their imagination.

Much like PlayStation Now earlier in the year, it's clear that the platform holder is looking to the future with this headset. However, there are still a number of question marks hovering over it. For starters, considering the sheer amount of technology that the manufacturer's packed into the device, the cost of the setup may prove a big barrier to its success. Currently, a PS4 console and camera is not an insignificant purchase, and you'll need both of those in addition to the peripheral itself and potentially a Move controller to get started here.

The more practical questions about whether it actually works, and — crucially — how it compares to competitor Oculus Rift will be answered imminently, as Sony is set to let the press go hands on with a prototype of the unit this week. Are you looking forward to learning more about the accessory? What are your initial impressions of the device? Are you also concerned by the price? Strap into a different dimension courtesy of the comments section below.

What are your thoughts on Project Morpheus? (62 votes)

It looks absolutely amazing, I will buy one at launch

24%

It seems really cool, but I want to know a price first

35%

Hmm, I need a lot more information

18%

I'm intrigued, but I'm not convinced it's right for me

16%

I'm honestly not interested in virtual reality at all

6%

Please login to vote in this poll.

[via blog.us.playstation.com, eurogamer.net, polygon.com]

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User Comments (51)

Punkinhead145

#2

Punkinhead145 said:

Sweet mother of future things to come! It exists, and this will be an awesome new chapter in the gaming industry!

HandheldGuru97

#3

HandheldGuru97 said:

Hmmmmmmmm interesting move by Sony not surprising though as we've been hearing about it for months now :P....Not sure what to think about it right now, I don't want to be seen as a fanboy so I'll stay here in the middle for now. Hopefully (and most likely) the tech has come a long way from the mid 90's, but we all know how VR went then....I don't want to see Sony get burned on this.....hrmmmmmmmmmm........I'll keep an eye on this little device....for now.

awaitingreatnes

#4

awaitingreatnes said:

I love the grey design! The GOW2 tech demo with the PSMove looked... interesting as well. Hopefully the price isn't too steep.

3Above

#5

3Above said:

Trouble is, I dont want VR. So this whole thing mean very little to me personally. Of course this could be a big bullet point in the chart of reasons tomget PS4 over XboxOne. But I fear this will die the PS Move's horrible death.

BornOfEvil

#6

BornOfEvil said:

I love it, its so sexy. I need this in my life right now!

@3Above The Move did very well, even with all the negative feedback from Nintendo fans. So Project Morpheus should be fine seeing as there's no one claiming that it's an Oculus Rift rip-off, of course Sony will have to prepare some compelling content for it.

awaitingreatnes

#7

awaitingreatnes said:

Also, I'm calling Driveclub getting a release date on the Morpheus's launch date, considering that's 2014...

benrawr

#8

benrawr said:

I loved PlayStation Move to the point that I have two navigation controllers and FOUR Move wands... Still, I have a group of friends coming to my house on Friday for pizza, cocktails, and VIRTUAL FRISBEE GOLF. I think we now know who the most awesomest guy ever is huh?

3Above

#9

3Above said:

@benrawr yeah Delsin Rowe, ill be chilling with him on Friday jk. But seriously I loved move, I have 2 move controllers and 2 nav controllers. I just wish they made a Star Wars lightsaber game for move instead of Kinect Star Wars..... sigh

iSolipsistJudas

#10

iSolipsistJudas said:

Looks heavy. I hope my neck is strong enough to support this.

We won't be getting our faces into these until late 2015 at the earliest though.

benrawr

#11

benrawr said:

@3Above I completed Resi 5 Gold Edition with my sister's boyfriend in one sitting because of how good the Move controllers were! But Star Wars... That would've taken all of my money. Well, at least half!

Epic

#12

Epic said:

Looks and sounds a bit expensive with all that technology they are cramming into this thing.

3Above

#14

3Above said:

@benrawr Me to Sony if there was a Star Wars Move game: "I can give you 2000 now plus 15 when we reach Alderaan"

get2sammybAdmin

#15

get2sammyb said:

Updating the article now with all the details. Sounds very exciting... But also expensive.

KAPADO

#16

KAPADO said:

I choose the blue pill Morpheus.
take me to dream lands in your VR train.

TasukiStaff

#17

Tasuki said:

It's interesting indeed and something that will put the video game world on its end but honestly I am not that excited about it. Call me old fashion but I rather just play my games on a TV screen with a normal controller in hand. But hey that's just me.

gr8apeb8

#20

gr8apeb8 said:

So here in the frigid northern climate of canada, with our dollar dropping like our temperature, and our favorite consoles price rising. We will be paying about $2000 for this thing when it comes out. It looks amazing and it's very exciting, but I'm concerned the price may be a concern.

Shaolin

#21

Shaolin said:

You've got to hand it to Sony, they really do know how to "push the boundaries of play" in style. That headset really does make VR look cool.

Personally, whilst I wish it all the best I can't help but feel that it won't come very close to being as popular as the Move. The Move was reasonably inexpensive but this headset does not look cheap at all. That, together with the fact it cuts off all social interaction with your surrounding friends or family (couch coop would really be interesting!). However, if there's anyone who can prove us wrong to doubt it's Sony.

get2sammybAdmin

#23

get2sammyb said:

Been constantly updating the article for the past hour. I think that just about covers everything. Are we all impressed?!

rjejr

#26

rjejr said:

@get2sammyb -"Been constantly updating the article for the past hour."

Have you ever considered moving to Seattle?

The headset does look cool, but it still makes me think of a 10 minute artraction at Disney rather than 3 or 4 hours of game playing at home. Course I'm a luddite - no Skype or Twitter or Facetime - so maybe the kids will love it.

get2sammybAdmin

#27

get2sammyb said:

@rjejr I tend to agree. I found that the Oculus Rift made me feel motion sick. They're saying that this won't - but I'm not convinced.

charlesnarles

#29

charlesnarles said:

Looks like it massages your head while you play. Hey, a rumble feature would be actually be great in conjunction with a ds4 rumbling in your hands. Kinda scared to buy the 1st incarnation, even if it's cheap. Especially if it's cheap

Gamer83

#30

Gamer83 said:

@get2sammyb

Not unimpressed, but it's more of a wait and see thing. This is something that I think will really have to be experienced by somebody before they can make up their mind one way or another. I've never really been into VR but I'll definitely try to give this a chance when I can.

get2sammybAdmin

#31

get2sammyb said:

@Jaz007 Apparently it uses two Move controllers as a sword and shield. Honestly, I wouldn't be surprised if the Sports Champions team is behind that...

Epic

#32

Epic said:

My problem with this is device is that sounds expensive and it won't be supported by a lot of devs. It has the potential to be a good peripheral but not that good as a standalone device. Maybe they can create a bundle or something when it gets released.

mibtar

#33

mibtar said:

Would love it if it was compatible with the Vita. Not sure if Vita can handle it but hey it's not bad to dream.

RaymanFan2

#35

RaymanFan2 said:

Yeah, needing a price, here.
I mean, it sounds like the thing could cost more than the PS4 itself!

DRLAdmin

#36

DRL said:

As long as it works and quality software is there to support it, I'm completely interested. :)

Ginkgo

#39

Ginkgo said:

I am excited by this, BUT, the OR really disappointed me and has left me thinking the whole VR idea is years away. Motion sickness, latency, poor head tracking, low resolution (though I assume that was just the dev kit), weight, sweat, fogged up lenses etc etc etc. I was not impressed at all.

I really hope that I am wrong, and this actually works.

banacheck

#40

banacheck said:

It looks smart i'll definitely be considering getting one, VR is the sort of thing that'll you'll be able to try out in your local game shop.

ThreadShadow

#41

ThreadShadow said:

Project Morpheus...hmm...the god of dreams/sleep? A project to put gamers asleep can be interpreted in many ways. Asleep to the real world perhaps?

MoleZandor

#42

MoleZandor said:

@Ginkgo the oculus rift dev kit does have all those problems, but sony have been working on this much longer than oculus. And other than weight, sweat and fog they claim to have solved all the other issues you addressed. I think you will be pleasantly suprised. Although even with all those problems I was still pretty impressed with the occulus rift. It made me feel a bit weird and the resolution was shocking, but I still almost felt like I was there.

Bad-MuthaAdebisi

#44

Bad-MuthaAdebisi said:

Day one for me assuming I'll have something decent to ply on it, it needs a launch title(s). The only problem I can see it having technically is eye strain and headaches for obvious reasons. Other than that I WANT I WANT I WANT !!!

rastamadeus

#45

rastamadeus said:

Couldn't care less before it was announced. But now? Still couldn't care less. Another VR fad that will be gone before we know it. As long as we don't have developers forcing us to have it for games (complete a level with Morpheus for a Trophy).

Carl-G

#46

Carl-G said:

I guess SONY are to busy doing this to bother giving PS4 owners the PS4 Firmware updates they want :-/ I can't get excited about this really which is odd because i normally like everything PS(well i didn't like MOVE or 3D or the Cam i suppose) :D

Zombie_Barioth

#49

Zombie_Barioth said:

Seems interesting but I'm still skeptical about the price and comfort. I know this thing is supposed to work with glasses but I don't really buy that it works perfectly with every size and style without feeling awkward no matter who is wearing it, especially if you try to wear headphones with it. That kind of comfort won't come cheap either.

ToddlerNaruto

#51

ToddlerNaruto said:

All I want to know is how much it's gonna cost, and when we Americans will be able to pre-order/purchase it.

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