As expected Sony have unveiled their new Virtual Reality headset along with an ambitious idea for it’s use beyond the realms of gaming.
The prototype headset currently known as Project Morpheus represents Sony’s direct competition with Oculus Rift and also stands to to give Sony an advantage over Xbox One in the ongoing battle for king of the consoles.
Project Morpheus packs a 1080p HD screen with a 5 inch LCD panel into a futuristic, Tron-style headset. The current prototype will give a 90 degree field of view a little behind the Oculus Rift’s 110 degrees.
Offering full compatibility with current PlayStation peripherals Project Morpheus will work in tandem with the PS4 camera to track head movements, opening up more uses for the PlayStation Eye beyond dance and fitness games. You’ll be able to use your existing Move and Dualshock controllers with the headset, making for easy plug-and-play gaming.
The current Morpheus prototype uses a cable to connect with the PS4 but Sony intend to develop a wireless version and spectacled gamers will be pleased to hear that glasses can be used in conjunction with the headset. Stereoscopic sound will be pumped through the headset too, giving gamers a 3D audio image allowing them to ascertain the direction and distance of in-game sound events.
Beyond giving you the ‘in your face’ first person gaming experience Sony will also partner up with NASAs Jet Propulsion Lab to allow link-up to their Curiosity Rover taking PS4 users on virtual tours of Mars.
Whilst Oculus Rift maintain uses for their headset beyond the gaming space it's the gaming community that are making the most noise about them and with the added functionality to explore other worlds the PS4 headset, early on, adds another seductive string to it’s bow.
To really compete Project Morpheus will need to reach market at an attractive price, Sony’s current bottom end VR set the HMZ-T2 retails at £999 (about $1660) the Oculus Rift dev kits went out to people who pledged around £180 ($300) by comparison. Sony already have form for bringing out tech at competitive prices however and we fully expect the finished consumer Project Morpheus models to come with an affordable price-tag. As yet Sony have given no solid release date or expected retail price.
So it’s been confirmed PS4 VR tech is coming and Project Morpheus looks like an exciting prospect, are you thinking about getting one when they finally arrive?