Sony is bringing virtual reality to the PlayStation. Joystiq has reported that the company showed off its take on virtual reality headsets at the Game Developer’s Conference a little while ago, and the headset, codenamed “Project Morpheus” has a 1080p display, it uses the PlayStation Camera for 360-degree head-tracking and it offers viewers a 90+ degree field of view. It will also feature stereoscopic audio to simulate a realistic soundscape, further immersing players in-game worlds.
It’s just a prototype kit right now, but in its current form it will serve as a development kit for PS4 game makers. That means developers now have the chance to test the headset out for themselves, and explore the gaming possibilities offered by virtual reality for incorporation into future games.
Virtual reality immerses you in games like nothing else, and enables gamers to feel like they’re physically present in the game world. That’s both a good and a bad thing – it will make playing the next Killzone from your very own first person perspective an experience like no other, but it could also scare more than the living daylights out of you in a horror game like Outlast.
Sony said that Project Morpheus will output full 1080p visuals to TVs rather than the dual-screen view often seen with other virtual reality headsets like the Oculus Rift. The feature will allow someone who isn’t wearing the headset to play along with the person that is, or at the very least watch what they’re doing.
Shuhei Yoshida, Sony’s president of worldwide studios said “VR has been a dream of many game creators ever since the computer game was invented. Many of us at PlayStation have dreamed about VR and what it could mean for the games we create.”
With the Oculus Rift VR headset also under development, and a bunch of PC games – including EVE Valkyrie and David Braben’s fanastic-looking Elite: Dangerous – planning support for VR, 2014 could well be the year that virtual reality goes mainstream.
There is no word yet on the final price of either headset, though, so VR gaming could still be a prohibitively expensive endeavour. Even so, it’s fantastic that gaming technology is finally getting to the level of complexity Hollywood has been dreaming about for years.[Image Credit: Shutterstock]
*Please note: This is a generic image depicting the concept of virtual reality, and does not represent Sony’s Project Morpheus headset at all*