Science and Tech


Sony Debuts Project Morpheus VR Headset

Sony’s new virtual reality headset could soon be augmenting gaming and software on its PlayStation 4 console.
Posted at 1:54 PM, Mar 19, 2014

Sony debuted a thoroughly futuristic virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 4 console at the Game Developers Conference this week in San Francisco.

Its name — project Morpheus — reportedly references the Greek god of dreams, not the character from the Matrix. (Via Sony)

That might be for the best, since that Morpheus probably wouldn’t appreciate voluntarily entering a virtual world. (Via Warner Bros. / "The Matrix")

Anyway: Project Morpheus incorporates a 1080p display, 90 degree field of view and low-latency head tracking when paired with the PlayStation 4’s camera. There’s also an option for 3D stereo audio that adjusts its perceived location as a user moves their head.

Sony is demoing software for developers at GDC this week, including footage from Thief and EVE Valkyrie. (Via CCP Games)

But Project Morpheus isn’t just for gaming. The Verge quotes one of the engineers who worked on the project, who says Sony is also looking at partnerships with NASA for immersive exploration software.

“VR is going to be pervasive, and what I mean by that is it's going to be used for all sorts of things you might not think it would be used for.”

As long as the hardware is good enough, that is. ExtremeTech says “the promise of lifelike virtual reality is incredibly alluring, but the measure of success comes down to the technical implementation.”

In other words: if a headset can’t fool the brain into thinking it’s in a starfighter cockpit, immersion can break and the stomach might not be far behind. (Via FrontierDevelopments)

Project Morpheus enters a market segment already populated by the likes of Oculus VR’s Rift headset.

And while Sony’s more direct competitor, Microsoft, has yet to officially announce its own VR project, reports out Tuesday in The Wall Street Journal suggested it has at least tested various VR devices. 

In the meantime, Computerworld reports Project Morpheus could soon get a software development kit so game makers and programmers can start creating content for use on the PS4.

Sony says the headset could be available in a “future commercial launch,” but that’s as specific as the company is getting at the moment. Guess there’s always the real world while we wait.