Science and Tech


Sony's Project Morpheus VR Headset Will Debut In 2016

Sony has upgraded the internals of its VR headset and announced a release date for the first half of 2016.
Posted at 9:23 AM, Mar 04, 2015

Sony is showing off Project Morpheus again. The company announced improved specifications and a release date for its headset, which will bring virtual reality to the PS4 next year.

It’s updated the goggles since this time last year. The new prototype uses a 1920x1080 screen refreshing at 120hz — twice the rate of your average computer monitor or television screen. (Video via Sony)

Sony has also managed to reduce latency, or the delay between a user moving their head and the view in the headset shifting in response, to 18 milliseconds. (Video via Tested)

These improvements help Sony approach what’s known in the VR industry as “presence:” a virtual environment so convincing the user’s brain accepts it as reality.

The more responsive the image, the easier it is to fool the brain. For example: Oculus’ John Carmack has held up 20ms as a maximum latency for believable presence. Sony's 18ms is well in that range.

But those who have tried the new headset out say there’s still room for improvement.

A writer at Ars Technica worries Sony won’t increase the resolution past the current 1920 x 1080. “It's possible that the system just can't push past that resolution and still maintain the high frame rate necessary for convincing VR.”

Eurogamer called the resolution “soft.” “The right trades have been made though. The lack of clarity doesn't detract from the quality of the overall experience.”

Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida says this version of Project Morpheus is “near final tech.” Release is scheduled for the first half of 2016. Keep in mind you’ll need a PS4, as well.

Sony says info on compatible games will be coming at this year’s E3 conference in June.

This video includes an image from Raj Deut / CC BY NC ND 2.0.