With its PS4 gaming console comfortably leading the Xbox One entertainment console in terms of sales, Sony has now turned its attention to another big problem it has: innovating. Instead of simply launching the Kinect-like PlayStation Camera alone, last night the company revealed it has plans to be among the first console makers to bring virtual reality into the living room with Project Morpheus.
Really, Project Morpheus is a virtual reality headset that will allow users to move their head around and interact with their games. As demonstrated last night, the device simply sits on the users head, the PS4 itself then interprets their movements and changes what’s on the headset’s internal display to match their orientation.
The display inside the headset is rated for 1080p video and lets users look 90 degrees in front of them. As it is today, PS4 users will need a host of accessories to make Project Morpheus work, other required accessories will include the PS Camera which is actually interpreting the wearer’s head movements, and the PlayStation Move controllers that the company introduced to rival Nintendo’s WiiMote and the Xbox 360’s Kinect sensor a few years ago.
Users will plug in Project Morpheus to the HDMI and a USB cable on their console.
Really, whether the VR headset succeeds comes down to two factors: games and pricing. Pricing isn’t yet known but users will need the PlayStation Move, the PS Camera, a PS4 and the headset itself, so right now the product sounds as if it’s going to be expensive. Sony seems to have nailed the second factor though. The company’s list of partners include big development studios like Epic Games and Crytek according to The Verge. A few game demos using the technology are being shown off at this year’s Games Developers Conference.
Of course, the idea isn’t revolutionary, the Oculus Rift has been trying to drum up support for the VR headset for a while now. Instead, Project Morpheus is a message to users that it can innovate and bring new usage paradigms to consumers when it feels they make sense for gamers.
Sony says that Project Morpheus is only a proof of concept and something the company is still actively working on for release sometime in the future. Until then it’ll continue to work with development partners to evaluate the headset. It’s already planning to release a software development kit for game developers soon.