At the GDC 2014 last week, we saw Sony officially introducing Project Morpheus, its virtual reality headset for the PS4 games console. A prototype version was revealed and discussed during a presentation. Following strong media interest Sony has now published both a hands-on video demo and a video of the entire GDC 2014 presentation, hosted by SCE World Wide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida.
The GDC presentation, also featuring Sony's senior software engineer Anton Mikailov and SCEA R&D director Richard Marks, lasts just short of an hour. We hear in-depth talks about Project Morpheus and what to expect from the headset, the company's vision for the future of VR and a discussion of the challenges engineers had to face during building Morpheus and developing games for it. For those who are particularly interested in the technical details of Project Morpheus and the current dev kit, you can skip straight to Mikhailov's presentation starting at around 26m 30s.
Following the gaming enthusiast community surprise, and perhaps despair, with the news that Facebook has agreed to buy Oculus VR, it may be that Sony is seeking to captialise on the situation. With many signs that Facebook may steer Oculus Rift down the route of social media and other non-gaming platforms, it is probably the best chance Sony's got to take Oculus Rift's place in the VR gaming space. However Morpheus will always be, as far as we know, bound to the PlayStation console range.
Following Sony's impressive presentation, showing off Morpheus' 1080p display with a 90 degree field of view, an accelerometer, gyroscope sensors and a couple of tech demos, some are even saying Project Morpheus is now gaming's only VR hope.
Sony's shorter second video, embedded above, shows a hands-on preview of the headset, where SCEA R&D director Richard Marks also provides a few supplementary details about this VR project. Here he really emphasises the player's feeling of 'presence' during gameplay.