Firstly announced at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, Project Morpheus promises a great virtual reality experiences for all current and future PlayStation 4 owners. Whereas a large potential of over 22 million gamers would be already enough of a reason to take a look, Sony advertises some great tech build in.
According to Sonys research and development engineer Anton Mikhailov, Project Morpheus is in work since more than three years. He also said that PlayStation Move, a motion-sensing game controller which got revealed in June 2009, was designed with a head-mounted technology in mind.
There are some really important requirements for virtual reality to run well, especially when it comes to the display. First of all, you need a proper high resolution to not get distracted by pixels. Second, you need a great field of view (fov), unlike Microsofts AR headset “HoloLens”. And last but not least, whatever you going to see has to run with a high amount of frames. Imagine how just a single lag could lead you to “fall out” of the scenery. And that is what makes Project Morpheus special: 120hz which basically mean 120 pictures per second and additionally a low latency of less than 18ms.
That being said, PS4 games can be developed to reach a high amount of frames. But to really get 120 fps out of the console, the graphics could suffer quite hard. At this point you have to mention that PC VR headsets like Oculus Rift for instance require a high-end computer to work – at a high end price (definitely over 1.000$). Whereas the PS4 plus its VR headset together will be most likely way cheaper. But thus Sonys future VR headsets may suffer from being dependent on PS4, due to hardware limitations. Obviously the graphics will improve with developers spending more and more time with its architecture though.
Resolution vs. FPS – best of both worlds?
Project Morpheus is equipped with a 5.7 inch Full HD OLED screen, which provides 960×1080 pixels per eye to play with. Full HD may sound comfortable if you hear it first, but honestly it is not much if the screen is right in front of your eyes. But guess what, all of those specs we speak about may not be the ones Project Morpheus comes with – this data does only represent the actual prototype. However, 120fps and a resolution higher than 1080p powered by a PS4? Not very likely.
Did you ever try Virtual Reality for a longer time? Many people get sick or headache, and there are multiple reasons for that phenomenon. One of them is the fact that cheaper headsets only notice when you are rotating your head, but not if you are moving it forward, backward, up or down. Sonys Virtual Reality headset offers a solution in form of so called “6DoF” (Six degrees of freedom) head-tracking.
All in all, Project Morpheus will offer great specs at a most likely affordable price, due to usage of the PlayStation 4. What is more, PS4 promises a great list of upcoming VR games, specially build for Project Morpheus. And with an unwarped output to a TV it is kind of social. Who would not like to scare his friends by touching them just in the moment as a ghost appears in front of them?
Sony did not announce a specific release date so far, but they said it will be launched during the first half of the next year. Are you rather interested in a console VR headset like Project Morpheus or do you prefer one for PC? Please do not hesitate to discuss Project Morpheus and its future in the comment section below.