GDC 2014: Sony unveils new virtual reality headset

Sony has officially announced at the Game Developers Conference 2014 that it is building a virtual reality headset for the PS4 named Project Morpheus, as Polygon reports.

This is the first serious shot fired against the much-hyped Oculus Rift, which has caused much excitement about virtual reality hardware. The VR headset will bring both VR gaming and non-gaming content to the PS4.

„We believe Morpheus will further enhance the world of PlayStation 4, with seamless integration with PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move,“ Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Worldwide Studios, said at GDC 2014. „We will continue to improve on this prototype by gathering feedback from developers. That’s why we unveiled it at GDC.“ 

Sony is by no means jumping on the bandwagon of Occulus Rift and its newly gained popularity. According to Yoshida, Sony has been experimenting with virtual reality since they started working on Playstation Move back in 2009. After some first tentative steps, which included sticking prototypes of the headset to their heads with duct tape, an internal group was created especially for VR in 2010.

Project Morpheus will concentrate the development on six areas in order to make it suitable for the masses: sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use and appropriate content. Prior to Sony’s announcement Nate Mitchell from the Occulus Rift developer team commented on Sony’s rumored VR headset in an IGN interview:

„So, as far as the competition goes – we’ll have to see what they announce. We are all about having more people involved in the VR space though. The more developers are excited about virtual reality, and the bigger the audience is, the more likely they are to build VR content. So having a major player get behind virtual reality in a big way opens the door for more devs to build VR content. So, we’re really hopeful that they do it right – anyone that’s doing VR, the main thing is just to do it right.“

Sony will be showing some playable demos for Project Morpheus at the GDC 2014 showroom floor, including Eidos Montreal’s latest game „Thief“.

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