Sony's VR headset is Project Morpheus

It’s been a poorly-kept secret for a while now, but Sony has finally taken the wraps off of its Playstation virtual reality device today at GDC in San Francisco. SCE president Shuhei Yoshida unveiled the new headset – Project Morpheus – described as a way to “push gaming forward”.

Project Morpheus

Project Morpheus

Richard Marks, Sony R&D head honcho (and the fella behind PlayStation Move) explains:

VR is going to be pervasive, and what I mean by that is it’s going to be used for all sorts of things you might not think it would be used for.

One of these things? Marks has hinted at a collaboration project with NASA.

Closer to home, the Morpheus headset has been designed to work with both PlayStation Camera and PlayStation Move. That means you’ll be lit up like a Christmas tree so the console can see where you are, rather than having that functionality built into the device. When it’s ready, the VR experience will take over all aspects of the PlayStation experience – including the PlayStation Store.

There are six core areas of focus for VR on PlayStation 4: Sight, Sound, Tracking, Control, Ease of Use and Content – and Marks believes that Sony is uniquely positioned to handle each one with ease.

Specifics are still being worked on, of course, but the current prototype features a 90 degree field of view with a 1080p display. There’s enough room for you to wear glasses underneath, and you can bring your own headphones, too. The PlayStation Camera checks your location at 1000Hz, supporting a full 360 degrees of movement. At the moment, there’s a 5m cable linking you to the console, but Sony has plans to make it wireless in the future.

The sixth core area is, of course, Content – and this is where Morpheus will either succeed or fail. While the technology may be amazing, it’s no good if there are no games to go with it. At GDC this week, a demo of EVE Valkyrie (formerly an Oculus Rift exclusive) and a special build of Thief are on display, but it’s still too early to discuss what other games may show up for the peripheral.

Importantly, two key bits of information were missing from today’s presentation: Price and date. Sony‘s response is simply “as soon as possible”.

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