Project Morpheus

Robocop's jockstrap? I'd buy that for a dollar
Robocop’s jockstrap? I’d buy that for a dollar

Sony can’t be told about VR, they have to make it for themselves..

Sony have recently announced their intention to compete in the VR gaming sector, unveiling a surprisingly advanced prototype VR headset codenamed Project Morpheus. The stylish visor resembles a mixture of Robocop’s jockstrap, the helmets from Tron Legacy and the cover of a Daft Punk album. Designed to complement the PS4™, the prototype headset is not Sony’s first foray into the world of VR. However, their previous head-mounted 3D viewers were considerably expensive and designed for films and TV rather than gaming.

Morpheus vs Agent Rift: FIGHT!

Equipped with a full HD 5 inch display, Sony’s Morpheus has similar specs to the current iteration of the Oculus Rift (Crystal Cove); although both sides have yet to announce final consumer product specifics. Judging by the similarities, it seems likely that Morpheus vs Rift parallels will be drawn and suitably infantile fanboyism will ensue. Sony has a pre-carved market in the form of the PS4 console owners, which at last count (April) had surpassed 7 million units and will undoubtedly be continuing to grow, while the Oculus Rift has already generated a substantial buzz with PC owners as their Kickstarter exceeded it’s goal by more that 1000%.

Advantage Oculus

Oculus’ nose is further in front due to having released their first prototype to developers over a year ago, which has seen a deluge of tech demos and fully fledged games created. This war could also be seen as a console vs PC battle, which may see the Rift playing the long game as the PS4 hardware won’t change, limiting graphical fidelity for future titles. On the other hand, this is good for games developers whom have a fixed hardware spec to work with, this saves a lot of hassle debugging problems with a variety of drivers/specs.

 Specs

Sony Project Morpheus

Oculus Rift Crystal Cove

red-pill blue-pill
Display Type LCD OLED
Resolution Per Eye

960 x 1080p

960 x 1080p

Screen Size

5 inch

5.6 inch

Internal Motion Sensors

– Accelerometers

– 3 Axis Gyroscope

– Accelerometers

– 3 Axis Gyroscope

– Magnetometers

External Motion Sensors

PlayStation™ Camera

Custom USB Infrared Camera

Head Orientation Tracking Rate

1000 Hz

1000 Hz

Field of View 90 degrees

100 degrees

Audio – 3D Audio – Headphone jack

Not Included

It is important to note that both these systems are still prototypes and will no doubt change. It is a useful comparison though, as we can clearly see that Sony is on the right tracks with the hardware and early reviews suggest it makes for a very immersive experience. Sony have yet to announce a roadmap for the system but with the level of time and money invested, it is clear that they are not just paying lip service to this genre; they are clearly going to be a contender in this market. Another nail in Xbox One’s coffin? Only time will tell.

eve-valkyrie-morpheus
“I just saved your f**king life, Mom. . . . You could at least offer me an Oreo.” ― Neal Stephenson, Snow Crash

Sound On

With the device being tethered to a PS4, there is a clear requirement for integrated audio with the Morpheus. It’s no good having state of the art immersive 3D visuals if the sound is moving unidirectionally. Fortunately, Sony is all over it. They have developed a sound processing system for the Morpheus which provides, so we’re told, truly 3D audio. Specifics of this though are unclear and it remains to be seen how this will compare with competing emerging audio technologies such as binaural audio.

morpheus-move-icecream
How many Sony engineers does it take to change a lightbulb?

Move On

Owners of Playstation Move devices will finally be able to dust off their ice cream shaped accessories as the Morpheus will be putting them to good use in the form of PEAs. Early tech demos have heavily featured the devices as the primary means of interacting with the virtual world. The lightbar on the PS4 dualshock controllers provides an additional motion input method.

Game On

vr-gaming.co.uk are suitably impressed with the Morpheus and we look forward to getting our hands on one as soon as possible to bring you a proper in-depth review. In the meantime, we’ll be sure to cover all the latest developments from Sony, including the rumoured ‘big game’ announcement at E3. In the meantime, enjoy some footage of Sony’s tech demo “The Deep”:  

Finn Rogers
#CheckDisYo

Finn Rogers

Co-founder at VR-Gaming
Self-proclaimed indie dev, technology freak, gaming geek, internet nut and coffee addict.
In his spare time, stunt doubles as the Hulk.
Finn Rogers
#CheckDisYo

Latest posts by Finn Rogers (see all)

Pimp your purchase power