PS4 virtual reality headset Project Morpheus unveiled
posted on 03.18.14 at 09:04 PM EDT by (@salromano)
GDC attendees can go heads-on with the headset tomorrow.

Project Morpheus

Sony confirmed ‘Project Morhpeus,’ its long-rumored PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset, durings its “Driving the Future of Innovation” panel at GDC.

“Many of us at PlayStation have dreamed about VR and what it could mean for the games that we create,” Sony Worldwide Studios boss Shuhei Yoshida said.

Sony has been working with virtual reality for at least four years, Yoshida revealed. Slides shown during the panel show Yoshida testing prototypes in fall 2010 and March 2011. He also showed God of War III running in a head-mounted display first-person view mode via the a prototype headset from years back.

According to Sony R&D head Dr. Richard Marks, PlayStation 4 virtual reality “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.”

For example, he has been working with NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory to create a Mars demo that lets you feel as if you’re actually standing on the surface of the planet.

Virtual reality comprises of six main challenges, Dr. Marks said. Sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content. And that content has big names backing it, including Unity, Havok, Wwise, Gigantic, Autodesk and Autodesk Gameware Scaleform, DDD, Criware, Epic Games, Silicon Studio, Bitsquid, Crytek, and FMod.

But games are only one type of content virtual reality can provide, Sony R&D software engineer Anton Mikhailov said. As demonstrated by the Mars demo, virtual reality can be used for virtual tourism and media, “but games are still the best,” he said.

Virtual reality amplifies emotion sensory block-out, and can emulate feelings of vertigo, claustrophobia, fear of the dark or unknown, fear of voids and empty spaces, extreme and intense horror, and creature phobias.

“Emotion in virtual reality is amplified,” Mikhailov said. “You have a lot of new emotions to play with as developers.”

Morpheus will work with PlayStation Move, PlayStation Eye, and PlayStation 4. It’s not a final product, but a work-in-progress. The current dev kit runs at 1080p with a 90+ degree field of view, and supports position and rotation head tracking (1000hz, 3 meter working volume, full 360 degrees), forward prediction, and DualShock 4 and PlayStation Move with the same camera. It promises true spatial sound, and supports custom headphones. You can use it with glasses, too.

GDC attendees will be able to go heads-on with it starting tomorrow, with demos including The Deep, The Castle, EVE Valkyrie, and Thief. Yoshida said GDC was chosen as the headset’s unveil venue because Sony is seeking feedback from developers.

Find some specs below.

Configuration: processor unit, head-mounted unit
Display method: LCD
Panel size: 5 inches
Panel resolution: 1920xRGBx1080
Field of view: 90 degrees
Sensors: accelerometer, gyroscope
Connection interface: HDMI + USB
Function: 3D audio, social screen

Q&A

Mikhailov held a post-panel Q&A following the headset’s reveal. Unless in quotes, these aren’t direct quotes from Mikhailov, but summaries of his responses.

When will the unit launch?

“As soon as possible.”

Is it wired?

The current prototype uses a five meter wire. Obviously, Sony is seeking a wireless solution.

What frame rate will you get, and what latency?

The highest frame rate and the lowest latency.

Will it also work on PC?

Sony is currently focusing on Project Morhpeus as a PlayStation 4 product.

Would it ever be standalone without PlayStation?

No.

How many units do you plan people have?

Right now, it’s one per PlayStation 4.

Are you looking into eye-tracking?

Yes.

Will there be mobile connectivity with PS Vita?

Right now, Sony is currently focused on PlayStation 4.

Why is it called Project Morpheus?

“Well… we decided on the name last week (laughs). It was decided because Morpheus is the god of dreams… not a Matrix reference.”

You can put your hands in the game with PlayStation Move. But what about your feet?

“We’re researching… it depends on what you’re trying to accomplish.”

Thanks, Road to VR, Engadget, and Eurogamer.

Play-Asia
  • Six

    Oh man, I bet NO ONE saw this coming! :P

    • Ghost Doge

      Blind people didn’t! And probably some fans of the good ol’ Virtual Boy.

      • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

        The Virtual Boy had fans…?

        • Six

          I’m sure there are some hardcore Nintendo fanboys out there who’ve managed to convince themselves it wasn’t a terrible product.

          • Budgiecat

            Atlus first ever localized game was on the Virtual Boy (Jack Bros)

            But yeah otherwise the VB was craps…

  • GODDUKEMONEXA

    SWORD ART ONLINE for PS4!!! here we go!!!!

    • Avaricious

      As long as my brain does not get fried if I try to take the VR headset off and there’s a log out button i’m good.

  • Wolf Star

    It reminds me of this

    • Six
      • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

        As much as I love .hack… SAO has became more popular than the entire .hack franchise in just a year alone and .hack has been around for over a decade. If anything like this were to actually happen, it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if they chose SAO first.

        • Six

          I know. Doesn’t mean I can’t still hate it.

        • Wolf Star

          I haven’t seen . Hack and I bearly know it. I have seen SAO last year and loved it.

        • Sae-Won Yoon

          SAO *isn’t completely god-awful, I can sort of see why it works and how it got so damn popular. But yeah at the same time, it’s definitely not perfect, and hell not even that great. the first half was pretty good albeit badly spliced together almost. episode 3 was probably the show’s peak for it being actualy good.

          The entire 2nd half later is just god awful.
          also 3 years, glop glop/

          • 9li8

            It’s 2 years.

          • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

            Well, it’s not like I’m defending it or anything. I’m just saying… If you’re a .hack fan, you’re going to be considered the underdog here since SAO is more popular by a long shot, lol.

        • Luna Kazemaru

          not like we don’t know WHY it got popular lol.

          • 9li8

            Because it’s good.

          • Six

            It’s like someone held down .hack and injected it with everything wrong with modern anime. D:

          • DarthBrian

            Leafa >>>>>> Asuna.

      • 9li8

        lol wuts dat? looks like a poor man’s SAO.

        • Six

          I hope next someone invents the technology necessary to reach through the monitor and SMACK A FOOL UPSIDE THE HEAD.

        • Sae-Won Yoon

          Screw you m8, .Hack was my childhood.

        • Budgiecat

          downvote…..where are you??

          • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

            I know, right?

          • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

            Lolol

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

          You look like a poor man’s Gariya.

        • Luna Kazemaru

          You know i wish there was a way I could send a email that punches people in the face

      • Luna Kazemaru

        THANK YOU!!!

      • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

        Lolol, hack sign you would awesome

      • Pyrofrost

        I have to agree, .hack is better. Especially when it comes to character designs.

        The SOA character designs are garbage imo.

    • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano
      • Wolf Star

        That would be awesome!! :3 I feel like I’m already in 2020 lol

    • Luna Kazemaru

      thats the first thing it reminds you of…really….

      • 9li8

        If a masterpiece anime is the first thing Sony VR reminds him of, then the future is bright.

        • Luna Kazemaru

          > masterpiece

          HOLY SHIT GUYS MY SIDES!!!

        • AdamBoy64

          Yeah, it’s a good one.
          I was shown the first episode and I really enjoyed it.

          I don’t watch a lot of Anime, but I’d like to find the series.

      • TheBlackRabbit

        is recent….so no surprise sir…

    • Derpazu

      That’s sad.

  • AdamBoy64

    ‘The Matrix’ continues to be an influence in our modern culture. There you go.

    It’s a fitting name though.

    • Bob Obb

      lol Morpheus existed before Matrix

      • AdamBoy64

        Yeah, that wouldn’t surprise me.

        I’d think the majority of people wouldn’t have heard of it until then though.

      • Six

        The God of dreams. It’s kind of poetic.

        Now give Sony your money.

    • PrinceHeir

      Love Matrix!! Even though the 2nd movie was clearly a rush product, the universe has a lot of interesting philosophies.

      Wish they made more Animatrix episodes though!

  • 9li8

    Kept you waiting, huh?

  • Kyle McDaniel

    Fans of games like Dream C Club or Neptunia will love this

    • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

      >Dream C Club
      >Neptunia

      That was quite a reach.

    • 9li8

      This gentleman knows what’s up.

      Is Takaki Kenichiro at GDC by the way?

  • DarthBrian

    https://pbs.twimg.com/media/BjDXbJ5CYAInmI3.jpg

    this slide was used as an example of VR use in third-person games. O_O

    • new_tradition

      I’m not big on first person, so if they actually make this workable with 3rd person games, I’ll pay more attention O_O

      • jujubee88

        Yeah, I wonder how that would even feel like!

    • PrinceHeir

      Shadow of the Colossus!

    • 9li8

      Thank goodness.

      You know what? I’ve never been excited about about all this VR buzz for a bit. In fact I was kinda against it because I was concerned(or paranoid) that VR would mean the decline of third-person games. But if it also strengthens 3rd person experiences then it’s fine.

    • blank059

      What is that guy with the weird head supposed to show? Is that supposed to be how the player will see the game?

      • DarthBrian

        That’s the in-game camera represented as you.

        • blank059

          Thanks.

    • Pekola

      So even games that aren’t third person or first person will benefit from it?

      Will my head suddenly turn into a film as a side effect?

  • new_tradition

    Where are those fibre optic gloves? :P

    I’ll be curious to see how this will do on the market. I can only imagine this isn’t a cheap peripheral to make, but if it’s priced too high at retail, it won’t move many units either D:

    • AdamBoy64

      Yes, that’s a good point.

      I don’t know if the initial release will be a wireless unit. That would take quite a bit of work – and yes, drive up the cost.

  • PrinceHeir
    • Six

      Now this is acceptable. :D

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

      i’d rather have Kusanagi :3

  • Six

    Sony needs to get on the phone with Bethesda. Fallout 4 and The Elder Scrolls VI would be massive VR sellers.

    • 罪罰

      Fuxk Bethesd, call From Software.

      • Six

        Skyrim sold 20 million copies. FromSoft am cry.

        • 罪罰

          And call of duty too, ur point

          • Six

            Games that sell 20 million copies will move more hardware than games that sell 2-3 million?

            I’m not talking about what is better. I’m talking about what would sell.

            • 罪罰

              since when u work for sony m8

              • Six

                Wait. I thought I was a dudebro xbot?

                • 罪罰

                  war, war changes.

      • bloodiOS

        Sure, VR at 10fps will be absolutely delightful.

  • Budgiecat
  • bloodiOS

    Nah, I’ll keep waiting till the day that Encephalon dive becomes a reality.

    • Budgiecat

      a wut?

      • Six

        Xenosaga, bro.

      • bloodiOS

        Never played Xenosaga, I take it?

        • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

          XENOGEARS

          • bloodiOS

            I actually never played that. Does Encephalon Dive exist in that game, too?

            • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

              I actually don’t remember, been awhile

    • PrinceHeir

      That would be Godly!

      VR environment replicating the real world, heck there maybe a glitch that actually let’s go back to the real past instead!

  • rockman29

    Awwwwwwwww yeaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!!!

  • 罪罰

    Killzone ShadowFall 2 with VR plox.

    • Luna Kazemaru

      make it to where we can be in a helgahst helmet?

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

      That last stage would make me go crazy with a VR helmet

  • Zackasaur

    Will buy. ♡

  • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

    Think I’m done updating this. =)

    • 9li8

      Thank you.

    • Six

      Now you’ve got to take a side in the .hack vs SAO debate.

      • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

        SAO, sorry dot hackers. =(

        • TheBlackRabbit

          WUT SAL HOW DARE U

        • Six

          I don’t know you anymore.

        • 9li8

          Sasuga Sal. A gentleman of fine taste.

        • Arcana Gear

          Its okay, someday we will convert you.

        • Luna Kazemaru

          Wow I…I don’t know you anymore you are already dead.

        • Zuhri69

          Sal, how could you. We were friends!!!! (T_T)

          • http://gematsu.com/ Sal Romano

            Our opinions don’t have to drift us apart.

            *extends arm*

            • 罪罰

              *cuts arm*

              YOU BETRAYED US

              • Pekola

                That escalated quickly.

                Lol. for some reason I’m finding this scenario hilarious.

            • Zuhri69

              *slowly reaching hand before pulling it away*

              Oh Sal, if only there was someone out there who loved you.

            • Pekola

              Sal, wat.

              I don’t….I can’t even look at you *turns dramatically*

              No, but for realzies, I’m glad you actually choose SAO so this hate train can end.

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

          This is war!

        • Ultimasamune

          Hurrah!

      • Derpazu

        There’s a debate? Anybody saying SAO is better than .hack is just proving that wrong opinions do, in fact, exist. :p

        • https://www.youtube.com/user/GamingHeroTetsuya TetsuyaHikari

          I wasn’t aware opinions could be wrong.

    • bloodiOS

      Thank you for the wonderful job.

    • blank059

      Thanks.

    • ayb_91

      Bless ya.

    • http://youtube.com/miyabigaming 武神水樹

      Thank you

  • Forty

    “Will it also work on PC?
    Sony is currently focusing on Project Morhpeus as a PlayStation 4 product.

    Would it ever be standalone without PlayStation?
    No.”

    Can’t help but think this will doom it to irrelevance. As a PS4 peripheral, it doesn’t have the raw power behind it necessary to push the kind of performance VR needs. The PS4 is nice and all, but it couldn’t push any AAA game at 1080p, 60fps and in 3D, let alone higher than that if the final hardware pushes it harder. It won’t get meaningful dev support and will just drop off like Move did.

    If they actually made it support PC much like the Oculus does, it would be strong competition to start a healthy VR market. Hell, as someone with an interest in VR and that owns a PS4, I can say a Sony VR headset that works on both my PS4 and my PC might even be a better investment than an Oculus which would only work on my PC assuming the two have similar final specs and prices.

    I just hope Sony realizes this. They have the choice of being there for the start of a new market, using the PS4 as a springboard into PC VR and pushing the tech well, or they could make something that will fall into irrelevancy before you can say “PlayStation Move”. Considering this is Sony, I don’t have much faith in them to make the right decision here. I love their games and often their hardware, but they have always had a preference for proprietary systems locked within their own ecosystem.

    • jujubee88

      “The PS4 is nice and all, but it couldn’t push any AAA game at 1080p, 60fps and in 3D”

      Someone made the example that UC3 ran off 256mb of RAM and the cell architecture, so I am inclined to say that the PS4’s way better specs/power (relative to PS3) can at least match where we’ve seen VR today in, say, 2015-ish. Just pulling raw figures out my ass tho! :)

  • Invisbin

    RPGS and Horror games will be so damn fun with VR.

  • fireemblembeast

    @__@
    The future is here!!!

  • bloodiOS

    It would be nice if Sony can create a VR game with similar theme to this:

    • MrFinalgamer

      what is this? the picture alone looks like a more realistic version of Murasaki Baby…

      • bloodiOS

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Serial_Experiments_Lain

        • MrFinalgamer

          huh, that sounds interesting. yeah, that would be a nice concept for a game with this.

    • Deusxmachina

      Hands down, the best anime of all times.

    • PrinceHeir

      I have the last LE US Blu ray from Rightstuff(got it just in time)

      Definitely watching it this summer :D

  • Leon Keyv

    Great Sony, looking forward to some wacky japanese VR!

  • FitzpatrickPhillips

    Welcome to “The World”

    • jujubee88

      Hi.

  • TheBlackRabbit

    I can always count on corn to cut a mofo’z arm, :D

    • 罪罰

      no need for such violence.

      • TheBlackRabbit

        lol right? ;D

  • shogunknight

    Would love to see the dev feedback on this. Looks really good, hopefully we will see a 2015 release at an “affordable” price. Ive seen reports that MS wants to make theirs also, E3 reveal perhaps.

    • AdamBoy64

      Ah I see, Microsoft have got something in the works. That shouldn’t be a surprise to me.

      Microsoft releasing a VR unit shortly after will make things quite interesting. I wonder which unit will get the greater developer support.

      • shogunknight

        I like where this VR technology is going, i just hope it will be affordable and worth a consumers purchase. The more devs show support for this and any other VR headset introduced after the better the consumer options. I hope Sony gives PC support too in the future, it would be great to have options between it and Rift

    • 罪罰

      Kinectvision
      with
      VisionAnimalz

    • oOqUiS

      Christmas 2015 release and i’m in. Got lots of games to play 2015.

  • Al Buns

    No thanks.I’ll pass.

    • jujubee88

      Yhanks but no yhanks, Tony!

      • jujubee88

        (damn it, I should have written it as Tsony, lol)

  • jujubee88

    Confession: I have never seen a single full episode of .hack or SoA.

    • Christyr

      I think I just died inside….

      • jujubee88

        :U Yeah, I usually read a little manga more these days.

    • Christyr

      I think I just died a little….

  • Audie Bakerson

    Of all the games you could use, why GoW3? I just can’t see a third person hack and slash working well in first person, even from a tech demo.

    It’s not like Sony doesn’t have first person titles (like Killzone. Remember that?).

    • Klozby

      Because Sony was working on that since 4 years ago. Killzone: Shadowfall came out last year.

      • Audie Bakerson

        Noticed that before you posted and edited the post. There is still Killzone 2. Why would you go out of your way to use a game that would never work with this?

    • Anonymous

      what do you mean “Of all the games you could use” you make it sound like they only used GoW, they had a demo for Theif and many other demos.