Sony has officially unveiled their VR Headset

Project Morpheus_01

Sony’s VR headset has been (as rumoured) officially unveiled at GDC on Tuesday.

This “latest example of innovation from SCE” goes under the name of ‘Project Morpheus’ and has a prototype available for hands-on time at GDC. Games on hand which will allow players to experience the PlayStation 4’s virtual reality system are EVE Valkyrie, Thief, The Deep and The Castle.

The current dev kit (which is “by no means the final unit” according to Shuhei Yoshida at GDC) features 1080p displays, HDMI and USB connections, 90 degree field of view, 1000hz tracking, full 360 degree movement, and much more.

A release date and pricing was not revealed, but Sony did say that it would be released “as soon as possible and for as low as possible”.

Press Release:

Sony Computer Entertainment Announces “Project Morpheus” – A Virtual Reality System That Expands The World Of Playstation 4

Sony Computer Entertainment today announced the development of “Project Morpheus” ? a virtual reality system that takes the PlayStation 4 system to the next level of immersion and demonstrates the future of gaming. SCE will continue development of Morpheus looking towards a future commercial launch.

“At SCE we view innovation as an opportunity to build on our mission to push the boundaries of play,” said Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios. “Project Morpheus is the latest example of innovation from SCE, and we’re looking forward to its continued development and the games that will be created as development kits get into the hands of content creators.”

Morpheus enables developers to create experiences that deliver a sense of presence – where players feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world of a game. Presence is like a window into another world that heightens the emotions gamers experience as they play. Morpheus features a visor style head-mounted display and works seamlessly with PlayStation Camera to deliver a unique VR experience right before the player’s eyes. Inertial sensors built into the head mount unit and PlayStation Camera accurately track head orientation and movement so as the player’s head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates naturally and intuitively in real-time. Furthermore, in supporting games, the player can use a PlayStation Move Motion Controller as an object, such as a sword. Morpheus will reproduce the player’s hands and sword within the game so the player feels like they are physically fighting off enemies with their sword in the virtual world.

Morpheus adopts 3D audio technology uniquely developed by SCE. In addition to sounds coming from front, behind, left and right, Morpheus re-creates stereoscopic sounds heard from below and above the players, such as footsteps climbing up stairs below them, or engine noises of helicopters flying overhead. Sounds that players hear change in real-time depending on their head orientation, creating a highly realistic audio environment within an immersive 360-degree virtual world.

Along with PlayStation Camera, Wireless Controller for PS4, and PS Move, Morpheus will deliver immersive breakthrough entertainment experiences to gamers through the PS4 system, leveraging SCE’s expertise across key areas for VR – including display/optics, audio, tracking, control, ease of use, and content.

Developers will be able to create Morpheus content for PS4, a platform which has sold over 6 million units only after 3 months and a half of its launch, and is continuing to show strong momentum. The Morpheus dedicated SDK is currently under development and will become available when ready.

During the Game Developers Conference 2014 held in San Francisco from March 19 through March 21, attendees can visit the Sony Computer Entertainment America booth to have a hands-on experience with Morpheus, which will be exhibited for reference. Attendees can enjoy exclusive technology demo such as EVE Valkyrie (CCP), a multiplayer dogfighting shooter that uses virtual reality to give the player the sense of being a real pilot in an EVE Online spaceship, Thief (Square Enix), which allows players to explore the dark shadowy world of the stealth action title, “The Castle” (SCE) that shows various VR interactions utilizing PS Move, and “The Deep” (SCE), where players can observe the waters from inside a shark proof cage.

Specifications of “Project Morpheus” Prototype

• Component – Processor unit, head-mounted unit

• Display Method – LCD

• Panel Size – 5 inches

• Panel Resolution – 1920xRGBx1080 (960xRGBx1080 per eye)

• Field of View – 90 degrees

• Sensors – Accelerometer, Gyroscope

• Connection interface – HDMI + USB

• Function – 3D audio, Social Screen

Specifications and designs are those of the prototype and are subject to change.

– 90 degree field of view
– 1000Hz tracking
– 3 meter working volume
– Full 360 degrees
– Supports forward prediction
– DualShock 4 and PS Move with the same camera
– True spacial sound, synthesized by stimulating the human ear.
– Highly Adjustable
– Comfortable for Prolonged use
– Direct on-board audio jack for headphones.
– ‘Social Screen feature’ mirrors experience onto TV (Allows for unique asymmetric gameplay)
– No weight placed on nose or cheeks.

Additional information and coverage from the GDC announcement can be found here. You can also read more on PlayStation Blog.