Sony has ruled out a 2014 launch for its virtual reality headset Project Morpheus. PlayStation president of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida told GameSpot today that this won't happen because Sony engineers are continuing to iterate on the device and they won't have a feature-complete version ready anytime soon.
We asked Yoshida directly if a 2014 launch date for Project Morpheus had been ruled out and his response was: "Yes. That we can say comfortably because we are still making changes to the hardware."
The current iteration of the Project Morpheus headset is a non-final prototype. Sony has pledged to continue to improve the device over time to boost its ability to deliver a feeling of "presence." However, the company has not laid out a specific roadmap for what changes are the highest priority.
Oculus VR is also keeping the release date for the Oculus Rift consumer version under wraps. A second iteration of the development kit will launch this summer, with the consumer version to follow, though it's not clear when that will be.
Also in our interview with Yoshida today, the PlayStation executive addressed the matter of pricing for Project Morpheus. He wasn't ready to talk firm pricing plans, but he did say that you won't have to spend $1000 to get your hands on the device, as is the case with Sony's HMZ head-mounted display line.
According to Yoshida, the HMZ line is priced in such a way that Sony makes money on every unit sold. This model doesn't normally apply to game hardware, though, as consoles are often sold at or below cost, and become profitable with the sale of games, accessories, and services.
Yoshida said Sony often prices its gaming hardware lower than other non-gaming Sony devices and explained that he doesn't expect this to change with Project Morpheus. As such, Yoshida explained that a $1000 price point "doesn't necessarily indicate the pricing that we're gonna have" for Project Morpheus.
As for the competition, Oculus Rift creator Palmer Luckey said this month that the device will be "affordable" because he doesn't want it to be a "rich person's toy."
Check back in the days ahead for even more GameSpot coverage of Project Morpheus, including a breakdown of the differences between Sony's device and Oculus Rift.