Sony Project Morpheus GDC Europe Session Introduces Techniques to Create Better VR Experiences

Sony will discuss Project Morpheus’ features and how to get the best performance out of the VR device, “where a consistent high frame rate and low-latency are essential to the experience.”

Sony will talk about how to best use “next-gen” game engines with its PlayStation 4 virtual reality device Project Morpheus at GDC Europe, the event’s organizers have confirmed.

Sony Computer Entertainment Europe’s Research and Development Senior Engineer Patrick Conner and Immersive Technology Group Technical Director Ian Bickerstaff will discuss the topic in a Programming Track session titled “Virtual Reality and Getting the best from Your Next-Gen Engine.”

“Creating a game engine requires knowledge of the hardware and software of your target system,” reads the session’s description. “Nowhere is this more important than with Virtual Reality where a consistent high frame rate and low-latency are essential to the experience.” The presentation will introduce techniques to deliver a high quality virtual reality experience with a focus on Sony’s Project Morpheus. The session will presumably give attendees an understanding of Project Morpheus’ features and technical considerations on how to develop games for it.

Project Morpheus was announced at GDC 2014. Sony has ruled out a 2014 launch for the headset, and has promised that it won't sell for $1000.

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer. You can follow him on Twitter @emanuelmaiberg and Google+.

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Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.

Discussion

56 comments
alex_the_pie
alex_the_pie

would love some BBC Sir David Attenborough interactive VR nature documentaries would be cool to walk throug a jungle learning about tigers n shit 

this will all come down to the final price tho, if its right i think it will sell loads this stuff makes it more than just ps3.1 and more propper next gen

homey_d_clown
homey_d_clown

Even though I know the price has not yet been given, I do believe that the price of it will either make it or break it for Sony.

Anything above $350 would not sell very well, but if they made it $200-$300, I can see it flying of the shelfs (in North America).

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

Then again that VR shark trailer would be better of it was VR in 3D.

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

VR is getting on acid and doing it real. Not this convince urself its real because u can move ur head around and hands

SIDEFX1
SIDEFX1

I feel it is all a fad VR.. however, ever been to Universal Studios Japan? I have and went on that 4D Spiderman ride. Now that is 3D! Even the Transformas 4D ride is Terrific.. And not one movie or Game even comes close to the eye popping out of sceen 3D goodness.. it shows great 3D would sell and here the worlds trying to create VR. VR won't let you see the bullets just missing infact it is nothing more than screens cm from eye, only a weak brain would feel a sense of reality. VR not for me.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

This Morpheus device is mere kids stuff when compared to the Rift because it's built for a technically inferior platform and that alone makes it kids stuff when compared to the Rift.

jako998
jako998

Sony's VR will be Over priced. Sony has always overpriced their Products.

kujel
kujel

playstation where overpriced unsupported add-ons await.

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

It took Sony 17 years to make a controller that didn't completely suck. I'm not holding my breadth for this latest peripheral. 

steaminpotatoes
steaminpotatoes

With the PS4 sporting a 1.6ghz CPU this ain't going no where far, few gimmicky games and that will be it.

gottago42
gottago42

Does anyone remember back in 2006 Sony said that 3D Tv gaming was the future well look how poor that turned out and this will be the same for VR helmets

rasterror
rasterror

Plus if Sony can keep this in the $200-300 range then this will hopefully sell well. If it's at $500 and above very few will buy it and it will be another loss to a great idea.

rasterror
rasterror

I hope they don't use Bluetooth. Too slow and too much latency. Maybe WiFi direct. I do think know. I'm very hung over, had 2 hours of sleep, and I'm at work overseeing the finally of a project. Man I hate being here.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

I think it's great that console owners, at least PS4 owners will get to enjoy VR, it's great and games like Driveclub will be supporting VR, my only question is with the high frame rates and low latency necessaryto make VR experiences that don't make you ill, how is a racer that plays at 30 FPS going to make you feel after an extendiod period of playtime.

The eye tells your brain what's going on, and if latency or frame rate dips cause your movement and the games to go out of sync it can be very confusing and cause sickness, I experienced it when I tried a rollercoaster demo on DK1, it wasn't calibrated correctly and I was looking right while I was supposed to be looking straight, made me want to vomit, but frame rate dips could cause the same thing, for you to be looking one direction in real life while the PS4 catches up visually.

And anyone who thinks it's a fad hasn't used it, or at least not correctly, it is an amazing experience.

kane6911
kane6911

this is a fad and it will fail, sony will lose a lot money because of this crap. it did not work in the late 90's and it will not work now.  

charlesswann
charlesswann

I still don't see VR as complete until they add gaze tracking.  If I look someone in the game world in the eye, that character should look right back at me.  That completes the realism.

EasyComeEasyGo
EasyComeEasyGo

Glad to see Sony is taking ever research it can to make, fully understand how to make a better VR and utilize it. While I can't guarantee VR might be the next big thing, I need to try it before can give my honest opinion.

1979wazza
1979wazza

That is a very naive statement. 1. The rift is for p.c which are of differing powers and config (not all high end gaming machines) whereas the ps4 is easier to optimize for and will get more from the available resources. 2. The ps4 has vr peripherals such as ds4 lightbar, ps camera and move all ready to go as a platform standard, the rift has no standard controller. 3. Most pc owners wouldn't know how to set up a rift and controllers or fix potential hardware/ software conflicts or optimize the settings. However project morpheus is plug and play and anyone can use it. 4. Due to these factors, the potential market for Morpheus is far larger than rift meaning it can draw larger investment, on top of sonys own studios, meaning more/ better/ higher quality games and in turn a larger consumer take up. The similarities between the two will make porting fairly simple which, ironically, will help Rift by getting high budget titles out and attracting consumers.

The Rift is a beautiful device, and would have always been a success, but make no mistake, the unique market position of sony will be what draws the investment and turbocharges the vr industry.

gregglle
gregglle

@lonesamurai1 omg will you people shut up. i'm looking for INPUT, not a flame throwing console war.

1979wazza
1979wazza

It won't be. The profit margin will be small, like the consoles because they make their money off the games. I would guess it'd be quite cheap actually because 1. as a new industry, they need to get as alarge a consumer take up as possible for it to attract more investment, create better games, sell more units, attract mor... and the cycle goes on. And 2. The economy of scale means the more they sell, the cheaper they can make them. Its all about shipping units come release time.

cvanderson983
cvanderson983

@jako998 Very true. The PS 1 price in 1994 was the same as the PS 4 price today! The PS4 is the only "right" priced system or product ever for Sony. Strange, a Japanese system that wasn't even released in Japan first but released in America for a good price. 

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@jako998 And a clearly superior (powerwise) PS4 which is cheaper than X1 is proof of that.

Spartan_418
Spartan_418

@kujel yes, overpriced, because Sony clearly didn't learn from their mistakes last gen, that's why the PS4 is $700

...  r-right?

ojmstr
ojmstr

@bdrtfm What are you talking about!!!? The ps controllers has allways been the best since they first came out. Stop trolling


Dissentioncc
Dissentioncc

Wow, just wow. The PlayStation one has always been the only symmetrical controller since its inception. And unless you have freakish gargantuan hands, its size has always been fine.

Nintendo's last good controller was the SNES one, and Xbox controllers have always sucked. The shape, size, analog sticks not lined up....terrible. Also, need more batteries derp.

kujel
kujel

@bdrtfm And it's still the worst design on the market.

1979wazza
1979wazza

8 core mind you. Clock speed isnt everything. Also the morpheus does a certain amount of processing in its own control box which helps to some degree. I think all the naysayers should be banned from ever owning one, because it may just be the next big thing.

rasterror
rasterror

Hopefully noy. It can be something great of done right.

Lacerz
Lacerz

@gottago42


It may have turned out poor, but it sure is fun!  I love my 3D gaming!

charlesswann
charlesswann

@mkeezay22 all VR games will be in 60fps or downgraded to run at 60fps.  30fps just doesn't work.  That said, I don't think PS4 will have any problems producing beautiful VR games.

Pyro77
Pyro77

@kane6911 Please explain your cynical remark as to why you believe Sony is investing in "crap."  How is using the current technology now available to push VR gaming a fad?  Are you seriously basing these assumptions off of the expensive, clunky, and barely functional VR technology from the 90's?   How does any of that make any sense to you?

cshourihan
cshourihan

@charlesswann That's just game programming, nothing to do with the technology.  There are games that do that already.  Deadhalls, a rift game, knows when you look at certain things and just that act can trigger enemies to become hostile and whatnot.  When they start making games with VR in mind from the ground up it will be crazy.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@EasyComeEasyGo  Everyone does, there is no other way to convey something like that without trying it firsthand, that's why they need to get demo stations out there so people like us can just walk into a store and check out what it has to offer, I bet 99% of people walk out with a much greater respect for today's VR.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

@gregglle @lonesamurai1  It's not a flame whatever that means, I'm just saying that the Rift is designed for a significantly more powerful platform which gives it more room to grow technically. 

The platform it's made for has no technical ceiling like the Morpheus platform does, and it's not just the technical difference in terms of power between the two platforms but also the fact that I'm sure at some point some kind of SDK will probably be available for the Rift to the general public and that's something that most certainly won't and can't be done for the PS platform.

kadaverhagga
kadaverhagga

@Dissentioncc  I have freakish gargantuan hands (well mainly really long fingers) and loved the 360 controller and didn't really like the DS3. The only thing better on the DS3 is the d-pad. But my controller of choice now is the DS4, and even though it has nothing to do with ergonomics I really love the built in speaker. Works wonders for immersion when hearing audio logs, phones and other odd background sound from there. Only complaint is the battery life.

I'm one of the few that thinks that MS actually made a worse controller than it's predecessor. 

The way I hold the controller makes it wierd for me to use the new bumpers on the x1 since I mostly apply pressure on the very top of the bumpers. So they feel "lumpish" to press unless I curl my fingers and get cramps instead.

Also the plastic edge of the controller on the inner side of the triggers bothers me as my fingers overlaps them a bit. The only things better imo on the x1 controller over the 360 is a flat bottom and the d-pad.

kujel
kujel

@Dissentioncc That design was horrible and I have average size hands, ten minutes and my hands were already cramped, not cool.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@charlesswann @mkeezay22  Drive Club is said to use Morpheus yet it has been confirmed to run at 30 FPS, so do you think they will make a less graphically intense version for VR so they can maintain 60 FPS.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@cshourihan While that is true, I believe he meant specifically eye tracking that is independent of head tracking. It would probably need a camera inside the rift pointed at your eyes for that to be possible.

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

@mkeezay22 @EasyComeEasyGo  When I went to buy a new flat screen tv, I checked out all the 3D models. They had an awesome video that blew me away with the graphics. Still ended up buying a regular 2D though. Looking awesome isn't good enough. It has to be cheap, widely supported, user friendly and have a social aspect (socialization is a big thing in gaming these days).


So far, it meets one of those requirements. It looks cool. However, its bulky, likely expensive, requires a lot of getting used to and a lot of mobility vs. a controller or M+KB, has very little support with devs so far and is considered an anti-social device by the industry. Doesn't exactly ooze confidence of success.

alex_the_pie
alex_the_pie

@lonesamurai1 @gregglle there 2 different markets and both have advantages ps4 will we assume to be cheaper and have better periphrals: move controllers are very accurate motion sensors, the rift will be (we assume) more expensive and will require a £500+ pc to get the most out of its considerable power, some of the games will cross over, while i expect others will be drasticly different by the time morpheus arrives the ps4 user base will be bigger and the ps4 itself will likley cost less. both will provide a great experience for different markets there is a little overlap but its not like as if microsoft came out with a vr then it would be a direct competition (i cant see sony or occlus fighting each other for vr exclusives) 

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

@Spartan_418 @EasyComeEasyGo  Oculus will be better anyway because it's made for a better and more powerful hardware platform and not just a limited fixed graphics platform, not to mention that users of it will be creating their own content while Morpheus users will depend solely on Sony and hope that devs will want to bother with it, plus Sony is one to let a peripheral or platform to rot and die.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@mkeezay22 It's not unheard of. FF: realm reborn on PS4 gives a choice of lower resolution (720p) for better framerate.

xantufrog
xantufrog

@bdrtfm but it ISN'T bulky, and it doesn't take a bunch of time to get used to. And why can't you use a controller with it? I did when I used the OR headset.

bdrtfm
bdrtfm

@xantufrog @bdrtfm  People said in a survey the reason why they didn't like 3D TV is because the glasses are bulky and distractive. Now imagine these same people being handed a 5 pound scuba mask that, when put on, makes them completely blind to everything around them.

mkeezay22
mkeezay22

@bdrtfm @xantufrog  To be fair there are differences, wearing a pair of glasses that make a picture pop out and wearing a headset that covers your whole field of view while putting you in the game is quite different, VR offers immersion that is ten steps above 3D, like someone said above it just needs to be marketed right and be widely available and it will do fine, there are 900 million PC gamers, and although most can be counted as casuals that still leaves a huge amount of core gamers who are willing to spend the money on a device like OR.

xantufrog
xantufrog

@bdrtfm @xantufrog Oculus Rift is less than a pound. And this isn't the same thing as a 3D tv - VR is being marketed for interactive entertainment (games) and education/training applications. 3D tv is just glorified TV, whereas VR is a tool, more like a controller, allowing you to interact with a virtual world more deeply. So clearly VR is only going to appeal to people seeking that interaction, whereas 3D TV was/is trying to appeal as an upgrade to a device you might already be happy with (your 2D tv). Because they have such different purposes, it's hard to conclude that 3D TV's failure to sell itself as a worthwhile upgrade to your 52" plasma has much of anything to do with the success of VR in its own market... sure, VR isn't for everyone, and that's fine. Neither is any product, though.