Sony To VR Skeptics: PS4 Headset Project Morpheus Is Amazing And You'll Realize When You Try It

"The experience is so amazingly different that you want to come back," Shuhei Yoshida says.

Ever since the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus virtual reality headsets were announced, some people bemoaned the fact that you'll need to strap the device onto your head to experience everything the technology has to offer. Now, Sony has reached out to those skeptical of virtual reality with a new message: try it and you'll be convinced.

"Do people want to wear a big headset on your head? The experience is so amazingly different, that you want to come back to this place that is not where you are," PlayStation boss Shuhei Yoshida said during the recent Gamelab conference in Barcelona. The conference was held last month, but videos from the various presentations just found their way online this week.

Yoshida said part of what is so compelling about virtual reality is that the technology delivers a feeling of "presence." This is, as Yoshida says, "the feeling, the belief that all your senses believe that you are in a different place."

Of course, what this different place is will be defined by the specific application. "That could be a very beautiful landscape or some fantastical place like to be on the Moon or Mars," Yoshida said. It could even be a place that you could visit physically, like Barcelona, but might not be able to because flights are expensive and you can't take time off work or school.

Yoshida said virtual reality will allow anyone, anywhere to virtually visit any place conceivable. He also stressed that Sony, like Oculus VR, is not going to stray from games with virtual reality, at least not right away. "We're going to focus on games initially because Project Morpheus is made to work with PS4," he said.

But further down the road, virtual reality experiences don't necessarily need gameplay to be enjoyable, Yoshida said. Virtual reality could also be beneficial for elderly people who are less mobile but still would like to see the world. Yoshida said his late grandmother would have loved virtual reality.

Project Morpheus was announced at GDC 2014, just days before Facebook made the surprise announcement that it would buy Oculus VR--maker of the Oculus Rift headset--for $2 billion. Like Oculus Rift, the Project Morpheus headset is not yet available in a consumer version. Sony has ruled out a 2014 launch for the headset, and has promised that it won't sell for $1000.

Are you looking forward to virtual reality in games? Let us know in the comments below!

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Eddie Makuch

Eddie Makuch is a news editor at GameSpot, and would like to see the Whalers return to Hartford.
144 comments
knyght1008
knyght1008

I suspect the first generation of titles will be just gimmicky games to show off, but I'm looking forward for when real AAA developers support this.

bullsfan769
bullsfan769

Hopefully this stuff pans out and turns out to be affordable as well as successful, the way sony as company is doing, they can't afford to sell this stuff at a loss and are taking a bit of a gamble on it

grangerfx
grangerfx

With all the games that run at 30 frames per second on the PS4, pardon me for being skeptical about Morpheus that requires dual vision 1080p video frames at 60 frames per second. If the Oculus needs more graphics power, I can always upgrade my GPU. What do we do on the PS4? Regardless, I will be buying the Morpheus when it comes out.

Bond_Villain
Bond_Villain

Eve Valkyrie + VR headset = 18 hour gaming with quick breaks to the bathroom.

karis967
karis967

Cant wait to try this. This is something you have to experience to pass true judgement on it so heres hoping it affordable and well designed with big things to come. If it can really make me feel like im in the game then im all for it

Devils-DIVISION
Devils-DIVISION

No doubt it's impressive. But how does one fair for an extended period of time? I usually only get to play my games an hour at a time. But there are those days where (when I'm hooked to a certain game) I could go for a few hours.

A game that comes to mind which would be an amazing experience with VR, is Uncharted--all those action sequences. (:

tbighorse138
tbighorse138

too bad its a major health hazard to play more than 20 mins. doesnt help that the majority of people get motion sickness with this tech. it wont be consumer friendly. so it wont sell at all.

NikoKun
NikoKun

@tbighorse138 False. There's no health hazard from playing VR. And the newer models don't cause anywhere near as much motion sickness anymore.

straightcur
straightcur

I am openminded to VR.  But I really think this will be a gimmick that only a very niche market will buy.   Most people that try it, will be like "that's pretty cool" but wont buy it.   The super hardcore will buy at first but because it wont get enough market saturation, it wont get many high end games, thus it will fizzle and die.   Look at Kinect.  Its a cool idea, but still not catching on.

NikoKun
NikoKun

@straightcur Then by that logic, nothing new should ever catch on, and everything would just fizzle out.

Most skeptics who try the Oculus Rift (dk2 or better) demos, leave a full believer. Everyone of them says "That was incredible, I want one!", and many then proceed to pre-order it.

This WILL catch on, maybe gradually, but it will.

skittzo_s
skittzo_s

I'm just gonna put on the Oculas Rift and run the "Try Project Morpheus Simulator" software to see how it fairs.

kujel
kujel

Mark my words, the Morpheous will sell worse then the move and that abomination was a total disaster.

Luckydan79
Luckydan79

@kujel  It's gonna be the Kinect all over again except that's it's Sony Version, and everyone typing here will get the Occulus Rift anyways, since that's years ahead in development and has an entire company focusing on it. Where as Sony has like bits and parts focusing on the Morpheous. "I don't want to buy a Facebook machine" says you but is it ok to buy a Pesudo Microsoft Kinect? Which is the way Sony is heading.

gregglle
gregglle

@Luckydan79 @kujel pseudo microsoft kinect? WOW.... wow. You really think that? for real? Project morpheus and Oculus Rift are different companies' version of the kinect? hahahahahahahahahahaha. You can't be serious.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.  If Oculus rift was just a 'kinect' do you think it would be as popular as it is?  (My apologies first of all.  I always comment on virtual reality articles as I am a vr enthusiast/evangelist.  So I'm just having fun)

digitm64
digitm64

If they are smart they will release this before the Rift.  The biggest problem with these devices isn't the hardware, it's the software.  If game developers do not have ways to use it in the games it could fail. For example games like Alien Isolation need to have Morpheus support, even as a later patch. (this is just an example)
If it's between $300-$400 I'll prob pick this up.  If it's something stupid like $800-$1000 then no thanks.

Luckydan79
Luckydan79

@digitm64 They are light years behind in development, they don't have even demos available on Youtube which people can look upon. Compare the list of youtube videos here.


https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Occulus+Rift+demos

https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Morpheous+demos


When you have 10 pages of Occulus Rift demos compared to Sony's version you can tell they aren't gonna release it in time, Youtube isn't a viable marketing option you say? Well people go to E3 where it will first create it baseline, after that is about 100 videos demonstrating the hardware capabilities on youtube, if Sony isn't even matching Occulus Rift over the youtube submissions they got no idea what they're doing.

lamanuwa
lamanuwa

@Luckydan79 True. But just because Oculus is more open to the public, doesn't mean it's ahead.

Who is ahead can be highly debatable IMO.


For instance if I were to argue otherwise,


Morpheus is ahead in terms of,


1. Ergonomics and consumer design at this stage. Oculus just acquired "CARBON" and are working on it as we speak.


2. Positional Audio. Oculus is working on this but it will be more challenging for them because of various compositions of audio processors on various PCs. But not even close to impossible, so they will overcome this.


3. Position tracking and positional input. Playstation already has a solution for this with its PSCamera and DS4 as well as MOVE with a multi-million install base already established. Oculus is working on this, probably with Sixsense, the same guys that worked with SONY for the MOVE.


4. Over a dozen first party development studios working on fixed hardware. Fixed hardware advantage is real. It helps developers to target their end product and focus on creativity rather than compatibility. Oculus is working on this with the help of Jason Ruben and VALVE.


As you can see, it's a matter of perspective, I can also argue on behalf of the Oculus as well.


1. Oculus has solved the "Persistence" problem, with the use of OLED and modifications to Display timing.


2. Oculus will yield better results for consumers with more expensive graphics cards and processors.


3. Oculus and PC offer unrestricted development opportunity to developers that make any APP. Sometimes deemed socially unethical or controversial. 


4. Oculus has more money to invest in just this particular endeavour, unlike SONY who still has to support all kinds of gamers.


Either way, the most important thing from a consumer perspective is COMPETITION. It can only make things better.

VegasAceVII
VegasAceVII

It's a nice idea, but the price will make or break it.

xblorder
xblorder

@VegasAceVII Agreed, I can't wait but I live in Aus so I'll be looking at amazon over EB

ChunkyDrawers
ChunkyDrawers

Uh huh and what kind of long term vision damage can this cause?

NikoKun
NikoKun

@ChunkyDrawers It's better for your eyes than watching a TV or staring at a computer screen all day. VR headsets focus your eyes on infinity, which is like looking off at the horizon. This is a natural resting state for your eyes, and thus much better for you long term, than a normal screen right in front of you.

NikoKun
NikoKun

@Sl4cka Safer actually.. Unlike a normal TV or computer screen, with VR you're not focusing on something near by, you're focusing on infinity. You're eyes are doing the same thing they'd be doing if you were looking off at the horizon. Since this is like a resting state for your eyes, it's better than any other game method. ;D

Luckydan79
Luckydan79

@NikoKun @Sl4cka  That's if the game has the correct Field of Vision.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@ChunkyDrawers The same kind that you can get from a computer monitor, a TV screen or even a book, if you don't take any breaks during long sessions.

porterhoarder
porterhoarder

For a VR headset to not give you a headache it need to have a fast refresh rate which currently most games do not have. Most next gen games don't even run at 60 fps. With a screen 1 centimeter from your eye 60fps is gonna hurt the eyes. Unless the device can double or triple the fps on its own we are going to be looking at some real issues with project morpheus.

neowarrior793
neowarrior793

dont get me wrong this tech will probably be costly but also mind blowing, the realism it could create and the possibilities are endless. imagine going through space, diving under the sea or trekking across wastelands that makes you feel like you are there. add a few bluetooth body sensors and you could feel whats happening around you. make a gaming chair that immerses you with sound with a few gyrating sensors and a some hydraulics and you could feel like playing a full racing game with movement to match. if i can think of just this stuff to go with VR tech just imagine what a truly inventive person could do.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

The Rift has more wiggle room to actually improve specs before it's release and in the coming months and years will leave Project Morpeus behind in terms of what it will be capable of doing.

darkxinos
darkxinos

@jeremyc99999 Why would Sony make the Morpheus compatible with Windows games? I'm sure it's going to be possible with third party hacks, but Sony are only interested in selling Playstation where gaming is concerned.

PlatinumPaladin
PlatinumPaladin

That's fine and all, but if the only way we can try it out is to buy one first then that'll be asking quite a lot. I'm open to the idea, but it's potentially an expensive purchase of an unknown quantity.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@PlatinumPaladin I know Sony were showcasing their HMZ-T1 VR headset in Harrods in London when it was released, and you could try it out. So, it wouldn't be a big stretch if they made a deal with some of the entertainment stores for Morpheus.

BigBossWato
BigBossWato

@PlatinumPaladin I sure there will be demo Kiosks inside of retail store they have to show there product off to a skeptical public somehow. 

Sevenstorms
Sevenstorms

I can't wait for Project Morpheus and VR !!!! I am buying one for sure !

Baconelite
Baconelite

I think Project Morpheus looks better than the Oculus Rift, but to be honest, what worries me the most about VR tech is the motion sickness that I keep hearing about.

Sl4cka
Sl4cka

@Baconelite Sony had a big budget to start with, so they could afford to make it look sexy from the get go. When OR was conceived, it was a garage project, so fancy advertising was not in the works. Even now, they are still testing devkits, a consumer product while being more or less the same in the inside like the devkits, might look completely different on the outside.

jeremyc99999
jeremyc99999

@Baconelite I agree, and the first dev kit did give me a little sickness, but Oculus is saying that motion sickness is pretty much non-existent in the second dev kit. It shouldn't be a problem when they are both released.

lonesamurai1
lonesamurai1

Sony's version of a View Master is what this thing is going to be like.

Hamsnowmer
Hamsnowmer

Every time I read about this thing I have one thought:  If No Man's Sky lives up to the hype AND is compatible with Morpheus, then I will be buying the headset without question.

The thought of exploring the Universe in virtual reality is almost too awesome to dare think about.

nikon133
nikon133

@Hamsnowmer Any game that has player sitting in (and controlling) vehicle could be great with VR. It is the most natural fit as your in-game character is basically in a seat (like you are seated while playing) so movement freedom in game equals your freedom while sitting in front of the screen; as you are seated, you can turn your head and move your arms, but your body is basically fixed to chair, as your in-game body is fixed to vehicle.

In addition, this would fix a lot of common issues in racing games. When your car is drifting, you don't necessarily want to watch through windshield, as the car is temporarily moving in different direction. With VR, you can just turn your head and observe track through door window, or look behind. It would require car's cabin to be recreated as accurate as possible, but result could be amazing - not to mention how much 3D would help to judge distance from turn, car in front of you. Couple of years back I had little surgery on my eyelid and had that eye bandaged for a day. I had to drive home with only one eye and lack of depth of field was really unpleasant, to say at least. Yet when we drive in games, we are facing the same lack of real 3D DOF. VR could literally open our eyes.

FPS, not so much. Your in-game character runs, crawls, ducks, jumps, turns 360 degrees on a dime... while your real body is still fixed to chair. There must be some disassociation between you and the game, as many sensations cannot be transferred and movement limits are not the same.

digitm64
digitm64

@Hamsnowmer  That would be an AWESOME experience