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!