When it comes to the world of “virtual reality”, the only name I really hear about and think of is Oculus Rift. That is, until Sony unveiled its latest tech gadget yesterday at the 2014 Game Developers Conference.
Project Morpheus, the virtual reality headset designed for the PlayStation 4, is more than just the hardware itself. Sony is investing itself to support the device with developers, further establishing a community in advanced technology.
It may seem bulky, but the exterior of the design looks very simple, sleek, and clean. The virtual reality headset was also designed to balance its weight when worn over your head, making it feel lighter against your nose and forehead. A great feature Sony has added is that the device will support non-VR feeds; meaning there is a spectator mode as well asymmetrical gameplay view, where you get to see your own screen and the other players’ (eg. Tetris). It’s difficult to describe or even show what the inside/screen looks like, given that this is something you’d need to experience firsthand in order to really see, literally.
Although there are no further details as to when Project Morpheus will be released, it’s certain that it won’t be coming out this year.
Oculus Rift is probably in the lead right now when it comes to virtual reality systems. I can’t exactly say I like the design of the Oculus VR more, but since they do have a head start on things, I’d have to say they are quite credible when it comes to 3D gaming. Although I have yet to try the products, I’ve been fangirling over them ever since I saw the Oculus Rift headset being accompanied by the Virtuix Omni platform at PAX last year.
In fact, this morning at the GDC, Oculus Rift released the news of its new Oculus Rift Development Kit 2, which supposedly fixes and improves the issues of the original Oculus Rift. Some of the more known problems were: if you turn your head too fast, the image will become smeared and messy, and if you turned or moved your body, the device would have trouble following your movements. According to the Oculus VR blog, DK2 will be a massive leap forward and a vast improvement from the first DK. The Development Kit 2 is available for pre-order (for $350) starting today, but don’t expect shipments to arrive until July of this year.
That being said, Sony still has some ways to go, but since Project Morpheus is reserved exclusively for the PS4, I can see it being a successful device that will generate good revenue whether the Oculus VR is around or not.
There’s no doubt that these devices do look a bit ridiculous for now, but I’m sure when they become more affordable and once games are fully supporting them, they will definitely redefine the excellence and quality of gaming.
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