Introducing Project Morpheus

March 20, 2014

Sony’s Project Morpheus (credit: Sony)

Throwing down a challenge to the Oculus Rift virtual reality head-mounted display, Shu Yoshida, President, SCE Worldwide Studios, introduced at GDC 2014 Project Morpheus, a  prototype virtual reality (VR) system that works with PS4 and could radically change gaming.

Yoshida said Sony’s Project Morpheus features a head-mounted display with 1080p HD resolution and a 90 degree field of view (vs. Olculus’ 110 degrees). Accelerometer and gyroscope sensors are built into the head-mounted unit as well as PlayStation Camera head orientation and movement, so as your head rotates, the image of the virtual world rotates intuitively in real-time, says Sony.

Project Morpheus also features Sony’s new 3D audio technology, which recreates stereoscopic sounds in all directions and changes in real-time depending on your head orientation.

Project Morpheus vs. Oculus Rift

But is it really better than the Oculus? Trusted Reviews compared the two to find out which one represents the future of virtual-reality gaming.

Its conclusion: “It’s too early to tell which of these is better. Morpheus’s support potential is truly exciting, but its use of an LCD screen is a little worrying, judging by our previous experience. And in its prototype form, the lesser field of view of the Morpheus means it may not have quite the jaw-dropping visual impact of the Crystal Cove edition of Oculus Rift. However, both of these gadgets are soaring to the top of our ‘most wanted’ list.”

Gizmo lust

Gizmodo was more enthusiastic about Project Morpheus. “Sony’s got the muscle to make Morpheus a reality; while the Oculus Rift is popular, it’s also relatively niche, and has run low on components recently. If Sony sees enough interest in Morpheus, it would be able to scale up the project relatively quickly. And combined with PlayStation Move and the PlayStation Camera, it could create a potent virtual environment.”

Of course, it’s also all about the games, and Gizmodo notes that Sony’s already got a handful of software partners lined up — including Autodesk, Epic Games, and Unity.

KurzweilAI plans to get its hands (and head) on one of the early production models and will report back asap. Strictly for editorial analysis. No, really.