The Lawnmower Man was a film released in 1992 that had shown a unique vision of the future; life was dominated by virtual reality. However, this concept has not been showcased properly to date because of the high cost of the components that will be needed so this technology is regarded as prohibitively expensive. But, Sony Computer Entertainment made an announcement about its Project Morpheus on Tuesday, which is basically a virtual reality headset that will be compatible with the new video game console of the company, PlayStation 4. The headset has been design to fool the wearer and make them believe that they have become a part of a simulated 3D world. This means that it has the potential of bringing the science-fiction dreams of the 90s right into the consumer market.
The announcement was made at the Game Developers Conference 2014 that was held in Sans Francisco. The president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida stated that the next innovation from PlayStation is virtual reality and it will have a huge role in shaping the future of video gaming. He also added that since the creation of the first game, virtual reality has remained a highly coveted dream of game developers and creators because of what it can do for the games. He said that that VR had the ability of providing a lot more than just immersion as it also creates the feeling of being physically present in a different environment.
One of the creators of this project, Richard Marks said that he had been skeptic initially, but had shifted into complete belief after experiencing the technology firsthand. For the past three years, this project has been under development and is still not completed as it remains in prototype form. No mention has been made by Sony as far as the price point or launch date of the headset is concerned. It is unlikely that this product will be the first in its market because a PC-compatible VR technology, Oculus Rift, is slated for release in this year after it was announced in 2012.
Project Morpheus has a 5 inch LCD panel and a 1080p HD screen and this is packed into a Tron-style futuristic headset. A 90 degree field of view will be provided by the current prototype, which is a little behind the 110 degrees promised by Oculus Rift. However, this headset has full compatibility with the peripherals of the PlayStation 4 and will be able to track head movements by working in tandem with the PS4 camera. This will open up even greater possibilities for the PlayStation Eye, apart from fitness and dance games. The headset will also be compatible with the existing Dualshock and Move controllers, making it easier for people to play.
The current prototype made by the company connects with the PlayStation 4 via a cable, but it is the company’s plan to develop a wireless version as well. Furthermore, the headset is also compatible with glasses, good news for spectacled gamers.