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Opened at: 16 May 2016 09:30:00
Sony’s new Project Morpheus VR headset shows you how deep the rabbit-hole goes
At a Game Developers Conference event (March 4th, 2015), Sony revealed more plans for the company's previously announced Project Morpheus VR headset, which will be coming in the first half of 2016.
While no prices or bundling details were announced, the device's improved specs were outlined by Sony Worldwide Studios president Shu Yoshida. Someone in the audience let out an audible "wow" when Yoshida started by revealing Morpheus' 120 Hz refresh rate and key display update. The screen is now an OLED display at 1920 x RGB x 1080, which Yoshida said means low persistence and removing motion blur from the old LCD. The device's screen is 5.7 inches, which is large enough for a 100 degree field of view. And the new design includes nine LED trackers to provide 360 degree tracking, according to Sony.
"With these specs achieved, we're one step closer to making VR a reality for games," Yoshida said. He went on to say that with the device "near final tech," there's finally a set of standards for developers to target.
Sony hinted that actual games for Morpheus would have to wait until E3. However, the company is allowing GDC press to spend some time with four new demos. There's "London Heist," meant to show off "advanced interactions with the virtual world through PS Move and 3D audio." An updated version of previous demo "The Deep" was meant to display improved graphics. "The Toybox" demonstrates that "VR is great for adorable, light-hearted content too," according to Yoshida (he explained it's a demo where you play with tiny robots). And the Sony executive wrapped up his explanations with "Magic Controller," which shows how "DualShock 4 can be used in VR and tracked by the camera." (That last title runs in 120 fps natively, according to Sony.)
Though Morpheus is currently the only publicly announced console-based virtual reality solution, it will launch amid a number of PC and mobile-based competitors. Oculus has yet to announce a specific date for a first consumer version of its Rift headset, but it's widely expected to have something ready to launch this year. Valve and HTC recently announced a partnership to get a competing, PC-based VR headset, the Re Vive, into consumers' hands sometime this year as well.
Ars is currently going hands-on with Project Morpheus at GDC. We'll update this report with more logistical information as it becomes available, and we'll share our initial impressions on the new device as soon as we can.