Sony forays into virtual reality space with Project Morpheus for PS4

By Nicel Jane Avellana

Mar 19, 2014 09:04 AM EDT

Sony is coming up with a virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4, TechCrunch reported.

Dubbing the headset "Project Morpheus," Sony Computer Entertainment President of Worldwide Studios Shuhei Yoshida said this was not a new development. They have been working on prototypes of the virtual reality device since they began developing PlayStation Move five years ago. In fact, they formed a virtual reality-focused internal group in 2010, the report said.

VentureBeat quoted Yoshida, who made the announcement at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, as saying, "Virtual reality may well shape the future of video games." He added that the company's first-party studios, like Sony's London studio, will be creating games for the virtual reality device. Yoshida added, "I'm expecting more studios to work on something good [as more kits come out for development]. We decided on the name last week."

Although Yoshida unveiled a prototype together with the announcement, he said the hardware is not yet the final deal. However, the prototype features a 1080 p HD display, 1000Hz motion detection and is linked to the PS4 by a wire measuring 5 meters. It also features positional or rotational head tracking, with the tracking taken care of by the same camera that monitors controllers of the PS4 Move. The current development kit only supports a single headset at a time but it works for gamers that wear glasses. Because of its "open air" design, lenses don't fog up but it still remains to be seen if they can avoid light from leaking in, the report said.

With the announcement Sony is now rivaling Oculus in the virtual reality space. Oculus, the company that revived the interest of thousands of developers in the virtual reality space again, was able to secure $2.4 million on Kickstarter for its Rift VR headset that is compatible with PCs. Since that successful crowdfunding effort, Oculus was able to gather $75 million more in successive fundraising efforts, VentureBeat reported.

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