Sony unveils PS4 virtual reality headset Morpheus

Morpheus has 1080p resolution VR for more immersive game play

Sony Computer Entertainment America revealed a prototype virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 called Project Morpheus at the Game Developers Conference 2014  in San Francisco.

Sony Computer Entertainment America revealed a prototype virtual reality headset for the PlayStation 4 called Project Morpheus at the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco.

Sony has unveiled a virtual reality headset for its PlayStation 4 game console with a prototype called Project Morpheus.

Shuhei Yoshida, president of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios, revealed the device Tuesday at the ongoing Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

The project is still in the development stage, but would be competition to VR devices such as the Oculus Rift VR headset.

"This new technology will deliver a sense of presence, where you as the player actually feel like you're inside the game and your emotions feel that much more real," Yoshida wrote on the PlayStation blog.

The prototype for Project Morpheus is the culmination of over three years of work and will serve as the first development kit for PS4 developers that are as enthusiastic about the new medium, he said.

While Sony has not announced a possible launch date or price for the device, it already has an HD personal viewer, the HMZ-T3W, which is priced at US$999.

The electronics giant has revealed some hardware details of Morpheus, which will consist of a head-mounted unit and a processor unit. The head unit will have a 5-inch LCD panel display with a field of view of 90 degrees and a resolution of 1080p.

It also features an accelerometer, gyroscope, HDMI (high-definition multimedia interface) and USB connectors, and 3D sound that changes what the player hears depending on head direction.

"Players can use Morpheus with a PS4 camera and PS Move controller for a deeper, more full experience," a spokesman at Sony's Tokyo headquarters said.

The PS camera works with the headset to track its motion and recreate the player's perspective inside the game, while the Dualshock 4 and PlayStation Move controllers help recreate the player's hands as virtual reality hands inside the viewing field. That way, a player can see his or her hands holding in-game objects such as swords.

An SDK (software development kit) for Morpheus is under development, Sony said in a release, adding the prototype is available for player demos at the Game Developers Conference, which wraps up March 21.

The PS4 had sold over 6 million units globally as of March 2, according to the company.

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Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
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