Sony setting up Project Morpheus game studio

The studio in northwest England is being set up ahead of the headset's launch

The latest version of Sony's Project Morpheus gaming headset sports a 5.7-inch, 1920 x 1080 OLED display that provides a 100-degree field of view, designed for a more immersive experience.

The latest version of Sony's Project Morpheus gaming headset sports a 5.7-inch, 1920 x 1080 OLED display that provides a 100-degree field of view, designed for a more immersive experience.

Sony has confirmed it is setting up a video game development studio focused on Project Morpheus, the PlayStation 4 virtual reality headset.

The studio is being established in the northwest of England, and Sony has begun hiring developers.

Ads for designers and programmers recently posted on the PlayStation website for the U.K. suggest at least seven positions are open. The ads were spotted by a user on gaming forum NeoGAF.

"The creation of this studio allows us to build a small but highly experienced team who can utilize their skills to showcase this exciting new immersive technology," said Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) spokesman Sousuke Kamei via email.

The Morpheus studio is still in the early planning phase, Kamei said. He did not provide any details, but said there is no relation between the planned facility and SCE Studio Liverpool, which turned out PlayStation editions of the popular racing game Wipeout before it was shuttered in 2012.

The Morpheus headset is supposed to be released in the first half of next year, but pricing and availability haven't been announced. The latest prototype, shown off at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in March, was upgraded with a better screen, more tracking LEDs and a quick-release button.

It sports a 5.7-inch, 1920 x 1080 OLED display that provides a 100-degree field of view, designed for a more immersive experience. The screen is also faster, rendering graphics at 120 images per second, double the speed of the previous prototype. Developers can still render their games in 60 frames per second (fps), but the headset is able to output them at 120 fps.

The renewed push to develop first-party games for Morpheus comes after the announcement of the HoloLens 3D gaming headset by Microsoft, Sony's rival in gaming consoles. Sony also faces gaming headset competition from Oculus Rift, Samsung's Gear VR and the HTC Vive.

Tim Hornyak covers Japan and emerging technologies for The IDG News Service. Follow Tim on Twitter at @robotopia.

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