Virtual reality looks like the next big thing for PC gaming. Consoles will probably get in on the action, too, and the PlayStation 4 may be the first among them. Sony has revealed Project Morpheus, a virtual reality headset designed for its latest game console. The product is still in development, but a prototype is being demoed at the Game Developers Conference this week. Here it is:
The prototype is built around a 5" screen with a 1080p display resolution that offers 960x1080 per eye. There's no word on the refresh rate of the display, but the head tracking system has a 1000Hz sampling rate. Inertial sensors in the headset combine with the PlayStation Camera to track the user's position and orientation in real time. The PlayStation Move motion controller is also integrated into the experience.
3D audio is part of the package, as well. Sony has developed proprietary technology that promises "true spatial sound." This surround tech spreads sounds over both the horizontal and vertical planes, and it appears to involve virtualization rather than multiple speakers. Users will reportedly be able to use their own headphones, which suggests the scheme works with standard stereo output.
Sony says it's working on an SDK for Project Morpheus. There's no official release date for that or the final product, but Thief and EVE Valkyrie are already working with the device. Both are part of the GDC demo. Cyril is roaming GDC this week, so he may be able to check out the demo and relay his impressions.