Monday Meditation: Why Morpheus VR Is Important For Sony
A day late perhaps, but the show must go on.
When I learned about Sony's new Morpheus VR initiative my first thoughts were that it would be pretty cool to test out, could be great for immersive games like Fallout and Elder Scrolls, but there's about a zero chance I'd ever buy one.
For one thing it's going to be expensive, for another it may not sit well with my general constitution. I know 3D gets to me after awhile and even prolonged exposure to awesome graphics can give me headaches so there's no telling what this fantastical new fangled gadget would do after three or four hours of gaming.
That's all fine with me though, even if it makes a pretty big splash I'm fairly certain where this is going and what the ultimate purpose of it is.
Some might consider the Playstation Move and subsequent push for 3D gaming to ultimately be failures. We aren't supplanting our buttons with twitches and the 3D TV craze is pretty well over with. Was all that effort a waste? I don't think so, and the Morpheus tech is falling into the same trend as these former initiatives and so I thought it worth addressing.
The way I see it is that once again people are talking about something new, something of the future, and they are getting excited about it. As most know it actually started with the buzz surrounding the Oculus Rift VR headset, which has its own storied history. I think it was smart of Sony to seize on this for the simple reason that they need to continue to present to the world the face of a company that is forward-looking.
It's nice for people of the current techological age (see: people younger than myself) to have their social functions all in the system, and to be able to interact with voice and camera cues, but there needs to be something special showing up at all of the conventions and tech shows for the PS4 and other Sony electronics. In the wake of revelations that Xbox One won't be catching up to PS4 on its own there is renewed interest in what cloud computing will be able to do for the Xbox One experience. That's great but “cloud computing” is a nebulous concept for most. Virtual Reality is not. Virtual Reality is something geeks have dreamed of since they could make films.
It almost doesn't matter that it will be too expensive for most gamers, that it will likely only work with specific titles, that it could make you ill, or that it may ultimately wind up under the heading “peripheral experiment.” What matters is that Sony has a cutting edge piece of tech on the horizon that gamers don't just dream about but can put on their head and experience. It's something that's going to get E3 time and attention.
So long as Sony holds something amazing and tangible at arms length, the masses will keep coming back for more. I think in that sense Morpheus serves its purpose already.
4/6/2014 David D. Nelson