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Sony Reveals VR Initiative For PS4, Calls It "Project Morpheus"

As expected, Sony has lifted the lid on their new virtual reality technology for the PlayStation 4.

Well, kinda.

During a special Game Developers Conference presentation, Sony revealed Project Morpheus, which is the PS4's VR initiative that will "push the game industry forward."

The current build is "by no means the final prototype," Sony said, and they'll continue to improve the device as time goes on. Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida added that "nothing elevates the level of immersion better than VR," and Dr. Richard Marks (part of Sony's R&D department) added that VR will eventually become the "preferred medium." First up will be a demo that lets the player feel like they're standing on the surface of Mars; Sony teamed up with NASA for it.

Marks made it clear that if Project Morpheus is to get off the ground, it needs to be accessible. Basically, it can't be over-complicated or uncomfortable. And yes, it will obviously compete with Oculus Rift, so we'll have to see how that new rivalry unfolds...

Me, I'll never do VR. But I'm sure it's the wave of the future.

Tags: ps4 virtual reality, sony, ps4 vr, project morpheus

3/18/2014 9:22:42 PM Ben Dutka

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Comments (39 posts)

LimitedVertigo
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:31:13 PM
Reply

Why won't you do VR? I don't expect it to change the way I play AAA titles but it's definitely an interesting way of trying out games.

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:45:23 PM

No chance. It would give me a migraine in minutes, and I'm fairly convinced it will result in a myriad of health/mental problems we've never seen before.

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wiiplay
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:57:34 PM

Ben, it'll just make existing mental problems more apparent... Which makes me fear for 99% of gamers everywhere. (99 problems and VR ain't one)

Seriously though, I wouldn't rule this out just yet. It's mostly the unnatural motion that makes people feel sick. If Sony manages to reduce latency, and make everything feel more natural, you shouldnt have any problems with this device.
So yeah, don't knock it till you try it. It could be good! :)

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 12:20:53 AM

I don't believe that virtual reality can't cause problems in otherwise healthy individuals. In fact, I'm absolutely certain that it can and will.

That's where we're going to differ.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 2:07:56 AM

Ben, You really believe that VR glasses can make healthy people mentally ill though you don't think gaming can do the same?

That's... Kinda odd. Do you think the same about 3D in the movies too? Is it the 3D effect in itself, or the immersion into the gaming world you base your theory on?


Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2014 2:11:34 AM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 10:55:48 AM

I didn't say it would make people "mentally ill." Video games don't make people "mentally ill," either, but they have an effect. I know they do. And if video games without VR have an effect, VR will only intensify whatever those effects may be for any given individual.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 1:21:05 PM

Well if you didn't say that it's unclear to me what you mean with "it will result in a myriad of health/mental problems".

But I agree the experience will be more intense, obviously it will, that's what's so exciting about it. However healthy individuals should still be perfectly able to separate fiction from reality and not suffer mental problems from it.

But yeah - the addictiveness will probably rise a bar or two for those who already are in the danger zone. Still, I think it is to overreact to be too overly sceptic about this for health and mental reasons.

Last edited by Beamboom on 3/19/2014 1:49:11 PM

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matt99
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 1:51:27 PM

Ben, I'm genuinely curious here, what do you think the health problems will be? I can see some people not reacting well and getting migraines as you said, just like with 3D glasses but not everyone experiences those effects. What do you think is the difference?

Edit: this is undoubtedly a complex issue, maybe you could do an editorial in the near future to explain it?

Last edited by matt99 on 3/19/2014 1:52:45 PM

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Ben Dutka PSXE [Administrator]
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 4:49:31 PM

Watching 3D movies is not the same as interacting with 3D. It just isn't. How the brain operates is incredibly complex and I can't pretend to know everything about it, but I DO know that if you mess with our perception and sensation enough, the brain can easily become confused.

For instance, studies have revealed that those who play video games for an extended period of time might actually start to "see" things in their immediate surroundings that reflect what they've been focused on for so many hours. Call it a "burn-in" effect of sorts. It began way back when when people jokingly said they were seeing tiles everywhere after playing "Tetris" for a long time. This is starting to happen on a more complex level.

If that's only happening with what we see, and all our other sensations are still firmly rooted in reality, what will happen when we start targeting those other sensations with artificial stimuli?

That's only one concern. Others include the role VR could play in further distancing our youth from each other. Schools all over the country are canceling dances because, as on principle sadly put it, "they'd obviously rather stay home and text." The social development of teens is absolutely atrocious and appalling these days; they have no charisma, no charm, and in many cases, no visible personality. This is the result of the "tech" age, I have no doubt.

To further entrench them in that is just a bad idea. Wrong direction, my friends. Wrong direction.

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VampDeLeon
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 1:29:28 PM

Funnily Ben, you just described some of the plot twists in MGS2 with the risk of mistaking virtual with real reality.

It would be nice to see this work well and not be another passing fad, but the dangers on motion-sickness.. I already get nautious when the camera follows a character falling to their death. :p

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matt99
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 10:27:34 PM

I get what you're saying about the medical implications and stuff, but I must say you are insultingly wrong about teens having no visible personality. What are you basing this off of? I've only just come out of my teens and I can tell you it's no different from adults, some people have vibrant personalities some don't. Sure the way teens socialize has changed but that doesn't mean it's worse, and believe it or not the vast majority of teens would rather socialize in person than online.

As for the principal describing why they don't have dances, do you not think it might have something to do with all the safety regulations nowadays making dances boring as hell. Because those kids aren't just sitting at home texting, they're going out somewhere that isn't boring.

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Danny007
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:37:54 PM
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Am I the only one who has no clue what will happen when I put that thing on my head?

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wiiplay
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:44:02 PM

Dont worry, Sword Art Online is fictional... for now.

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MeXiCaNFiGhTe12
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:44:19 PM

Just imagine Outlast with this and some serious headphones lmao

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wiiplay
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:57:04 PM

Outla.... No, simply imagining that is too much for me, let alone actually playing with this level of immersion.

Personally, I want to give a racing game a shot with VR technology. Either that, or some form of first person adventure game.. Not necessarily a shooter, but something like Uncharted or Tomb Raider. Basically something with a jaw-dropingly gorgeous environment.

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Advent Child
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 3:21:24 AM

But Sword Art Online is exactly the type of VR I want. Give me a DotHack World people!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:49:06 PM
Reply

I'll never be able to afford it, but if it worked with Fallout 4 I'd like to have it somehow.

Wouldn't mind trying that Mars demo. "Mars B*tches!"

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wiiplay
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 10:58:58 PM

John Madden? Wait, no. That was the moon.

I'm sure we'll think of something, though!

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WorldEndsWithMe
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:26:38 PM

Chappelle's Show

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slow and smart
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 11:29:12 AM

@World,me too.
fallout 4 and this vr for ps4 will probably both take some years?who knows maybe your[and mine] wish comes true

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Delsin Rowe
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:00:39 PM
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I'll buy it if it's reasonably priced.

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Axe99
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:30:25 PM
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Intriguing - I think Sony will want it to be fairly cheap (for a VR headset), or it'll never get the install base to drive software development, but I guess we'll hear about that down the track. It's definitely eyebrow-raising.

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cLoudou
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 @ 11:43:34 PM
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Gimme the red pill nao!

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pavlovic
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 12:44:35 AM
Reply

Sound like it's gonna be as successful as 3D gaming and PSMove.

Yei?

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kraygen
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 1:10:19 AM
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Sounds very niche, can't help but feel it's going to be too expensive for the majority.

Personally I'm waiting for my holodeck.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 2:12:06 AM
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I'm so totally ready to ditch my flatscreen for this.

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Advent Child
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 3:22:59 AM
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I actually have trouble with not being able to sit close enough to the tv. So I wouldn't mind something I could wear on my head.

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___________
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 5:05:12 AM
Reply

really wondering what the point of this was.
absolutely no video footage permitted, and $ony say they MIGHT put up some photos of the presentation tomorrow but not the whole thing.
seriously?
hey lets announce a new device that has everyone wetting their pants, but restrict that news to anyone in the room so the rest of the worlds left in the dark!
WTF!?
makes you think its still really early days for it and it wont be out for a long, long time.
so why announce it then?
just to be on the me too train?
they did not even mention any games in development for it, no mention of driveclub which is aparently suppose to support it.
only game they mentioned was a sony london tech demo, so not a game, or very specific parts of the recent thief reboot.
so, seriously, whats the point of announcing a device if your going to strongly going to restrict media about it, and even announce so little info on it?
ferrari turn up to the geneva motor show heres our new car, and thats it goodnight see you later.
great, whats the point of revealing it if your not going to reveal information about it!?
had everyone so excited for today and all they gave us was a few photos of the prototype device!
knew this was going to be so disappointing!

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 5:45:26 AM

They obviously announced it due to the immense focus the world has on Oculus Rift right now just to say that they too will deliver a similar solution for their platform. It's pretty important to get establised in the market that their new platform will feature what the new generation gaming has to offer.
Isn't that obvious?

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___________
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 8:29:19 AM

and isent that what i said?
to get on the me too train.

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Simcoe
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 10:51:26 AM

I think the fact that they made this announcement at the Game Developers Conference shows that they aren't specifically targeting consumers...yet. Their focus is obviously on developers and publishers, both major and smaller developers, especially those that have already been playing around with the Oculus Rift.

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Beamboom
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 1:18:10 PM

... It's you who ask, "really wondering what the point of this was", underline.

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___________
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 8:46:09 AM

yes and if you read the rest of the post, instead of just parts you want, you will see i answered that and the actual question is whats the point of announcing something without actually showing something off and explaining the specs.
whole point of announcing it at GDC was to get developers interest, but just saying hey this exists and releasing no more info than that is hardly going to get devs interest!

i point you to mantel.
hell go watch the video interview between tim sweeny, jonah anderson, and john carmack, at the nvidia event last year.
all 3 were there to promote nvidias new Gsync monitors, but anderson decided to throw in a short punch at nvidia and discuss mantel.
and tims response to him was very short and skeptical, basically asking why would you waste your time on mantel when PC already has a relatively decent API and fits quite well into other things, basic gist was skepticism towards it because he did not properly understand it.
developers are not going to go out of their way to understand something they have enough sh*t on their plate as it is, you gotta come to them not the other way around!
really thought $ony would of understood this by now!

its a bit of a spit in the face to their fans as well.
this things been rumoured for so freaking long, so many leaks, and they FINALLY come out with it but just admitting its existence and thats really about it!
just seems a bit of a spit in the face to the people who have been patiently waiting for details on it.
its like if they finally come out and re announce TLG, but only admit its coming to ps4, and thats it no trailers, no gameplay, no screenshots, no nothing!
how would you react?
really starting to get sick of announcements of just announcements far too many developers and companies these days are just announcing things for the sake of it.
even M$ last year at E3, ok they announced halo to get people excited and buy a xbox one at launch, but there not showing anything on the game till E3 this year a full year later, so its a bit stupid to announce something and show absolutely jack for a full year!
same goes for uncharted, yea its nice to know its coming, but whats the point of announcing something if you are not going to show anything?
every man and his dog knew uncharted was coming to ps4, that was common sense, so what did the reveal achieve?
people already knew ND was working on it for ps4, so what did the teaser trailer achieve?


Last edited by ___________ on 3/20/2014 8:54:17 AM

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Beamboom
Thursday, March 20, 2014 @ 10:42:26 AM

You are right, I only read your introduction, and just assumed the rest of the post would be an endless rant based on the intro.
Dude, I'm sorry but you write so intense so you really need to trim your posts. I'm pretty sure you'd get your point across with only 1/10th of text if you avoid redundant questions and andectorial essays.

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slow and smart
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 11:25:44 AM
Reply

Í really would like a good VR for the ps4,of course Quality/Price is important,and it will take probably some time before you actually can buy this stuf,can't wait!

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trumpetmon65
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 11:36:24 AM
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I think it's going to be the next flop, like 3d tv's. I do hope it's awesome though.

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Knightzane
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 @ 6:11:26 PM
Reply

I'll be taking the blue pill, thanks.

Also, gotta agree with Ben here. Anyone watch the lawnmower man? I watched it recently and seriously seems like a possibility. Not the entire dumb thing, but as in virtual stuff causing mirgranes and the like. I'd never use this thing either.

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richfiles
Sunday, March 23, 2014 @ 3:19:23 PM
Reply

I've been hoping for usable 3D since the days of red/blue wireframe fly throughs of the grand canyon on a 386 with DOS 6. I had a Victormaxx for my SNES. I'v been wanting this so bad, for so long!

I think the tech may have finally caught up. Now it's a matter of price.

I want my next venture into the wasteland to be accompanied by the visuals of fully immersive VR and audio of some lively 1940s swing and jazz, and the ricochet of rounds bouncing off the ruined girder behind my head! :)

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monkeypunch
Wednesday, March 26, 2014 @ 4:14:07 AM
Reply

Did anyone just read Facebook bought Oculus Rift? That makes this even more appealing. Any dates on when it will be available?

Last edited by monkeypunch on 3/26/2014 4:15:40 AM

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