In the days since the Project Morpheus announcement, the internet has been abuzz with excitement. Sony’s new VR helmet for the PS4 is receiving substantial mainstream coverage and a surprising amount of praise from the gaming and technology community. Sony is knocking it out of the park with Project Morpheus, and we’re all going to benefit from it.
Sony is running live demos of Project Morpheus at GDC (Game Developers Conference) this week, and our sister site IGN was lucky enough to get some hands-on time with the prototype. On the whole, this early model is definitely delivering on the promise of VR. Sure, there is still a bit of motion blur introduced during quick head movements, but everything else seems solid as a rock. The headset is comfortable, the demo software performed well, the stereoscopic effect is seamless, and the head-tracking even works facing away from the camera. Even after months of experience with the Oculus Rift, the IGN staff walked away very impressed with Morpheus.
The acclaim reaches far and wide, and even die-hard Oculus fans are pleased with Sony’s hardware. Polygon’s Ben Kuchera is a noted Oculus Rift enthusiast, and he says that Sony is “onto something special” with Project Morpheus. From fan sites to international news outlets, the tone is almost exclusively positive. It’s possible that this exuberance is due to the PS4′s halo effect, but we won’t know if Sony has actually caught lightning in a bottle until consumers have to lay down cash for this peripheral.
So, what about all the hard work the Oculus Rift team has put in? Is the Rift going to be left by the wayside in favor of the Sony juggernaut? Fear not! Project Morpheus is undoubtedly a boon for the Oculus Rift. First of all, Sony’s headset is only intended to work with the PS4. PC gamers will need a headset of their very own, and the Oculus Rift is primed to play that role. Secondly, a rising tide lifts all boats. Having the Sony marketing team get the word out to the masses about modern VR gaming is exactly what the Oculus Rift team needs. Sony’s announcement helps to legitimize VR gaming in a big way, and that is good for us all.
It’s still early days for VR, but it seems like it’s an idea whose time has come. It’s safe to assume that both Microsoft and Nintendo are feverishly researching their own VR solutions, and the Oculus Rift team is most assuredly interested in partnering with a major company to bring the Rift to the living room. Virtual reality is quickly gaining mindshare, and it’s only a matter of time before it’s on the shelves of every major retailer.