Announced Tuesday night at the Game Developers Conference 2014 in San Francisco, Sony's "Project Morpheus" is coming in the form of a two-piece, wired VR headset with a decidedly blue glow to match other parts of the PS4 line.
Sony shares were advancing 0.3% to $17.20 in premarket trading in New York.
The company said it's been working on its virtual reality system for more than three years and stressed that Morpheus is not just one headset. Sony officials made it known that they're working on a complete virtual platform for the PS4 and beyond, calling it "a medium, not a peripheral."
As for technical specifications, the current prototype displayed Tuesday consists of a head-mounted display with 1080p resolution and a 90-degree field of view. Accelerometer and gyroscopic sensors are built into the head-mounted unit as well as PlayStation Camera which accurately tracks head movements in real-time.
Currently, the prototype connects to the game console via HDMI and USB using a 5-meter long wire but plans are to go wireless in the future.
Project Morpheus also features a new 3D audio technology that re-creates stereoscopic sounds in all directions. Not just left, right, front and back but also above and below. Sony boasted that sounds players hear change in real-time depending on their head orientation creating a "highly realistic audio environment within an immersive 360-degree virtual world."
Sony Studios is reportedly also working on special content for the VR system with a handful of new titles currently under development.
Morpheus will have to compete with other virtual reality products when it is finally released. Oculus VR announced its Oculus Rift headset back in 2012, and a newly-refined version earlier this year. And, another company, Valve, is working on a VR prototype which can operate on Sony's PS4 platform as well as the Microsoft (MSFT) One game platform.
Sony didn't have an estimate when Project Morpheus might be released as a viable consumer product . The company said it "will continue development of Morpheus looking towards a future commercial launch."
-- Written by Gary Krakow in New York.
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