Project Morpheus to launch during first half of 2016, new prototype revealed

New prototype has OLED display, 120Hz refresh rate.

Project Morpheus

After revealing its Project Morpheus prototype virtual reality headset at the Game Developers Conference last year, Sony returned at this year’s event to reveal the latest prototype, which Sony’s Shuhei Yoshida says is “close to a consumer product,” as well as a planned “first half of 2016” release date.

Key changes to the new prototype include:

  • OLED display: In exchange for the 5 inch LCD, the new Morpheus VR headset is equipped with a 5.7 inch 1920 X RGB X 1080 resolution OLED display. This new screen expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removing motion blur.
  • 120hz refresh rate: The previous refresh rate spec has been doubled for this new prototype, which means games for Morpheus can be rendered at 120fps. When combined with the OLED display’s high refresh rate and the power of PS4, Morpheus is able to output amazingly smooth visuals.
  • Super low latency: We know how critical low latency is to delivering a great VR experience, and we’ve reduced latency to less than 18ms, about half of what the first Morpheus prototype had. Low latency is critical to deliver a sense of presence, at the same time making the VR experience comfortable to players.
  • More accurate tracking: To make positional tracking more precise, we’ve added three LEDs to the headset – one on the front and two on the side – for a total of nine LEDs to support robust 360 degree tracking.
  • User-friendly design: We’ve made the Morpheus VR headset easier to put on and take off, with a single band design and quick release button. The headband supports the weight of the unit on the top of your head, so there is no pressure on your face. Other components have also been adjusted and configured to make the headset lighter, so that players do not find the headset cumbersome or uncomfortable to use.

Project Morpheus Project Morpheus

Sony has four demos at GDC showcasing the new prototype. They are:

  • London Heist (SCE London Studio) – “This demo, showing in London’s underworld, lets you experience presence of another character.” You use the PlayStation Move controller to navigate. The demo features 3D audio.
  • The Deep (SCE) – The previously shown demo, now updated for Project Morpheus’ new capabilities, as well as with new sea creatures.
  • The Toybox (SCE) – A demo that lets you play with teh little white robots from PlayStation 4’s The Room.
  • Magic Controller (SCE) – “Shows how the controller is tracked in VR and can be used for all sorts of gadgets within the game. This demo runs natively at 120FPS, so make sure you check it out.”

Yoshida adds that development kits have been shipping globally since Morpheus’ reveal last year, and that more games and details will be shown at E3.

Watch a video showcasing the new prototype below. View some images at the gallery.

Thanks, Road to VR and Ars Technica.

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