Sony announced a new virtual reality headset at the Game Development Conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, putting it in direct competition with crowdsourced favorite Oculus Rift. The sleek, futuristic device is known for now as "Project Morpheus."
The company unveiled the device, still in prototype form, at a press conference. It's clear from the pictures of earlier versions, which had Sony's Move motion-tracking controller clunkily attached, that the project has come a long way. That said, it looks like the Move, initially a flop, will be getting a second life as a VR controller.
"Project Morpheus" resembles other head-mounted displays in that it has a large black front, underneath which is concealed the 1080p display. But the bright LEDs around the edge and white plastic helmet portion set it apart, making it look more like a prop from a science fiction movie than a developer preview of a consumer product. The device is wired, and will work on the PlayStation 3 and 4, and should fit over glasses as well.
It's not the first such headset created by Sony; other wearable displays have been put out over the last years, though none have seen any serious adoption due to shortcomings in specs and ergonomics — to say nothing of the fact that even now the market for VR headsets is miniscule.
Sony and Oculus both hope that will change soon, however: Both devices will soon be in the hands of the developers attending GDC, and the next year or two should bring the first games designed for this kind of system.