Tell Us Dammit: Will Sony's Project Morpheus Be A Success?

I haven't seen or tried Sony's Project Morpheus yet and, unless you're heading to the Moscone Centre in San Francisco today for GDC, most likely you haven't tried it either. But what's your gut instinct at this point. Will Sony's attempt at Virtual Reality be successful?

I'm having a hard time with this one. Sony has a bad track record with peripherals, but this is VR and when people see this they will be blown away. If Sony makes this accessible and relatively cheap, this could take over the world.

I'm actually seeing this whole thing in extremes. It's a big risk and it'll either pay off massively, or fail spectacularly.

What are your thoughts?


Comments

    If it doesn't cost too much and it has really good support with games, then yes.

    I thought the PSMove had great potential until it ended up with nothing but minigame compilations, so if Morpheus has nothing but Virtual Virtual Skeeball then it could go the same way.

    It would be nice if it was automatically compatible with all games, even non-"virtual reality" games. Imagine playing some 3rd person game like Dark Souls where you could just take in the entire environment with the headset but play the game like normal.

    It's probably not for me - looks uncomfortable (I realize it's just a prototype, but unless they get it down to the size of a pair of sunglasses then I'll still probably find it uncomfortable), needing both USB and HDMI connections mean there will be 2 or 3 cables hanging out of it back to the console (will you get tangled up if you try turning around 360 degrees?), and I'm sure I'll have issues with motion sickness / dizziness from it.

    Cool tech, though - if they make it cheap enough and with enough really good games to make it worthwhile it will probably at least find a decent sized niche even if it doesn't turn into a huge mass market thing. I just don't know if the general public are as keen to have something like this hanging off their heads for an extended period of time - also a question of whether kids will be able to use it which could limit the audience a fair bit if they can't.

      There is only one cable to the headset, there is a control box that sits next to the console that you plug everything into.

    If Mirror's Edge 2 is developed alongside it, the whole thing will be a massive goddamn success. If not, it'll tank.

    This is literally the only factor that matters.

    There will have to be plenty of slow paced open world FP games like Fallout or Skyrim. You would just get headaches and motion sickness playing COD or Mirror's Edge

    If it could replace your TV even if its not motion controlled it could be awesome, biggest problem with LANs etc these days is having to cart 40" flatscreen around.

      Very good point, we used WiFi at the last Lan and not needing a screen would make it even easier....

      now if we only had some Lan games other than Cod.

        You had 8 people on a 100mbs connection didnt you? what sorta pings were you guys getting? I'm on 100mbs cable at the moment, fibre being installed in my street as we speak, think 200mbs is the max we can get on that.

          68-69ms pings and we were all connecting via WiFi.....they say it was dual band or something, there were two points to connect too on the WiFi I think we had 4 on each. ( I don't really understand that tech)

          My player k/d was 2.2 after the Lan and now its like 0.8 :|

          the two teams had to start matches at the same time and we kept backing out till we got paired up ( got it after a few go's everytime :D )

            would def be keen to try something like that, only problem I have is going from 46" LED with 7.1 surrounds to 23" LCD with built in speakers haha.

              I get that feeling, I have a 64" samsung and matching home theatre and my Lan screen is only 24" but I do take my turtle beach headset otherwise to much noise when everyones screens are blaring.

    I'm more worried about too many VR headsets with different specs crowding the market and cutting down any chance they had to properly build an install-base just as they are trying to get started.

    We could have had one really good headset that PC, Xbox and Playstation could embrace, but instead we may end up wth a different headset for each platform with different requirements from developers as everyone tries to one-up eachother, and in the end it just becomes too hard for developers and consumers.

      Funny, because the Oculus creator has no interest in supporting consoles because he doesn't want to be locked into one spec. I guess he wants to progressively develop the Oculus, i.e.: planned obsolesence.

      At least with the Morpheus someone is willing to say "here, work to THIS spec". I don't like VR, I don't want VR, but if it's going to take off it's probably get a better chance if it's locked to a console spec so people have time to use the tech. That's going to be way more effective than getting a thousand Let's Play channels to ride virtual rollercoasters or piss their pants in Amnesia/Outlast/Slender.

        Or the VR headset hardware can advise the system what its resolution/FoV/warp coeffs/etc are (a la EDID), and the game can automatically adapt. That's what the Oculus SDK does, so that any game using that SDK should work with any Oculus hardware, or compatible.

        Ultimately we'll end up with a standardised API + driver system, e.g. OpenVR, but until then games will probably have to support the 2 or 3 vendors manually (should be minor differences compared to the work needed for VR itself).

          I honestly understood none of that so I'm going to assume you know what you're talking about.

            The game could ask the VR headset what its specs are, and render itself to suit. And one day, this could be a standard thing that works with headsets from all vendors, just like monitors.

      I think there are currently, what, two? main contenders. The Sony one and the Rift, and that is about it really. Those markets are nicely segmented too, so I think this is a good thing.
      Developers can get behind the PS4 kit as it is far easier to develop for a static platform. This leaves the rift to be able to take advantage of the graphics fidelity of newer cards for the PC market. I can see owning both, really.

    Apparently it's pretty good but not as good as the Oculus, which I already think will fail to achieve any actual significance as a consumer product.

      Yeah. People have had their hands on Rift kits for a while now and we're still not seeing anything really materialize beyond tech demos and exiting presentations. It's not just indy devs trying either. There are a lot of big dollars behind it from people trying to get in on the ground level of the next big thing. Some of the best talent in the business, with tons of cash behind them, and we're not seeing anything close to a Mario 64 of VR. I'm not even seeing a hypothetical game changer.
      I think once the newness wears off the feeling of immersion will fade and it'll be reduced to the same status as Guitar Hero guitars. Great at being itself but actually less practical than a Wii remote when it comes to 99% of games.

      Project Morpheus, like the Rift before it, appears to ignore the missing pieces of the VR puzzle and focus on just doing the things that we already knew worked but slightly better. At this rate VR will never be anything more than a perfect window into a world you can only interact with in one direction.

      [Edit: Not that I'm saying people shouldn't enjoy it. I'm a huge fan of new tech so I can totally understand enjoying it, I just don't see this going anywhere. To put that in context I'm the sort of guy who will talk your ear off about a slightly larger B button's impact on the future of gaming.]

      Last edited 20/03/14 12:11 pm

        If you had played Eve on the rift, I think it might change your mind.

        Get a game like X-Wing Vs Tie-Fighter, some driving games, and some new ideas, Wii-U-like with multiplayer having the VR be the separate, 'secret' screen and you could have a hit.

        Even something like the 'Book of Spells' wonderbook stuff suddenly becomes way more interesting in VR rather than disconnected to the TV.

        It will probably always be something of a niche, but the experience with the Rift2 was so frigging amazing, that anyone that plays with a PS4 headset is going to want one I think.

        I disagree on the Guitar Hero point you've made there. The guitar can only do a very specific thing, play Guitar Hero games, where as the Rift is usable with many, many different games.

        And on the note of gimmicky, it is a bit. But games like Euro Truck Simulator 2 and War Thunder are so much better with a Rift. I played War Thunder with just a standard monitor and was pretty average, got the Rift and instantly I could get a full 360 degree view of my plane quicker than anyone else in the match just with the tilt of my head.

    Totally going to come down to games supporting it. Can easily go the way of an abundance of shovelware, but if there's good titles at the right times like I hope I think it has a great chance.

    I doubt this or anything like this is really going to take off to be honest.

    Hardware looks good, I woul prefer an oled or maybe cled if the pixel switching time is good. The main problem so far (if you can even call it that) is the software it seems.

    Better tracking algorithms and such will cone as development continues.

    I predict launch holiday 2015, US $299 for just the headset and cable box thing. $369 for a complete bundle, move wands, camera.
    And free software demos and 1 free to play game (like Drive Club PS+ edition).

    I'd rather one of these for console

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/woodenshark/lightpack-ambient-backlight-for-your-displays

    It'll go well.

    It does offer some things beyond the Rift right now, and Sony has a big enough name, clout, studio control, and manufacturing process to get this out there in a big way.

    Refinements in the prototype will increase FOV, move to OLED, and make it wireless.

    This and the Rift won't be in competition due to different platforms, but if Sony does make PC drivers for this, it'll go even better.

    Needs a killer app like Gran Turismo. In my experience it's only really good (brilliant) for racing and flight games/sims. Not convinced about it's use in FPS or anything else.

    It's a niche product more suited more to the enthusiast crowd which is why I see the Rift being more successful.

    Ironically I could see something like this working well with Kinect!

    Also I agree that Sony peripherals have had a bad run but that usually because Sony is copying someone else's innovation - there's a good chance they'll be the first to market with this and that Occulis will look like the next Virtual Boy (actually I rate their chance of success as better than OR because the console market doesn't have the fragmentation of the PC market)

      Which Sony peripherals are 'copying some else's innovation'?

        Well, there's the obvious Morpheus/Rift comparison. Then there's the PS3's Move controller which is comparable to the WiiMote/Nunchuk,

    If it was coming out this year, and was under $500 then I would give it a definite yes.
    They are going about it the right way, writing software that is all about the immersion and new control mechanism, not just porting existing games.
    Using the VR screen like the WiiU screen, to allow multiplayer fun is a brilliant idea, and gets away from the isolation, single player nature of nearly every VR experience so far.

    With it not coming for at least a full year, and no price, it is too hard to say. The rift should be out in time for Xmas, it may just help Sony though, by making VR more 'in the news'.

    Be interesting to see if MS is interested in this space or not.

    I'm on the fence about its potential success rate but utterly sold in the case of the product itself.
    Sony have tried leveraging their console's technical superiority to provide a unique experience before - I'm looking at the 3D push late in the PS3's lifespan - and where I think this differs is that you needed to restructure your entire living room setup to adopt that tech, whereas this is an independent unit which you plug in, put on, and enjoy.
    I think the right marketing and bundling could differentiate PS4 from its competitors in a big bad way, as well. Take a neutral individual, show them the capabilities of the 3 main competitors, and chances are that Sony will have the major differentiating factor in its ability to display in VR. So this whole thing could just be one big marketing ploy to further undermine the Xbox One... I doubt it, by the way, but the point remains.
    Tl:dr - I don't know whether it'll be a mainstream success or not, but I'm sure as hell buying one. Just make sure it's properly supported software-wise and peripheral-wise. It's all or nothing with this one, Sony.

    At the moment, no. I could wrong but it seems like a niche market for this and won't sell as well as they hope.

    Price will be the biggest hurdle, but then perhaps the success of the device might be more prominent in other areas and gaming not being the biggest use of such a device.

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