Project Morpheus Made Me Cry - It's Not What You Think

At Sony’s E3 2015 showcase, I had a chance to test out Project Morpheus, Sony’s virtual reality headset peripheral for the PlayStation 4. Virtual reality has been a dominant presence at E3 this year and I was keen to give Morpheus a test ride. Unfortunately, my eyes did not agree with me.

The headset itself is surprisingly light and easily adjustable, fitting comfortably on my head and over my eyes after a quick fiddle around with it. The first game I tried was a cute little number designed for group play but only one player will be able to use the Project Morpheus headset while others have to use controllers.

Within the virtual reality of the game, I was made to sit stationary in a kid’s bedroom. I could interact with the little robot figures around me. This all had a very Toy Story feel to it, which I appreciated.

But not long afterwards, my vision became blurry as the headset screen was covered in condensation. The moisture from my breathing probably made this happen but I’d think this was a problem that Sony would have addressed early on. It’s not like I have dragon nostrils that let out a ton of steam. Sony staff gave the headset a quick wipe down and handed it back to me so I could begin the game.

But it kept happening. It was like playing a video game in a sauna. Nonetheless, the game was still entertaining and really showcased the Morpheus’ potential as an entertainment device for parties and group gatherings.

But when I tried the second game, Battlezone, a reboot of the Atari classic from 1980, my eyes just lost it. I teared up uncontrollably throughout the fast-paced game and ended up just blindly shooting at any vague object that moved. Ever tried opening your eyes in a swimming pool with no googles? That’s what it felt like.

When I pulled off the Morpheus headset, the tears were still streaming down my face. Sony staff must have thought I got emotional shooting virtual tanks.

After I cleaned myself up and clarified that the tears were triggered by the Morpheus headset itself, one of the staff members said this has not happened to anybody else who had tried the demo. But that doesn’t mean this problem won't happen to others who use virtual reality headsets.

The health impacts of 3D became an issue back when films like Avatar kicked off the 3D movies frenzy. Optometrists have advised that some people may suffer from headaches, eye-strain and other symptoms after watching a 3D display because their eyes find it hard to adjust to the images.

These concerns are bound to arise as virtual reality gaming gains traction in the mainstream.

I’m happy to report that the final game I tested on Project Morpheus didn’t make me inadvertently turn on the waterworks. My eyes were completely fine for London Heist which involved a shootout at a bank. In fact, I had a fantastic experience with the game even though I walked into a real wall trying to avoid gunfire.

Here's some of the footage below:

Project Morpheus is slated to be released in June 2016. What do you think about Sony's virtual reality headset? Let us know in the comments section.


Comments

    This is my biggest problem with VR being pushed as the future. Not so much with VR itself but my garbage eyesight. Even with my glasses on I struggle with a ghosted double image with 3D at the cinemas.

      You might be suffering from stereoblindness, a condition which results in the inability to perceive stereoscopic depth.

      Or just with glasses in general. How are they going to fit over my glasses? And is it good to have a screen so close to our eyes? It can't be.

        Why? The screens aren't emitting anything other than light, which your eyes are pretty good at handling ;-) Also, there are lenses to refocus the screens so that it appears much further away from you, so your eyes can focus in a more relaxed state and aren't straining.

    My mates god a DK2... he has to buy a titan x to get good VR experience.... the PS4 is way behind that

      But it also doesn't have to run games over several layers of operating system and compete with resources with every single piece of bloat ware that is in the pc.
      I had a DK1, ran everything perfectly with my 7970HD, but I know I will need an upgrade when I get the consumer version, but I still don't think Morpheus will struggle too much to have immersive and decent quality games on the ps4.

        The Xbone runs three OS's, not sure about Playstation, but it's running something in the background I'm sure.

      RIGS shows you can have a VR game with great frame rate and visuals on PS4. And if all else fails they can always go the "Nintendo route" - style over realism.
      The big issue is whether it gets the sales to justify spending big on VR specific titles. The last thing I want is for VR to be implemented as an afterthought (eg PS3's abysmal Move support) or for games to have VR patched in just to say they've got it.
      We need games designed for the ground up with VR in mind and if that translates well to a traditional 2D screen then great. Graphics aren't important when the ultimate goal is immersion.

    Within the virtual reality of the game, I was made to sit stationary in a kid’s bedroom

    A sent-to-your-room-without-any-dinner simulator?

    Perhaps your sensitive to the brightness of the headset, or the lenses were hurting your eyes. Chances are you would need to experiment with a few to figure out WHAT is actually causing this. My guess is brightness/gamma/lens and other adjustments such as eye centering.

    Am sure if you owned such a device you would soon enough figure out howto get a experience without tears.

    SICK TITLE BRO. Gotta love the slow slide into click bait.

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