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Sony Magic Lab: ‘PlayStation is one of the perfect places to explore VR’

The PlayStation 4’s Project Morpheus has astounded and confounded in equal measure since it’s announcement at the Games Developer’s Conference (GDC) in March of this year. Many have suggested that bringing virtual reality (VR) to console was an inevitable step for widespread acceptance of the technology while others have been less enthusiastic about the comparatively limited processing power of the PlayStation 4 compared to a high-end PC. Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) Richard Marks, Director of PlayStation Magic Lab, thinks that the PlayStation “is actually one of the perfect places to explore VR.”

In a recent interview with VRFocus, Marks talks about how the Project Morpheus head-mounted display (HMD) was a natural evolution of the technology seen in the PlayStation Move motion-controllers. More than this however, the PlayStation brand others an opportunity to deliver VR experiences that may not be possible anywhere else.

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“PlayStation is all about pushing the boundaries of play,” states Marks when asked how Magic Lab see their work on Project Morpheus developing. “I think VR is really giving that immersion that some of the people have always wanted to have in the game worlds that they like to play in.”

The technical demonstrations of Project Morpheus thus far have been limited to just that; software that showcases the technical capabilities of the hardware rather than fully featured videogame experiences. Indeed, even Square Enix’s adaptation of Thief was limited in that all opportunities for combat were removed from the section available.

“There’s probably any number of our game creators [who] could take their assets and bring them into VR and create a great VR experience,” offers Marks, before adding a caveat regarding the principle of porting existing videogames into VR. “I don’t think that you’ll see exactly the games themselves ported to VR like that, because the games aren’t designed for that.”

Marks also suggests that there may come a time when PlayStation 4 videogames come packaged with an additional element designed specifically for VR, stating that the team at Magic Lab have already been discussing this opportunity with partners. VRFocus will bring you the full interview with Marks later this week and will keep you updated with all the latest developments on Project Morpheus.