Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) has been working on its Project Morpheus virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) for some time. Despite only being revealed earlier in 2014, the company has been developing the device to some degree since 2010. In fact, according to SCE’s Shuhei Yoshida, the project started as a ‘grassroots’ activity just as soon as the company had released its PlayStation Move motion controller in late 2010.
Yoshida stated as much during a panel at the PlayStation Experience this weekend. “This project actually started as a grassroots activities, almost like homework,” he said. “So out of work efforts by many people in studios and R&D teams and hardware group. As soon as we released PS Move people, studio people started to gather handmade virtual reality systems taking what’s available in the market, the head-mounted display to watch movies, a bit low res at the time. But when you put together PS Move and those HMDs you can make like a virtual reality system and connect that to PS3.”
Yoshida went on to reference the God of War prototype demo that was revealed along with the HMD this year. “And studio guys started experimenting with these things and showing off. Every time I visited a studio, Santa Monica Studios, the programmers who worked on getting the God of War of that time to adapt to a VR system say ‘Shu come see this’,” he then indicated that the screen in the demo still resembled a normal monitor and not the immersive field of view offered in HMDs today. “But still I was able to look around and I’m in this God of War place and I looked down and saw my body was Kratos and that was the coolest moment: “Wow, I feel powerful!”
“So that’s how many of us in studios started working on VR,” Yoshida concluded. “And that’s when the company recognised from Japan that “Well, actually we can make it a real product when we release PS4.” PS3 was good but not good enough.”
It’s currently not clear when Project Morpheus will launch, although SCE will hopefully share more information in 2015. VRFocus will continue to follow the device closely, reporting back with any further updates on it.