Annual updates on mobile and PC-based virtual reality (VR) hardware are likely to be common once the technology reaches consumers. Oculus VR, for example, has stated that it is working on a new iteration of its Gear VR head-mounted display (HMD) for a possible reveal later this year and acknowledged that the eventual consumer edition of the Oculus Rift will be far from the final iteration. But, as a console-based kit, the Project Morpheus HMD likely won’t have the luxury of regular updates. For that reason, its creators know that they have to get the device right ‘the first time’.
Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE) Shuhei Yoshida stated as much in an interview with Eurogamer and Digital Foundry at the 2015 Game Developers Conference (GDC). “Because we’re a console, right?” Yoshida said of making sure Project Morpheus was ready to compete with other HMDs. “It’s a console not a PC, we have to make it right on the first time so people can use it for many years…. Our model is to produce great hardware that lasts for years, and we can cost-reduce that over the years.”
The most recent prototype for Project Morpheus, revealed at the event, certainly puts SCE on the right track. The kit boasts a new 1080p OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate as well as a flipable front cover so that users can quickly peer into the real world instead of having to remove the entire HMD. SCE plans to release the consumer version of the device, which will integrate further tweaks and updates, in the first half of 2016. The company will spend much of 2015 preparing for that release by bringing the kit to shows such as E3 in June.
VRFocus will continue to follow Project Morpheus closely, reporting back with any further updates on its progress.
UPDATE: Following the publication of this article Shuhei Yoshida contacted VRFocus directly to state that the front of the device was not ‘flipable’ as stated but instead that ‘you can pull the display out from your face and pull it in easily‘. VRFocus apologises for the error.