GDC 2015 – Project Morpheus Update

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GDC 2015 – Project Morpheus Update

The latest news from GDC

Hello from GDC 2015! About a year ago, we unveiled a prototype for Project Morpheus, the virtual reality (VR) system for PlayStation 4. Since then, we’ve been hard at work making the system even better. I’m pleased to return to GDC with an update on our progress, bringing us one step closer to its consumer release. We believe VR will shape the future of games, and I can’t wait for you to try Project Morpheus when it launches in the first half of 2016.

Our goal with VR is to deliver a sense of presence, making the player feel as though they’ve stepped inside the world of a game. The new Project Morpheus prototype brings us closer to that goal, as it improves the visual experience and tracking accuracy, both of which are critical to achieving sense of presence.

Key changes:

  • OLED display – In exchange for the 5 inch LCD, the new Morpheus VR headset is equipped with a 5.7 inch 1920 X RGB X 1080 resolution OLED display. This new screen expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removing motion blur.
  • 120hz refresh rate – The previous refresh rate spec has been doubled for this new prototype, which means games for Morpheus can be rendered at 120fps. When combined with the OLED display’s high refresh rate and the power of PS4, Morpheus is able to output amazingly smooth visuals.
  • Super low latency – We know how critical low latency is to delivering a great VR experience, and we’ve reduced latency to less than 18ms, about half of what the first Morpheus prototype had. Low latency is critical to deliver a sense of presence, at the same time making the VR experience comfortable to players.
  • More accurate tracking– To make positional tracking more precise, we’ve added three LEDs to the headset – one on the front and two on the side – for a total of nine LEDs to support robust 360 degree tracking.
  • User-friendly design – We’ve made the Morpheus VR headset easier to put on and take off, with a single band design and quick release button. The headband supports the weight of the unit on the top of your head, so there is no pressure on your face. Other components have also been adjusted and configured to make the headset lighter, so that players do not find the headset cumbersome or uncomfortable to use.


Revealing this new prototype is an important step in our journey to release Project Morpheus, but there is more to come. We’ll share additional details at E3 and beyond. In particular, we’ll show more VR games at E3 and later events as we get closer to launch.

A new dimension of gaming is almost here, and PlayStation again is at the forefront with Project Morpheus.

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  • I’m on the hype train and it’s going so fast I’m afraid it’s going to derail! :D

    • I’ve been closely following VR since 2012 (Oculus Rift was first spoken of). I am glad all are taking their time to get it right but, for me at least, it doesn’t feel so fast. It’s been christmas eve for so long now… ☺

  • Will you be releasing a Star Wars Rebel Alliance helmet mount for it on launch? ;)


  • Would you recommend getting your mate completely plastered on alcohol.
    Wait for them to pass out then put this on them with some kind of virtual reality plane crash island simulation going on as soon as they wake up.

  • OLED and 120hz :D nice!

  • Has any thought been put into the experience of people will vision problems? For example I only have vision in 1 eye, would this affect the experience dramatically?

    • Unless the game is 3D, no.

    • Most likely, yes. Because it so heavily relies on using both eyes

    • If there are 2 screens (1 per eye) showing almost an identical picture then you should be fine. It might not be the full experience but it should still be quite immersive.

    • There are 2 screens in the headset, 1 for each eye, to give you the feeling of 3D (just like a 3D tv does with glasses). So unfortunately this is not to your benefit and you are better off sitting in front of a large screen tv.

    • sorry the 3d effect relies on vision in both eyes. If there is no way to show a different image to each eye due to loss of vision there is nothing Sony or Anyone else can do.

    • The only thing you’ll miss is the depth perception. The tracking will still make the experience immersive for people with only 1 eye.

    • There’s nothing to stop the game developer from outputting the visuals in 2d so I would imagine that would help slightly. The 3d audio will still help with depth.

    • There is lots of misinformation in the replies to this question.

      The answer is no. It will not affect your experience dramatically. Those suggesting that VR requires vision in both eyes do not properly understand the VR experience. It’s true that you’ll lose the stereoscopic effect, but stereoscopy is only one small component of the complete VR experience (and since you only see through one eye, you don’t get the benefit of stereoscopy in the real world either, so it’s not like you’ll really miss it in VR).

      You’ll still benefit greatly from other major aspects of the VR experience that make it distinctively different to TV gaming: head tracking, field-of-view, sense of presence, binaural audio, etc.

      Some people seems to think that VR is little more than strapping a 3D TV to your face. My only guess is that these people have never actually tried using VR before. Well, I have. And I only effective see through one eye, and the experience is amazing regardless.

    • It’ll still be great, I’ve used the occulus without 3d just as a display, and it was good, as you can move your view point you will still be able to do the blink snapshot depth of field trick with it.

  • Could this be use as regular screen too…to watch movies or play regular games?

  • Sword Art Online please

  • You just love to tease …

  • Will older games get Morpheus support? I’d love to play TLOU through the eyes of Joel, how incredibly immersive would that world be. No Man’s Sky is also a huge world (or universe) that deserves Morpheus support.

    • Joel spends half the game unconscious!
      No Mans Sky though! Oh My goodness.
      I already know from using Track IR and playing DCS World how immersive sitting in a cockpit can be.
      This would be really unreal!

  • I will be curious to see how the PS4 is gonna handle this.
    I have faith in the hardware, but 1080p on 2 screens and 120 fps is just too demanding. But if it will work, I will be amazed and go buy one.

    • I think its only 1 screen, and 120FPS will only be possible on some miniature games, I think it can use those 120hz to make lower fps titles 60/30fps smoother similar to how TV’s with higher refresh rate make 30fps look smoothet

  • Will they fit with glasses or will contact lenses be required?

    • I’d like to know that too. Or will the be enough correction options in the built-in optics to cover what glasses do?

    • In the build I’ve seen you can keep your glasses on. There is enough space between your eyes and the screens. From what I read here that part didn’t change.

    • Shu himself demonstrated it with glasses on at last year’s event

  • No brakes on the hype train! looks even sexier than before!!!

    Send a devkit to bandai namco right now and get them to make a sword art online launch title! :D

  • I’m in…and then some, but only with a reasonable cost…say under £350 and with an optional 360 treadmill.

    • Previously I would have said $199 but because of the PS4 hardware I would rather choose a more high end VR Headset to make the experience at least enjoyable/acceptable

  • Tell me Shahid is already working with people for this….Who am I kidding? He probably already have 50 devs lined up (*≧∇≦*)

    Anyway I really hope you five indies a chance with this. And even the more atmospheric games like flower :)

  • Where’s the April ps plus announcement?!

    • We work so hard that we have prepared it in advance this time. enjoy.

      PS4: Need for Speed Rivals
      PS4: Sniper Elite III
      PS3: Dishonored Game of the Year edition
      PS3: Dark Souls II
      Vita: Ys Memories of Celceta
      Vita: Toukiden

      As an apology for last month’s delay, you can have a 10% discount code which will work on PS+ subscriptions since thats the whole reason we are giving it to in the first place, and if there is a sale, we wont remove the usual PS+ discount from it like we did last time.

      Thank you,


      The Ideal European PS Blog Manager

    • personally, that would be a horrible month for me ha.

  • It looks really cool, but I don’t think I will buy this. Every accessoiry you make ends up not getting any/enough support. Heck, you guys don’t even support your own handheld enough. I bought PS Move day one, but how much was done with that? A handful of mediocre exclusive games and some support in existing games. That really wasn’t worth what I paid for the PS Move. And when it didn’t sell, you abandoned it, just like you’re doing with the Vita and I bet that’s just what you’ll do with Project Morpheus if it doesn’t meet your sales expectations. You should learn from Nintendo. Their Wii U is failing hard, but they keep trying to make it sell more units by creating fantastic games for it! That’s how you should handle your products when they don’t meet expectations. Morpheus sounds amazing, but I won’t buy this at least the first year is released. I don’t want to be left with a product that doesn’t get supported.

    • Agree 100%. If anyone also had brought it out I might of bought it, but not if its sony the first sign of trouble or low sales they drop it like everything else. If they tried they could of changed the vitas fortunes ok it would never have 3ds sales but it would be in a lot better state than it is, as you said need to take a leaf out of Nintendos book, they didn’t give up on the 3ds and wii u, unlike sony have with there stuff

    • Yea, I remember seeing Sony yelling about how good the Wonderbook was, I think only 2 games ever came out for it, waste of money. This will need a good selection of games before I think about buying it.

    • Good points, also this is when Sony had the money to bankroll a failing product yet they never did. Now they are one bad year away from collapse, with the PS4 as its current saviour. Not to mention they will make a great product then just push it out to die, no marketing whatsoever. I follow gaming and I had heard almost nothing about the Vita until I decided to get one when I saw a deal randomly. Barely touch it these days, nothing going for it.

      I love VR, it is an amazing experience and I wish I had a hands on with this project as impressions are very positive but you’re right to be cautious and I should be too. If they announce this as being free to use on a PC, with some kind of PC SDK release then I would take the plunge. They could really outsmart the competition if they did that as Valve/HTC and Oculus won’t be able to play PS4 games yet Sony’s could play both PS4 and PC. With the hardware specs mentioned here they can meet PC gaming requirements so you’d be mad not to use theirs as you only need to buy one.

    • Couldn’t agree more. PS Eye, PS Move, PS Vita, Wonderbook and the latest mishap: PS TV (aka Vita TV). Call me stupid, but I bought them all but enough is enough, this time I won’t go with the hype and will wait it out to see the kind of support Sony will actually give this. Fool me fives….. ;)

    • “Now they are one bad year away from collapse, with the PS4 as its current saviour”


      They really believe that…

      PS is not even Sony’s most profitable division.
      You’re clueless.

    • Nope. Sony (and all VR hardware companies) know that VR either works well or not at all. They also know that for it work well it needs GOOD software. Hence why nobody is rushing to market until the package is complete. With Oculus and Steam joining the market around the same time expect a whole lot of cross platform, quality releases at or around release date. They all are on the same page because they only have one chance to get it right. VR either works, or it doesn’t.

  • Here’s the thing: I remember when they tried to introduce VR in the 90’s and how it failed because technology wasn’t ready yet. It still isn’t. We don’t need Kinect, interaction, or screens strapped to our faces. All we need is a decent controller, fast DSL, a big HD screen and brilliant sound. Everything else is a silly waste of time. Also, you look like a total pillock wearing it.

    • So in other words you haven’t tried it and are talking from a position of complete ignorance. The consumer released hardware coming is a great standard, the devkits are perfectly functional and are simply amazing experiences.

  • The Sony VSS headphones won’t work with these? Just looking at the back strap by the models ear.

  • give it to me … now!

  • This is a nice notice

    freaking awesome mmo game with VR
    i am so excited and i just cant hide it,
    i dont wanna lose that feeling cause i like it.

  • One step closer to Sword Art Online! *_* <3

  • 2016 is later than I expected, but suppose you are waiting for more content and cheaper components.

  • So given the way that even Sony themselves tend not to support their own accessories this is my requirements list before I’ll buy it.

    1: it must work as a regular head mounted display for non VR games. I’m not paying for a device that works with a fraction of my games library.
    2: I need to be able to wear the VSS headset at the same time, what’s the point of having a great visual setup for immersion if it’s let down by a regular sound setup?
    3: it must be priced reasonably. Deciding between Morpheus or a new TV will be no brained next year based on the price. If the Morpheus price is too close to that of a 4k TV, it’ll be a repeat of the that £1000 head mounted display again and I’ll get the TV instead. Needs to be as close to £200 as possible, definitely not more than £300 (and please, no selling at a loss in the US covered by Europe paying 50% more, that needs to stop)

    I’ll keep an eye on GDC to see if any of these questions get answered, but right now I’m still interested, these three are my deal breakers, any one of them will see me write the product off totally and upgrade my regular TV instead.

    • And what about the software support, i.e., the real VR games?
      At least 10 titles spread across various genres for a start: FPS, racing, Travel simulator, etc, they need a solid output at launch and the commitment to keep making more.

      What you ask is pretty reasonable but I get the feeling the price may be a bit more steep than that…

      We’ll see.

    • The HMZ series of headsets were so expensive because they were niche market and open source. Ie. once sold, they made no money off of content and not enough were sold to pay for development cost and drive manufacturng costs down. Morpheus is closed source so they don’t need to make a profit off of hardware, they will make it off the ps4 software. It will also increase ps4 sales and market share. Last of all, it is made from relatively cheap component’s because mobile phone tech has made the components easily mass producable. Expect it to cost between a half to 2 thirds the price of the console.

    • Also, in response to your first point, I disagree. You can’t turn non-VR games VR. They just aren’t made for it. You could use it as a viewer but I suspect it would be better on Full HD T.V. You will be watching a predistorted image through lenses designed to undistort the image ( that’s how VR works). I suspect it would be better to cut out the middle man and watch on the T.V.

  • I am going to be buying this I just hope it gets used more than my 3D option on my Telly.

  • Looks like a very promising gizmo indeed. Even in comparison.

  • I’m in love with Shu, great guy. Very nice to see a post by you in this blog.
    Regading Morpheus, I will be buying it without a doubt. I will pre-order once available, and please don’t cut costs to make it cheaper. As you said we need a great user experience.

    Also I suppose we will see a bundle of Morpheus with Move controllers. And please keep the name, I love it!

  • WOW , So just now SONY understands what 120Hz is ? , I thought they were trying to convince us that the human eye cannot see more than 30 FPS during the PS3 days , have we all forgotten that ?

    • im assuming it applies more to how smooth it is when you look around.

    • VR Is different to a screen. The screen can move at 30fps without affecting the brain too much. In VR the screen has to reflect fast head and eye movement which affects the brain differently. 90fps is supposedly the sweet spot.

  • Can wait like a ps vital in each eye.

  • Was interested but after the way you abandoned PS3’s steering wheels on PS4, I’m not going to risk it.

    Cant afford to spend money on expensive extra’s which dont get supported for longer than a generation.

  • Awesome. Technologically, this looks like one of the best, if not, the best VR headset yet! The only thing is that the resolution of the OLED display is a bit low (1920 x 1080) for VR. It would be great if you could upgrade that to 2560 x 1440.

    I also really like how neat the design is and how futuristic it looks. It really has that Sony-quality design. Most other VR headsets look like ski goggles.

    Also, please, don’t make this just a PlayStation peripheral headset. I mean, don’t keep it as an exclusive proprietary peripheral for PS4.

    A high-quality VR headset like this has much more broader applications than just PS4 video games I think. And since SCE’s parent company’s core business is consumer electronics, I think they should treat Morpheus VR headset as a core consumer electronics and not just a PlayStation accessory. I know Project Morpheus started development within SCE R&D, but still, I’d like to see a consumer version much more broader than just compatible with PS4.

    It would be great if there if you make a Morpheus headset that is also compatible with PC platform or maybe even with Android since mobile/tablet ARM CPU’s/GPU’s are only going to get more and powerful and eventually suited to render intensive VR applications.

    • Agreed.

      If Sony wants to go all in with this they have to capitalize it’s potential across the board and not just limit it to PS platforms.

      It’s just how it is, PC+console+mobile market>>>>>>console.

    • Resolution is only half the issue and quickly reaches the point of diminishing returns. equally important are the gaps in between the pixels (LCD has a screen door effect between pixels, amoled RGB negates that) and how the pixels behave (do the pixels linger between refreshing or are they only visible when accurate). Sony have made the correct choices here and I doubt resolution is as much an issue as what some believe. It will be treated as a PS peripheral because proprietary content is the income source, keeping retail price down. and I believe the content will greatly expand beyond games but games will be foot in the door to peoples living rooms.

  • 1080p@120hz VR headset… hooked to PS4 which cannot possibly render anything at 1080p@120fps apart from PS2-era visuals. And on top of this it’s VR so it obviously needs even more power. How is it supposed to work?

    • 60 fps or 120 fps. The refresh rate of the OLED display within the Morpheus headset is 120 Hz, but obviously the video source from PS4 can still be lower. 60 fps would work well too since it can still be either interpolated to 120 Hz.

      Yes, graphics might be a compromise and might not look as detailed and pristine as The Order 1886, Driveclub, inFamous Second Son etc, but it can still look good. Games with good simpler geometry, less intensive amount of graphical effects, but good art direction and good AA and good lighting solutions can look really good from an overall visual point of view.

      Many PS3 games still look very good because of good CPU/GPU resource management, despite the limited processing power. Same goes for some Wii U game that also look pleasant graphically, despite low processing power.

      If they can render graphics on the level of PS3 like God of War III, Uncharted 2/3, Wipeout HD (which is 60 fps and 1080p already on PS3 not to mention, and looks very good graphically) then that’s good enough I think.

      Otherwise I would like Project Morpheus to work on PC too.


  • It will be cool for project cars but will it sell. I hope so.

  • Is it a 18 milli or micro delay?

  • I wanna buy this

  • I’ve wrote this on Kotaku when they talked about Project Morpheus and the first person shooter demo so thought I would share it here too.

    Instead of holding PS Move controllers, it would be so much more awesome if Sony could make some kind of Gloves. Imagine using your hands moving them around any way you want, touch your fingers with your thumb (thumb being enter) for buttons (X for big finger on right hand, Circle for middle finger, Square and Triangle on the left hand. Other fingers for R1, R2, L1, L2). When playing a shooter would be cool for the game to recognise your hands so squeeze all fingers in and only use your main finger to pull the trigger. Would be great for fighting games too or even driving games

    • That would be unnecessarily complicated though, the controller works fine I don’t see how adding gloves would add any real value to the experience. Plus how would you move around? Somehow I think a joystick is more intuitive than touching my fingers together to move around

      Morpheus looks cool though. Who are we kidding most of us, if not everyone on this thread are going to buy it SCE will probably abandon it the first snag it hits as they’re prone to doing and we will all be left with buyers remorse, myself included. A feeling us Playstation users have become all to familiar with, the latest example PS$ I mean PS4 I was “accidentally” holding down the shift key for that. Such a waste of money, my PS3 is still better than that piece of #$%^ and I didn’t have to pay to use online. We are all suckers and SCE is clinging to our wallets like parasites.

      Still I hope the Morpheus does succeed and revolutionizes video games, it won’t but I hope I’m wrong

    • Well to move around it would be nice for the gloves to have the tracking light, same as our controllers and the camera should pick up our hand movement. And then our legs could have something else, perhaps a tracker for our feet so lift them to move the character. The faster we move them, the faster we run in a game. Was thinking it would made the experience a lot more realistic because what we are seeing through Project Morpheus is for our eyes only but moving our body completes the experience as if we are really there.

      I’m sure SCE will abandon it too but it would be great to see VR working out with a full experience like I mentioned above rather than holding two PS Move controllers. I really prefer to just play the old fashion way with the controller in my hands but would be amazing to try out new things. Just hope the price is fair and gets supported with games.

  • there are games that have problems with 1080p, some with 60fps, yet you hype this as 1080@120? By itself, this sounds good, but i have doubts.

  • will it work on all ps4 games or just ones that are made for it?

  • I’m willing to try Morpheus in my home and give u some input to how we got on :)

  • E3 please tell us price and announce something like No Man’s Sky or Skyrim

  • So far great work! But you should keep an eye out for the following,

    1. Focus on wear and tear (This is a tethered device and is bound to stretch and the PU may get stepped on)

    2. Have an app for conventional 2D and 3D movie viewing (Cinema VR)

    3. Don’t name it silly (NGP was a better name than Vita!, I would name this PlayStation Morpheus)

    4. The front end should be an accommodating space that accumulates your trophies and various digital goods.

    5. Release worldwide on the same day and offer pre-orders to assess demand.

    6. Do NOT region lock

    7. Do not offer one bundle with PS4, Camera, Move and Morpheus. Instead offer us the choice and give us a redemption towards Move when we buy Morpheus if you have to.

    8. Heavily focus on a great initial impression or out of the box experience.

    9. Showing the DS4/Move in VR is a great move and should be easily accessible by game developers.

    10. Demo games at E3 and not tech demos unless incredibly polished.

    11. Don’t try to be game centric with this one, I would love to see VR programming, VR applications such as 3D modelling and sculpting. (I’m guessing Media Molecule has this in the bag)

  • Sorry, but 18ms can not and should not be described as “Super Low Latency”. 5ms or below is what they should be aiming for.

  • please let me play black ops2 on my ps4″…

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