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How Project Morpheus Works

History of Project Morpheus

Although we're just now getting details on Project Morpheus, it's been in the works for more than three years, so the device isn't just Sony's response to the Oculus Rift. Sony was already making virtual theater headsets like the HMZ personal 3D viewing device. In 2010, the company released the PlayStation Move motion controllers for PlayStation 3, which enabled sophisticated motion tracking. At that point, various internal groups began delving into the possibility of virtual reality for the PlayStation gaming system. The groups began batting ideas back and forth and sharing their work with each other. Higher ups in Sony took note and it developed into an official project.

A team called Grover was formed from members of the Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) Hardware group, Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) R&D and Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios to work on a prototype, and it has gone through several iterations. First, they duct taped PS Move controllers to a HEADPLAY Personal Cinema System, a third-party headset for viewing movies, games and other media. Then in 2011, they attached PS Move components to a higher-resolution Sony HMZ viewer. In 2012, they produced a demo video of a VR prototype that consisted of an HMZ headset with one attached Move and another Move controller in the user's hand for more control. It had a much narrower field of view than their ultimate goal, but it worked for demonstration purposes.

More than three years of experimentation have finally yielded Project Morpheus, a prototype that was unveiled at the March 2014 Game Developers Conference (GDC) in San Francisco by Shuhei Yoshida (President - SCE Worldwide Studios), Richard Marks (Senior Director of Magic Labs - SCEA R&D) and Anton Mikhailov (Senior Software Engineer - SCEA R&D).

The device's current name comes from Morpheus, the Greek god of dreams, for the dreamlike experience the headset is supposed to evoke. Despite not being ready for market, Project Morpheus has a lot of cool components and capabilities. Read on to find out what technical details we know as of mid-2014.