Reviews and Availability
Word from people who have been able to try the device is that it's pretty impressive as far as delivering virtual reality experiences, but, being a prototype, it still needs a little work. It inevitably draws comparisons with the Oculus Rift, especially their new Dev Kit 2 version. In fact, both were demonstrated at GDC 2014.
Early reviews based on demos say that Project Morpheus reportedly has better lenses and doesn't have as much of the effect of looking through a screen door as Oculus Rift. But Project Morpheus has a little more black space in the peripheral vision area due to the narrower field of view, slightly lower display quality and a little more of an issue with image persistence and motion blurring. Project Morpheus also reportedly has a little room for improvement in the comfort arena, and there were a couple of reports of the lenses fogging after a few minutes of use. Although it blocks light, you can apparently see out the bottom of the device when you look down.
As far as the game demos went, "EVE: Valkyrie" reportedly delivered the most immersive experience, although "The Castle" got props for using the Move controllers to give the game character two hands with more realistic motion than the other demos.
Project Morpheus is still in the prototype phase, so a lot can change between this model and subsequent models. And regarding any competing devices, if you're a PlayStation 4 owner, Project Morpheus will likely be the one for you, if you want VR on that platform.
As of mid-2014 release date had not been announced for Project Morpheus. A consumer model was not expected in 2014, so 2015 is the earliest possibility. As mentioned in the previous section, the current prototype will be the first developer's kit, and an SDK is expected in the near future.
Time will tell how the final product will look and function, but it's bound to be a fun peripheral. And with so many competing dev kits in the wild, a lot of VR games are already in development. We are living on the cusp of realistic, in-home virtual reality. Let the immersive gaming begin.
Author's Note: How Project Morpheus Works
This is an exciting time for virtual reality. I've played VR games in the past, and they were unsatisfying and nausea inducing. But that was the 90s, when high latency and low definition were the rule (at least by today's standards). Project Morpheus and Oculus Rift are both making at-home high-def VR seem like a near-future possibility. Honestly, I will probably want both devices when they are out in consumer form. It's not like I don't have more than one gaming system, each with its own peripherals. And maybe a little competition will make them both strive for even higher quality than they've already achieved. Holodeck, here we come.
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