Sony’s ‘Project Morpheus’ Virtual Reality Headset to Launch in Early 2016

A year after introducing its virtual reality headset “Project Morpheus” as a prototype, Sony announced Tuesday that the device will launch in the first half of 2016.

Sony first revealed the VR device at the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco in 2014, and is using the event this week to update the games biz and press with the device’s latest upgrades.

The design of the consumer version of the prototype has changed little over the past year. Instead, Sony wanted to improve the visual experience and tracking accuracy of the headset, Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios president Shu Yoshida said during a press event on Tuesday at GDC.

The final product will feature a 5.7-inch screen that provides a 100-degree field of view, and refresh rates of 120 frames per second — double that of the initial prototype and faster than the new Vive VR headset that HTC it is developing with Valve Software. The latest version of Morpheus will now also enable users to wear their glasses when putting on the headset. The system requires a PlayStation 4 videogame console and the PS Move controller to interact with elements in the virtual worlds.

“Even though we were very happy with that prototype, there were various technology benchmarks we wanted to hit for consumers,” according to Yoshida. “With these specs achieved, we’re one step closer to making VR a reality for games.”

Sony will introduce more details of Morpheus, as well as games and other content that will be playable on the system, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June.

The update comes as Samsung has updated its own VR system, named the Gear VR, co-developed with Facebook’s Oculus, while Microsoft also has HoloLens, which uses holograms to bring VR to life in existing rooms.

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