While virtual reality is becoming increasingly popular, neither of the two biggest players – the Oculus Rift or Sony’s Project Morpheus – are close to releasing yet. Oculus reportedly has plans for a small, limited launch next summer to test the waters, while Project Morpheus is still in development. Sony has been making the rounds with their VR headset, however, with its most recent showing at the Tokyo Game Show (TGS) 2014; and it appears to be delivering on its promises so far.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Shuhei Yoshida, President of Worldwide Studios for Sony Computer Entertainment stated that approximately 85% of the work needed to release Project Morpheus has been completed. It’s certainly an interesting statement, because it doesn’t specify what, exactly, has been finished. What part of that 85% is developement; marketing or determining final retail prices? Whatever the case, Yoshida noted that a lot of the hardware used inside Morpheus can also be found in smartphones, which could result in a lower price.
For some perspective, the Oculus Rift Dev Kit 2 is currently priced at $350. Oculus’ founders Palmet Luckey and Nate Mitchell have said in the past that they’re aiming for the $200-$400 range when the consumer model launchers, though nothing is certain at this point.
Both VR Headsets are sure to bring VR to the forefront with consumers, but Sony may have the upper hand due to their household name and the PlayStation 4 (it’s selling quite well). According to the Sony Worldwide President, the goal is to draw in not only people that play games, but non-video game players as well.
“With the Morpheus and PlayStation 4, we can offer them a totally new virtual reality experience in a lighthearted and fun manner.”
Yoshida expressed the belief that people are attracted to the device due to its “sensor-equipped control system” that allows users to interact with the virtual world they’re currently immersed in. At TGS 2014 in particular, some people were so into Project Morpheus, they began making swimming-like motions while play a game that placed them under the sea. Sony President and CEO Andrew House said in an interview earlier this year that he believes VR as a whole is the “new frontier of game development,” before saying the company is fully committed to Project Morpheus.
A lot of companies are getting on board with VR aside from Oculus and Sony. Samsung recently announced the Samsung Gear VR in collaboration with Oculus, and earlier this week, the AirVR —which aims to deliver the VR experience by strapping an iPad to you face— began its Kickstarter campaign. It’ll be interesting to see who comes out first and who does it better.
Source: The Wall Street Journal