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Sony's 'Project Morpheus' or 'Project VR' Release Date: Competition with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive and More

( [email protected] ) Sep 15, 2015 05:01 PM EDT
Consumers are about to face a dawn of a possible virtual reality age with VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.  Sony is working on a virtual headset of their own to work with their PlayStation platform, and it was unveiled to the public as "Project Morpheus".  They have since changed it to PlayStation VR in a recent announcement, and there is some more news on a release date and competition with other VR headsets.
Atsushi Morita announces the PlayStation VR at Tokyo Game Show. Yahoo Games

Consumers are about to face a dawn of a possible virtual reality age with VR headsets like the Oculus Rift and the HTC Vive.  Sony is working on a virtual headset of their own to work with their PlayStation platform, and it was unveiled to the public as "Project Morpheus".  They have since changed it to PlayStation VR in a recent announcement, and there is some more news on a release date and competition with other VR headsets. 

Sony used the Tokyo Game Show to announce this name change, as well as Twitter, according to CNET.  This new name for their hardware was revealed by Atsushi Morita, the president of Sony Computer Entertainment Japan, at a press conference, according to Yahoo Games.  Morisha hopes the device will be a "sensation". 

Sony also used the event to show videos of people playing virtual reality games on their PlayStation VR, and it has been announced that the massively multiplayer online roleplaying game (MMORPG) Final Fantasy XIV, originally released in 2010, will be getting a PlayStation VR version.  This way, players can replay a fan-favorite game, but explore the world in 3D, allowing them to turn their head to see all kinds of surroundings and surprises. 

It is unknown why the name has been changed, but it is possible that Sony is attempting to dominate the budding VR market by putting their PlayStation brand on VR.  Morisha had said that the name "reflects our hopes that we want our users to feel a sense of familiarity as they enjoy this amazing experience". 

It was not announced when the PlayStation VR would be specifically released, other than "the first half of 2016".  The Oculus Rift and HTC Vive are planning to be released in 2016, and it would be interesting to see if Sony can be the first to be released.  There are rumors that the PlayStation VR will be released at the same time as a highly-anticipated and massive game known as No Man's Sky.  It is possible that a VR headset will be "the gift to have" for the 2016 holiday season, so if Sony is able to get it out by then, it could be quite something. 

Morisha reports that Sony had 20 games that are playable at E3 (Electronic Entertainment Expo) 2015.  Sony has apparently had to turn down more submissions from both third-parties and first-parties to prioritize what they wanted to show. 

I had the chance to play with Sony's VR headset at my recent trip to PAXPrime 2015 a few weeks ago.  At its current development, I honestly thought it was the weakest of the three VR headsets, with the HTC Vive being the strongest and the Oculus Rift coming in second.  My reason for this is the game that I tried out was not very fun, but I highly anticipate playing the update of Final Fantasy XIV, and you can read about my experiences with VR headsets at PAX Prime here