If you watched Sony’s E3 press conference, you may have been slightly disappointed in the lack of emphasis on the companies Virtual Reality (VR) device, Project Morpheus. The total time Morpheus took the spotlight clocked in at less than three minutes.
Sony Computer Entertainment America (SCEA) CEO Shawn Layden addressed these issues in an interview with Forbes.
When asked why the presentation lacked Morpheus, Layden replied,
“Well, I think [Sony Computer Entertainment CEO] Andy House made a good statement of purpose and statement of intent [about Morpheus], but beyond that, how do you express virtual reality to people who aren’t wearing a headset? It’s like telling a blind man “what does blue look like?” –you don’t have a language to speak around that. So we’ve put Morpheus on the floor, where people can try it. I think we have 20 games on the shelf already. You really have to put the headset on to know what that is.”
This inability to show the power of Morpheus without a headset could potentially cause problems in actually selling the device to consumers. If Sony doesn’t, or can’t, market and push Morpheus hardware it may lose the support it needs to thrive, effectively making it a veritable PlayStation Vita all over again; that is to say it could be great hardware with not enough love. As someone looking forward to the immersion made possible by VR, this is not what I want to happen.
Layden went on to explain Sony’s stance on Project Morpheus as “not a peripheral”,
“VR for us, it’s not a peripheral. It’s not a, ‘here’s the latest way to interact with the game’ thing. It’s a platform. It has the ability to impact gaming the same way that smart phones [changed] cell phones… before it was ‘I can talk to a person, I can text a person, what more do I need?’ But then the smart phone came out and it’s like, wow, I can do all that in my hand? I think Morpheus is going to have a similar impact on gaming or entertainment consumption.”
Project Morpheus is set to release in 2016. Pricing for the hardware has yet to be announced.