Yesterday the video game community was thrown into a combination of disbelief and despair following the news that Facebook has agreed to acquire Oculus VR for $2 billion. The Ocuslus Rift headset was seen by many as the best leap forward for virtual reality gaming in decades, bringing with it the promise of more immersive gaming experience and quite possibly the future of gaming itself.
Despite Facebook’s promises that Oculus will continue its gaming initiatives, the company’s press release was littered with references to using the Rift as a social media device. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even used a few non-gaming examples (such as virtual sporting event participation) to explain to shareholders why the acquisition was made. Given the direction Facebook looks to be taking Oculus in, it is no wonder that gamers feel both upset and betrayed that the company has been derailed from the gaming track it was on.
Oculus isn’t, however, the only game in town when it comes to VR. Though the company is ahead of most others in regards to the technology, other companies could end up taking the Rift’s place in future gaming VR initiatives.
Last week at the Game Developers Conference (GDC) Sony officially announced its next VR headset, code-named “Project Morpheus.” The headset impressed conference-goers with its 1080p displays, though the prototype was limited to a 90-degree field of view. Sony also provided several tech demos for the headset, including a first-person God of War simulation.
Today Sony has brought a taste of Project Morpheus to the consumer market. A new video released by the company shows off the headset as it was seen at GDC and provides a few details about the project through an interview with Richard Marks, the director of SCEA’s “magic lab” R&D department.