Comfy headset, lacking hardware features
This morning, at Unite Europe in Amsterdam, I finally got a chance to sit down and try out the current development kit for Morpheus, Sony’s upcoming VR headset for the PS4. Having gone hands on with the newest Oculus last week at E3, I was very interested to see how both headsets matched up.
So, how does the Morpheus headset current stack up? Let’s start with the basics: The Morpheus headset has a very comfortable build quality and fantastic technical build quality. The headset features a band which is placed on like a baseball cap from the back to the front, stretching comfortably to adjust to head size. From there a button on the bottom of the view piece can be held down in order to adjust how close to your eyes the view piece sits.
The headset was easily adjusted and felt light enough on my face to forget I was wearing it. I could really see myself wearing this headset for hours at a time in long play sessions, which is reassuring.
The headset has a series of blue lights on the front and back which are picked up by the PlayStation camera, as well as the light on the PS4 controller. Using these as a reference point for the console to resync the headset meant the headset was tracked really effectively. I found myself able to spin around several times, sitting down and standing up, with the headset accurately recreating these actions in game and keeping track of my position accurately.
Also, the headset’s framerate and resolution were high enough that I experienced zero motion sickness, which is really reassuring.
Now, let’s talk about the issues compared to the new Oculus headset, namely headphones. The current Morpheus headset doesn’t have headphones built into it, which the newest Oculus does. This means that you have to separately place on headphones over your headset, where on Oculus the headphones are built in. As someone who owns an Oculs dev kit one, I promise you that separately worn headphones with VR headsets is a real irritation.
I really hope before the final retail model we see headphones integrated into the design.
All in all I’m pretty excited for the Morpheus. Most of my design concerns about early Oculus kits are not present in the current Morpheus kit. However, it still has some way to go. Still, the mere fact it tracked me accurately and felt comfortable to wear for extended lengths of time was reassuring.