Project Morpheus: How Does Sony Plan to Succeed?
Over the past couple years, Oculus Rift was the name people brought up in conversations about virtual reality. While many virtual devices had existed in the past, they stayed on the fringe. The Oculus Rift appeared as though it might be making an attempt to bring the platform to the mainstream. When Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) purchased the start-up, it upset many who had funded its campaign, but it did present some hope that the system could reach greater prominence with that backing of a company as big as Facebook. However, when Sony (NYSE:SNE) announced Project Morpheus soon after, prospects looked even better for gamers looking forward to a future of VR.
While Oculus Rift was being developed independently and targeted at PC gaming, Project Morpheus was being developed by one of the biggest names in video game hardware. If that alone weren’t enough, the VR device would have the benefit of being on a non-fragmented platform — as Shu Yoshida, Sony Entertainment’s President of Worldwide Studios, told VentureBeat in an exclusive interview, “Every single consumer has the exact same hardware. Millions of people are buying PS4s. We can introduce this to PS4 users as a very consumer friendly proposition.”
In contrast, the Oculus Rift would be a bit tricky for users to set up on their computers, as each would have different specs, components, and quirks getting things to run as intended. The Oculus Rift does at least appear to be ahead of the game in terms of release plans, as a developer kit is expected out in July and consumers models coming early next year. But even if Project Morpheus has a better shot at making VR a mainstream platform, it might not amount to much if it doesn’t have what consumers want — and that may be the very danger it faces.