A heads-on look at Sony’s virtual reality googles

SAN FRANCISCO — The promise of virtual reality in the living room is coming closer to, well, reality.

Sony unveiled a prototype headset this week capable of surrounding a wearer’s vision with interactive virtual worlds. The system, codenamed Project Morpheus, utilizes a 1080p head-mounted display with head-tracking capabilities and works in concert with the PlayStation 4 console to display imagery on the headset’s screen, providing a 90-degree field of view.

During a private demonstration of Project Morpheus to The Associated Press at the Game Developers Conference, the headset felt secure thanks to a sturdy yet comfortable halo-like ring that snaps into place around the head. There’s a wheel positioned on the back headband that can be turned for an even tighter fit.

It’s lighter than one might expect and certainly sleeker than the Oculus Rift, a similar VR headset that’s captured game makers’ imaginations over the past two years but has yet to be released. A long, thick cable that pokes from the side of the visor, as well as dangling headphone cords, prove cumbersome during physical movement while wearing the goggles.

A closer look at four of the interactive experiences — not actual full-fledged games — Sony was using to demonstrate Project Morpheus at GDC:

“The Deep”: This demo created specifically for Project Morpheus by Sony’s London studio cast a standing user in the role of deep sea diver — complete with virtual wet suit and flare gun — inside a shark cage that submerges into the depths of the ocean. The undersea encounter is interrupted by a great white who attacks the enclosure at the first whiff of blood.

With lush graphics and stereoscopic 3-D audio, “The Deep” showcased how Project Morpheus could recreate frantic “Jaws”-like moments as the shark ominously circled the cage. However, it wasn’t completely immersive because Project Morpheus only tracked movement of the head and DualShock 4 controller, so fin flipping wasn’t translated to the feet on screen.

“EVE: Valkyrie”: Developed by CCP Games and set in their “EVE” universe, “Valkyrie” is a sci-fi multiplayer dogfighter pitting players against each other in the cockpits of galactic fighter jets. Project Morpheus’ version featured richer graphics and details, like a massive carrier in the distance of the star field battleground, than the one demoed over at Oculus Rift’s booth.

Playing in a seated position with a DualShock 4 controller in hand that acts as the spaceship’s yoke, the sedentary orientation provided “Valkyrie” with a VR advantage. Pulling off dizzying maneuvers like rolls, spins and corkscrews while simultaneously blasting other users compellingly simulated what it might be like to really pilot an X-Wing from “Star Wars.”

NASA Mars Project: The technology demo created in tandem with NASA utilized high-resolution images captured by both satellites and the Curiosity rover to transport a user to the surface of Mars. The rover itself also made an interactive appearance, separately navigated by Project Morpheus senior software engineer Anton Mikhailov on a DualShock 4 controller.

The parts of the landscape closest to the user were crafted from rover imagery, while mountainous vistas in the distance were filled in using satellite data. By depicting the surreal sensation of strolling around a chunk of the Red Planet, the minimalistic demo was the most immersive of those on display and showed off the non-game capabilities of Project Morpheus.

“The Castle”: This combat-centric game demo dispatched users to a cartoony medieval training ground where they could totally abuse a dummy in a suit of armor. When armed with a pair of gesture-detecting PlayStation Move controllers in each hand, “The Castle” depicted gauntlets on the headset’s screen that could reach out and wield swords and a crossbow.

For example, the wand-like controllers could be used to slice off the mannequin’s arm with one hand and grab it with the other before gruesomely wiggling the appendage and discarding it into the distance. The controllers flawlessly mimicked hand movement in the virtual castle yard, but a lack of interactive elements in the surrounding space left a desire for more.

———

Follow AP Entertainment Writer Derrik J. Lang at http://www.twitter.com/derrikjlang .

———

Online:

http://www.playstation.com

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Technology reshapes the pawn shop industry
Devin Battersby attaches a black-colored device to the back of her iPhone and snaps several of the inside and outside of a Louis Vuitton wallet. The device, installed with artificial intelligence capabilities, analyzes the images using a patented microscopic technology. Within a few minutes, Battersby receives an answer on her app. The designer item is authentic.
Recreational marijuana has been legal in Nevada for one year
Exhale Nevada CEO Pete Findley talks about the one year anniversary of the legalization of recreational marijuana in Nevada. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Young adults aren't saving for retirement
Financial advisors talk about saving trends among young adults. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
President Trump’s tariffs could raise costs for real estate developers, analysts say
President Donald Trump made his fortune in real estate, but by slapping tariffs on imports from close allies, developers in Las Vegas and other cities could get hit hard.
Las Vegas business and tariffs
Barry Yost, co-owner of Precision Tube Laser, LLC, places a metal pipe into the TruLaser Tube 5000 laser cutting machine on Wednesday, June 20, 2018, in Las Vegas. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Nevada Film Office Connects Businesses To Producers
The director of the Nevada Film Office discusses its revamped locations database and how it will affect local businesses. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Opendoor isn't the typical house flipping company
Unlike most house flippers, the company aims to make money from transaction costs rather than from selling homes for more than their purchase price.
The Venetian gondoliers sing Italian songs
Gondolier Marciano sings a the classic Italian song "Volare" as he leads guests through the canals of The Venetian in Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Building In Logandale
Texas homebuilder D.R. Horton bought 43 lots in rural Logandale. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Indoor farming in Southern Nevada
Experts discuss Nevada's indoor farming industry. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Fontainebleau could have become a Waldorf Astoria
Months after developer Steve Witkoff bought the Fontainebleau last summer, he unveiled plans to turn the mothballed hotel into a Marriott-managed resort called The Drew. But if Richard “Boz” Bosworth’s plans didn’t fall through, the north Las Vegas Strip tower could have become a Waldorf Astoria with several floors of timeshare units. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
LVCVA CEO Rossi Ralenkotter announces plans to retire
Rossi Ralenkotter, CEO of the LVCVA, on Tuesday confirmed a Las Vegas Review-Journal report that he is preparing to retire. Richard N. Velotta/ Las Vegas Review-Journal
Cousins Maine Lobster to open inside 2 Las Vegas Smith’s stores
Cousins Maine Lobster food truck company will open inside Las Vegas’ two newest Smith’s at Skye Canyon Park Drive and U.S. Highway 95, and at Warm Springs Road and Durango Drive. Cousins currently sells outside some Las Vegas Smith’s stores and at Fremont Street and Las Vegas Boulevard. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas home prices to continue to rise, expert says
Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, gives homebuyers a pulse on the Las Vegas housing market. (Eli Segall/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
NV Energy announces clean energy investment
The company is planning to add six solar projects in Nevada, along with the state's first major battery energy storage capacity. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
3 Mario Batali restaurants on Las Vegas Strip to close
Days after new sexual misconduct allegations were made against celebrity chef Mario Batali, his company announced Friday that it will close its three Las Vegas restaurants July 27. Employees of Carnevino Italian Steakhouse, B&B Ristorante and Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria, all located in The Venetian and Palazzo resorts, were informed of the decision Friday morning. Bastianich is scheduled to visit the restaurants Friday to speak to employees about the next two months of operation as well as how the company plans to help them transition to new positions.
Nevada has its first cybersecurity apprenticeship program
The Learning Center education company in Las Vegas has launched the first apprenticeship program for cybersecurity in Nevada. It was approved by the State Apprenticeship Council on May 15. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas union members voting to authorize the right to strike
Thousands of Las Vegas union members voting Tuesday morning to authorize the right to strike. A “yes” vote would give the union negotiating committee the power to call a strike anytime after June 1 at the resorts that fail to reach an agreement. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Small businesses struggle to find qualified candidates
A 2018 survey found that over two-thirds of small businesses in Nevada find it somewhat to very difficult to recruit qualified candidates. Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Nevada secretary of state website offers little protection against fraudulent business filings
Property developer Andy Pham tells how control of his business was easily seized by another person using the secretary of state website.
Caesars may be going solo in its marijuana policy
Several Southern Nevada casino companies aren’t following Caesars Entertainment’s lead on marijuana testing.
How much is the Lucky Dragon worth?
Less than a year-and-a-half after it opened, the Lucky Dragon was in bankruptcy.
Gyms and discount stores take over empty retail spaces
Grocery stores used to draw people to shopping centers. But many large retail spaces have been vacant since 2008. Discount stores like goodwill and gyms like EOS Fitness are filling those empty spaces, and helping to draw shoppers back in. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
Funding source of Las Vegas stadium for the Raiders is sound, expert says
The stadium is funded in part by $750 million of room taxes, the biggest such tax subsidy ever for a professional sports stadium. Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and The Lincy Institute at UNLV, says that is a good use of public funds. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas needs light rail, expert says
Robert Lang, executive director of Brookings Mountain West and the Lincy Institute said he is afraid of a "congestion mobility crisis." Las Vegas needs a light rail system, he said, to accommodate the city's growing number of attractions. (Richard Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Three takeaways from Wynn Resorts' Earnings Call
Matt Maddox came out swinging in his first earnings conference call as Wynn Resorts chief executive officer, boasting of record Las Vegas quarterly revenues and applicants lining up for work.
Star Wars VR Comes to Las Vegas
Sneak peak at the new "Star Wars: Secrets of the Empire" VR experience at the Grand Canal Shoppes.
Elaine Wynn continues her fight to change Wynn Resorts board
Elaine Wynn, the largest shareholder of Wynn Resorts Ltd., is seeking to kick a friend of her ex-husband Steve Wynn off the company’s board of directors. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Zillow is getting into house flipping in Las Vegas
Las Vegas Review-Journal real estate reporter Eli Segall says flipping houses has waned in popularity after the housing bubble burst.
Ellis Island Buys Mt. Charleston Lodge
Ellis Island, which operates a casino, brewery and hotel just off the Strip, purchased the Mt. Charleston Lodge in early April.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like