Plenty of 3D immersion in film and gaming entertainment
Back in October, Sony became the first console manufacturer to introduce its own virtual reality headset for the masses, complete with the industry’s highest refresh rate and a decent handful of games available at launch.
The company’s entry into the virtual reality market began as Project Morpheus, which was introduced at GDC 2014 and focused on six key areas to making it a marketable device – sight, sound, tracking, control, ease of use, and content. The company’s experience with optical lenses and its camera lineup have been expected to give the device an advantage in visual clarity, while its development of 3D audio technologies would give players the experience of dynamically positioned sounds all throughout their virtual environments. Positional tracking has also been critical to the project’s success because it determines whether a user actually experiences sensory immersion during both menu navigation and gameplay. Finally, control is a challenging engineering task because it requires a combination of camera tracking and controller movements to be synchronized with the user’s head movements.
One of the main concerns with developing virtual reality products has been their single-user limitations for the fully immersive experience. While it is not possible to connect two headsets to a single device because of processing limitations, Sony, Oculus and HTC are still allowing output to a television set to give other users a glimpse into the wearer’s field of view.
Aside from game playback, another feature that Sony has tried to distinguish is the ability to watch movies and other cinematic experiences in the 360-degree format. The idea is that physical television sets are more or less limited to the size of the wall on which they are placed. But with a virtual display, it is now possible to expand the diagonal screen size, at least to the headset wearer, by an order of magnitude. We will go into this further on one of the following pages.