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Project Morpheus: More Than a Novelty

Discussion in 'PlayStation' started by Digital Jedi, Apr 26, 2015.

  1. Digital Jedi

    Digital Jedi Administrator Staff Member

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    Launching next year, Project Morpheus plans on competing in the untested space that Oculus Rift is still in the process of creating. While people think this isn't any different than the VR games of previous years (that didn't take off), I think that view is short-sighted. Factoring in the technology being utilized, it's like comparing a Galaxy Note 4 to a flip phone.

    Over the next few years, we're going to see a dramatic change in the way technology shapes and interacts with our lives. Energy, transportation, space travel, robotics, are all undergoing innovation that's rapidly going to revolutionize the way we live and think. Gaming shouldn't be an exception. I'm reminded of a conversation I had decades ago where a friend of mine insisted, quite adamantly, that 32 bit was the absolute pinnacle of video game graphics, and that they need not ever go to, say, 64. The conversation around VR gaming is entirely similar.

    If you think about the history of entertainment, each and every time we tried to create a more immersive experience for the audience, we had the establishment, and those comfortable with it, making fairly certain claims that it will never catch on. H.M. Warner (of Warner Bros.) famously is quoted as saying "Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?" Of course, he was referring to the advent of talking motion pictures. Famed actor Douglas Fairbanks revealed that color cinematography was "always met with overwhelming objections." Not only because as an emerging technology it was initially difficult to produce, but also due to pre-existing prejudices. "The argument has been that it would tire and distract the eye, take attention from acting, and facial expression, blur and confuse the action." That quote reminds me a lot of the general online complaints I read directed towards cinematic 3D.

    But based on its history, the goal of entertainment has always been one of immersing the audience into the story. Be it television, film, video games or theme park attractions, the goal has always been to make the audience feel as close to being there as is technically possible. But with each development, a generation gets comfortable with the inherent limitations of the technology, to the point where they view that limitation as part of the art form. A deliberate artifice, rather than the evolving concept that it is. So they buck it, particularly if early attempts at the new feature failed to deliver (although, realistically, it can't happen any other way) and dismiss and miss out on the emerging experience that the next generation will take for granted.

    VR gaming strikes me as this next kind of trend. Particularly if PlayStation can deliver quality games from developers. (Oculus Rift, as well.) The ingredients, and more critically, the enthusiasm, is there. Yes, while playing, you will probably look stupid to an outside observer. More or less stupid than you do dancing to Lady Gaga's Bad Romance? I can't say. But just like waving a stick with a leash attached to your wrist became a rather commonplace sight in a gamer's home, so, too, will the sight of helmeted dudes swinging glowing sticks at each other in an attempt at geek superiority.

    Come to think of it, I just described your average Star Wars convention...

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