Sony still has a lot to prove in the eyes of gamers at E3. They have yet to ship greatness on the behalf of their first party studios and some are starting to wonder when the investment into a PlayStation 4 will pay off. All we have got so far are sub par games and the promise of 'greatness' on the way. Bloodborne is arguably the first exclusive on the platform that is worth playing, but even Bloodborne may not be everyone’s cup of tea due to the degree of difficulty. With their most anticipated title, Uncharted 4: A Thief's End slipping into 2016 there’s some doubt that Sony can deliver on their promise of 'greatness awaits' at this year’s E3. But they may have a secret weapon; a weapon that could possibly invite new gamers as well as keep the hardcore intrigued. That is their virtual reality platform, code named Project Morpheus.
The possibilities with VR are just starting to get realized. VR can easily revitalize some genres that need help of being more relevant in the industry, for example, the survival horror genre. Developers barely dabble with the genre because everyone has seen all the tricks, VR can push this genre to new heights because how immersive the developers can make each situation. It can also enhance other genres that you wouldn’t otherwise pay any attention too like, exploration games that involve swimming underwater with no real goal at hand. But the experience of just basking in a hyper realistic place in the world that the player wouldn’t have the chance to visit themselves is something that would appeal to a casual player. Maybe even something simple like hunting games could get more interesting with the technology.
That’s not even mentioning what it could do for genres that are quite popular like racing or shooting games. But my point is Sony has a lot of potential up its sleeve at E3. They may have over 100 games in development that may or may not fall under the mediocre rating, but the world needs something new and they have it. VR might be the difference in leap of technology that people didn’t know they wanted. Because truthfully, this console cycle wasn’t as big of a leap as previous generations have been. VR can be the saving grace for PlayStation’s greatness awaits campaign as well as for the industry.
Sony is definitely taking this more seriously since they recently announced they’re looking for more experienced developers to join their new development studio, North West Studios in England. They are dedicated to crafting new Project Morpheus content for possibly the launch of whenever the tech comes out and beyond. The listing for the position was an ‘Experienced Graphics Engine Programmer’ that has a closing date of July 31 of this year. It would seem the studio isn’t looking to be an expansive 100+ team of developers, but a small group that could create memorable experiences for PlayStation.
But they clearly aren’t the only developers that are experimenting with Morpheus. PlayStation will have something to show off this year with possibly even a date or time window when to expect this hardware to come out. All that has been shown is concept demos so far and with the launch of this targeting some time 2016, they have to unveil what’s next at E3. And I believe whatever it is, could possibly change the landscape of the gaming industry.
Every new piece of tech sounds cool, but comes at a price, and sometimes the price is too high for a majority of gamers. If Sony can deliver a price tag for the peripheral in a reasonable price range like they did for PlayStation 4, they’ll be in a great spot. It all comes down to, is it attainable to a wide audience? If Sony has to ship them at a loss, so be it. The more people convinced this is the next big thing, will only push the platform even more. Not that it needs the push at the rate PS4’s are moving off store shelves but just in the sense of delivering great experiences for all gamers at a reasonable asking price. Packaging them with PlayStations 4 would also be wise going forward.
There’s still the question of what will they call this thing, Project Morpheus doesn’t roll off the tongue. It needs a simple yet elegant name but not something too clear like, ‘PlayStation Move’. It’s possible we’ll actually get a name for the thing at E3.
People know what to expect out of traditional gaming and it’s time for the industry to take some risks again like Nintendo did for motion controls. This could be the edge this generation needs to push gaming beyond a beautiful aesthetic and well told stories. Publishers need to go back to enriching the game experience by incorporating something that hasn’t been fully realized because of hardware limitations. Sony will be the first to push this tech this generation out of the big three and it couldn’t of came at a better time.
Keep it locked on Sony’s Press Conference on June 15 at 6 p.m. PT to see what’s in store for the future of PlayStation platforms.
Do you believe Project Morpheus is going to be something special? Or will it turn out to be an expensive gimmick? Let me know what you are thinking below.