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access_time March 21, 2014 at 5:49 AM in Features by Robert Craciun

Ideas That Sony Abandoned And Why Its VR Headset Will Probably Fail


Sony has a tendency to bring innovative and exciting new experiences with their products and their main environment for this is, of course, the Playstation platform. So no wonder that they took on Oculus Rift with their own VR headset, Project Morpheus. Most people, and make no mistake, myself included, were pretty excited upon hearing this. You’ve got to admit, virtual reality headsets are pretty science-fiction and most of us only dreamt about them in our younger years. To put a thing on your head and your eyes and to project yourself into the game’s own world – cool stuff! But this reminds me of something. Actually, it reminds me of a couple of things that did the same thing in the past: excited us before their release, entertained us on their release, but got old very quickly short after their release. And they were all orchestrated by Sony.

Playstation Move. Sure, when it was first presented at E3, 30% of the gamers didn’t quite like the idea, and that’s ok. For most of us it’s just enough to sit on the couch with a basic controller in our hands. But for others, including me, it meant something big and got pretty hyped. At that time, the Wii was the best selling console in the world and its motion-tracking devices were something out of the ordinary so when Sony presented their own, more precise controllers, a huge hype wave took over us and drowned us in its beautiful, but shallow water. And so came the release and oh… it was such a fiasco. Yes, the Move controller was top-notch, it was properly built and was as accurate as they advertised it, but the problem was the lack of content. Or better put, the lack of good content. Sports Champions was good, but no THAT good and playing Killzone or FIFA with the Move controller felt “gimmicky” and fake. So of course that everyone lost interest in it, including Sony. They just gave up and stopped advertising it and supporting it, especially now with the PS4 released. Rumours are that Sony may be working on a new Move controller, but I really don’t see that going for them. If they lost the battle in the first place, with a great device that came out when the PS3 was in its best years, they will probably taste failure again.

3D gaming. From the start there was the problem of money. In order to enjoy 3D games you needed a 3D TV and they were very expensive at that time, especially Sony Bravias which they actually used for advertising the games. Or better put, they used the games to advertise for the TVs. This is quite a thing here as I’m not sure which way they went. At that time, 3D was flourishing and was evolving at a fast pace so no wonder that the idea of 3D movies in your own home was appealing. So when Sony came up with 3D games, the whole world just imploded. But it wasn’t about the games in the first place. Sony used the Playstation platform and 3D games in order to sell their TVs and not the other way around. But because 3D TVs were so expensive, the idea died pretty quickly, before the prices even got to drop. Nowadays, 3D TVs are not so expensive as they were, but why buy them? Sony has clearly abandoned the whole three-dimensional concept and games no longer provide 3D support, or if they do, they just don’t advertise it. It was just a gimmick, a distraction. The only 3D thing that Sony is working on is their VR headset and it may be the only product that actually needs 3D.

sony vr headset

Sony tried to redefine gaming and add some creativity in the process, but ended up creating mere gimmicks and distractions, not worthy of sticking with the gaming industry for long. I don’t know if they did it just for the idea of innovation and for the sake of the gamers, or just to advertise their TVs and consoles and make people buy them, not caring for a long-term solution, but their code-name: Morpheus virtual reality headset smells just like the past. Will it prove to be a legendary device that redefines gaming in the comfort of your home, or will it prove to be just another shallow gadget with the sole purpose of boosting the PS4 sales and then just dying slowly over the years? I don’t think that we’ll ever going to know the truth of it.



  • medman March 21, 2014 at 8:01 AM

    Well, I saw the move and the camera implemented with the Morpheus vr at the demo. So it is possible that Sony developed those products from the beginning with vr in mind. If that is the case, they are very forward thinking. I must say the move and the playstation camera make alot more sense when you take vr into consideration, and I see more future in vr than in kinect or any other such motion control gaming application. Remember, these (oculus and morpheus) are the first applications in vr we’ve seen for gaming. It’s exciting, and of course that excitement should be tempered due to this being uncharted territory, but it’s hard not to look forward ten years down the line to where this tech and subsequent iterations of it could take gaming.

    • Robert Craciun March 21, 2014 at 9:12 AM

      It is indeed a great combination, I just hope that Sony will support this device and constantly release content for it and not use it only as a tool to promote their Playstation platforms.

  • DarthDiggler March 21, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Sony didn’t invent 3D gaming and for a time 3D was a hot commodity in the electronics market.

    PlayStation 4 supports the PS Move and the PS Move was used during the original PS4 demo. Sony supported the shit out of PlayStation Move, many games on PS3 support the Move. The marketplace hasn’t gravitated to PS Move which is why you don’t see it touted as much.

    Sony reacts to the market place and VR headset tech certainly has a future (at least John Carmack thinks so, he is working on Oculous Rift). If the marketplace doesn’t buy it, it will likely wither. That isn’t Sony’s fault they just misread customer desire.

    So the whole premise of your article is flawed.

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