At the 2015 Game Developers Conference held in San Francisco, Sony Computer Entertainment unveiled the new prototype of “Project Morpheus” (Morpheus) – a virtual reality (VR) system set to launch as a consumer product in the first half of 2016.
Morpheus enables players to experience a sense of presence, where they feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world of a game. Over the past year Sony has been listening to feedback from both developers and consumers, and has made several enhancements that will further the capability of Morpheus to deliver a sense of presence and push the boundaries of play.
In exchange for the 5-inch LCD, the new Morpheus VR headset is equipped with a 5.7-inch 1920 x RGB x 1080 resolution OLED display. This new screen expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removes motion blur and flicker, both of which build immersion and help deliver the sense of presence for the player.
By adopting OLED, Morpheus now supports 120fps output, and is able to render 120 images per second. Furthermore, via a system software update, all PS4 systems will handle native 120fps output when connected to Morpheus. By combining the OLED display’s high refresh rate and the power of the PS4 system, Morpheus produces amazingly smooth visuals and achieves the next level of immersion.
More accurate tracking and reduced latency
To make positional tracking more accurate with PlayStation Camera, the new prototype has added three more LEDs to the headset for a total of nine. Morpheus continues to support 360 degree tracking, and additional LEDs improve robustness and stability. Additionally, the overall system has been optimized to reduce latency between the physical movement of a player’s head and rendering on the headset’s screen.
While inheriting the original visor style headset design that reduces the pressure on the players’ face, the new Morpheus prototype features a single band and a quick release button, which makes it easier for players to put it on and take it off. Other components have also been adjusted and configured to make the headset lighter, so that players do not find the headset cumbersome or uncomfortable to use.
Developers will be able to use the new prototype to create Morpheus content for PS4. In addition to the enhancements, the new prototype will continue to support 3D audio and social screen, a feature that outputs the same gameplay that’s within the Morpheus headset to a TV so additional players can interact. Furthermore, Sony will provide an SDK that converts 60fps images to output in 120fps, which will allow developers to bring their content that was being developed on the prior prototype to the new Morpheus prototype.
Marking the 13th anniversary of it’s first public announcement of Steam, Valve announced a number of product and technologies at this week’s Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.
Steam Machines and PCs will be able to take advantage of a new product announced at GDC called Steam Link. Designed to extend your Steam experience to any room in the house, Steam Link allows you to stream all your Steam content from any PC or Steam Machine on the same home network. Supporting 1080p at 60Hz with low latency, Steam Link will be available this November for $49.99, and available with a Steam Controller for an additional $49.99.
Steam Machines from partners Alienware and Falcon Northwest are being shown, with Machines from a dozen other partners slated to release this November. Steam Machines will start at the same price point as game consoles, with higher performance. Customers interested in the best possible gaming experience can choose whichever components meet their needs.
Valve are also showing a virtual reality (VR) headset. Developer versions of the headset will be available this spring, and partner HTC will ship their Vive headset to consumers by the end of the year. Two new technologies are part of the VR release – a room scale tracking system codenamed Lighthouse, and a VR input system.
Lastly, Valve announced the Source 2 engine, the successor to the Source engine used in Valve’s games since the launch of Counter-Strike: Source and Half-Life 2. Also as part of supporting PC gaming, Valve announced that it will be releasing a Vulkan-compatible version of the Source 2 engine.
Next week, Heists will deliver a brand new gameplay experience to GTA Online, offering players the chance to team up to take down big scores. Alongside this new addition comes a range of new features and enhancements. Adversary Modes bring three new kinds of competition to GTA Online while new Daily Objectives and other Freemode activities bring new life to the streets of Los Santos and Blaine County. Here’s a rundown of just some of the new features and additions launching next week alongside Heists:
New Adversary Modes
Come Out To Play
A team of three Runners just trying to make it home, and a team of Hunters are out for blood. Runners are well-armed but limited to movement by foot, while the opposition wield free-aim shotguns and ride motorbikes or ATVs. Hunters must stay on their bikes and have access to unlimited lives, while the Runners have just one life but all their weapons available to pick off the Hunters at will.
Up to four players stand their ground, outnumbered but not outgunned as they fight to survive against up to 6 determined attackers in a location defense mode, GTA style. Attackers have unlimited lives but fight only with sawn-off shotguns. Defenders have full use of all their weapons.
Hasta La Vista
The chase is on as Truckers in big rig cabs hunt down a team of Cyclists. The Cyclists’ goal is simple: reach the final checkpoint without getting crushed under the wheels of the pursuing trucks. Without traditional weapons the Truckers must rely solely on their vehicles to crush the Cyclists. Meanwhile, the Cyclists must harness the maneuverability and acceleration of their bikes to evade the trucks, while keeping an eye over their shoulder. If one of the Cyclists reaches the checkpoint, the Cyclists win. If all Cyclists are terminated, the Truckers prevail.
The Los Santos daily hustle just got a little more lucrative. Whether players tend towards Jobs or free-form activities, Daily Objectives will give the player a rotating series of challenges to take on for GTA$ rewards. With three new objectives per day, players can stack up challenges over consecutive days to earn bonuses of up to $500,000.
New Free Mode Activities
Players also have new opportunities for cash and RP rewards with new activities added to the world in Free Mode. Players should be on the lookout for calls from Lester, who may need help to distract the cops in a specific area while Lester’s accomplices finish their criminal business. Lamar may call looking for help destroying a vehicle or two, while Trevor and Ron need occasional help picking their business rival’s planes out of the sky. Along with GTA$ and RP bonuses, there are all-new Awards available for completing these challenges with style.
There’s also a new in-game Email notification system that will allow players to contact and message any of their GTA Online friends, no matter what session they’re in – as well as a host of new Awards that yield new items including exclusive t-shirts and car modifications.
Everything detailed here will be added to GTA Online for consoles in tandem with Heists on March 10th and on day one for PC when it launches on April 14th.
Sony Computer Entertainment today announced that the PlayStation 4 has cumulatively sold through more than 20.2 million units worldwide as of March 1st. PS4 continues to demonstrate the fastest and strongest growth in PlayStation hardware history.
Skullcandy today announced the release of the Skullcandy SLYR for Xbox One. Designed and developed in conjunction with the team at ASTRO Gaming, the Skullcandy SLYR is now fully compatible with and available for the Xbox One. The Skullcandy SLYR for Xbox One features the GMX-1 Controller-Mounted Mixer, which places the controls for game-to-voice balancing, volume, and push-button mute right at your fingertips for quick, on-the-fly adjustments.
The Skullcandy SLYR for Xbox One is available now from select retailers nationwide or directly at www.skullcandy.com for $99. A special Skullcandy SLYR Halo Edition for Xbox One is also available and features a custom headset color and graphical treatment inspired by the Halo franchise.
Sony Computer Entertainment today revealed the lineup of free games for PlayStation Plus members in March, including Oddworld: Abe’s Odyssey – New ‘n’ Tasty! (PS4), Valiant Hearts: The Great War (PS4), Papo & Yo (PS3), Sherlock Holmes: Crimes and Punishments (PS3), OlliOlli2: Welcome to Olliwood (PS4/Vita), and CounterSpy (PS4/PS3/Vita).
Activision has released the Official Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare – Ascendance DLC Early Weapon Access Trailer.
Xbox Season Pass holders now have early access to the Ascendance DLC Pack bonus weapons. The OHM directed energy hybrid weapon can switch between an LMG and Shotgun on the fly. Also included is the OHM-Werewolf custom variant.
OSome Studio today announced that their narrative-driven survival horror game, White Night, is now available for digital download on PlayStation 4 and PC for $14.99. It will be available for the same price on March 6th on Xbox One.
White Night lures horror fans back to the old-school style the genre was built on, focusing on tension, mystery and puzzle design. Stranded alone in a seemingly abandoned mansion, players will have to explore the estate and confront its tortured past to dispel the spirits that haunt its halls.
Sega announced today that ‘The Trigger’, the fifth add-on pack for Alien: Isolation, is now available to download on all platforms. Seeing players compete against the clock across three new maps for Alien: Isolation’s Survivor Mode, ‘The Trigger’ may be the game’s most challenging add-on to date.
Set before the events of Alien: Isolation, ‘The Trigger’ puts players in the shoes of Sevastopol Station’s Ricardo. Prioritizing the lives of the station’s inhabitants over his own survival, Ricardo will do whatever he can to assist Marshal Waits in his plan to destroy the creature. There was a package of explosives with one of the marshals but nothing has been heard of him for some time. If Ricardo can secure Prisoner Processing and escape the creature, there’s a chance he can track down the marshal in Synthetic Storage and blast the creature into the depths of space.
Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment today revealed new pre-order bonus details for Mad Max. All those who pre-order Mad Max will receive an additional Magnum Opus car body called “The Ripper,” which packs a powerful V8 engine, upgraded exhaust with custom off-road tires, a ramming grill and a tuned suspension so it can take on a variety of Wasteland surfaces.
Mad Max is set to launch September 1st for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and PC.