Before you rush to the comments section to agree with me completely, I want to make things clear. The idea of virtual reality gaming is a pretty cool one to me that I believe will be a viable thing in the very near future with products like the Oculus Rift and Project Morpheus releasing. But just because I think it'll be viable soon, that doesn't mean I think it will be viable right now. Especially for Project Morpheus.
Of course, I know pretty much nothing about the actual peripheral at the time of this writing other than the fact that it will be a VR headset for the PlayStation 4. Even with such little information to work with I can still say with little doubt in my mind that the headset will be an overall failure, no matter how cool I think it may or may not end up being. But just because Project Morpheus will most likely be a failure, that doesn't mean Sony will have failed at pushing VR. Let me explain.
No Matter What, It is a Peripheral
Take your Playstation Move out of your Sharpshooter, close your Wonderbook, and put away your uDraw tablet. We need to talk about the fact that you probably have none of the things I just mentioned. Actually, the odd thing is that other than the sharpshooter, I really do own all of those peripherals. And you know what? They're pretty gosh darned cool. Don't you look silly for not buying them now?
Somebody gave me one of these as a gift. It's the thought that counts.
Well, no. Because you know what else I have with those peripherals? One game for the uDraw tablet, one game for the Wonderbook, and a handful of games I would never play with using the Playstation Move as opposed to the normal Dualshock controller. That isn't because I hate these peripherals. Its just that in the case of the Move, I've found the normal controller has always been the better and more comfortable choice.
In the case of Wonderbook and the uDraw tablet? There really is just nothing else for it outside one other game that might be worth a rental. Why are there so few games for it? Because it is a peripheral that didn't come packaged with the system originally. It doesn't matter how great of an add-on the thing might be; if it doesn't come with the console day one, it will never survive on it's own.
Just look at the circle pad pro that came out for the 3DS. A great product that sold so well you now have to buy it from specialty stores or directly from Nintendo because hardly anyone sells it anymore. And even then, just like the Wonderbook mentioned earlier, only a few games actually take advantage of it due to it not being a mandatory peripheral to develop for.
I lied earlier; I read one other thing about the Project Morpheus device. I don't know if it is true or not, but the headset will use the PlayStation 4's camera as a head tracking device. Now correct me if I'm wrong here, but the PlayStation Camera does not come bundled with the PS4, does it? And just how much does the camera cost? $100? Yeah, that is a problem.
Why are the Google results for man covered in money so terrible?
Already we're at $100 for the camera. But lets just assume that it will be bundled in with the headset. Exactly how much is this thing going to cost? I wouldn't put it any less than $200 at the very least, and even then I think that would be pushing it. It will more likely be in the $300-$350 dollar range if the Oculus Rift is anything to go off of.
And to me, I see no problem with that price. Things are going to be expensive no matter what when you start trying to innovate and release newer technology. But when the average consumer has dropped $460 on a PS4 and game, they aren't going to throw another $300 at something that will more than likely only be supported by a few games. This is, however, a necessary evil. Everything has to start somewhere. And those first few tries are going to be expensive and will inevitably lead to failure.
Oculus and the Future
Now it may seem that I've been pretty hard on the Project Morpheus while ignoring the Oculus Rift completely. The reason it seems that way is because that is exactly what I've been doing. Now I'm not completely sold on the Oculus yet, but there's one good reason I can think of as to why it will fare better than the Morpheus, and that is because it was built with the PC in mind.
This took me twelve hours to make
While I doubt many major game studios will go out of their way to develop around the Oculus Rift, there is virtually nothing stopping modders from making any first person game they want into a compatible title. Of course there will be plenty of hurdles, but the fact is that the option will still be there. On the PS4 the only people you can rely on are the game studios themselves, and they aren't going to be spending extra money to go back to all of their already released games to make them compatible unless the impossible happens and the device sells like hotcakes.
While I don't have faith in the Project Morpheus doing well, I do have faith in the future. Look at this new device as a stepping stone. While it might fail today, who knows what it will become six or seven years from now when Sony undoubtedly unveils the PlayStation 5. And if they're really serious about this VR stuff, there is no doubt they'll have one bundled with the PS5 after all of the kinks have been sorted out. As always, thank you for reading.