As many will know, Project Morpheus isn’t Sony’s first attempt at a head-mounted display (HMD). Outside of the Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) division the company has in the past produced a line of personal viewers known as the HMZ series, the most recent of which was the HMZ-T3, which cost in the region of $1,000 USD. However, it appears as if the HMZ line is being put to bed, with manufacturing shutting down as Project Morpheus nears its Q1/Q2 2016 release window on PlayStation 4.
As reported by Engadget via AV Watch, Sony is reportedly shutting down work on the HMZ series. The line wasn’t intended as a virtual reality (VR) device, simply aiming to give a single user the illusion of watching a movie on a 750-inch screen. Of course, there was no ‘virtual’ element to the kit and no features such as head-tracking. While the device didn’t need to be hooked up to a console to view content, it did contain a battery pack that weighed down the user’s head. The company had also showcased it being used with the PlayStation 3 in the past.
Project Morpheus is likely to be a much less expensive proposition than the HMZ kits, though a final price is yet to be confirmed. At the kit’s reveal in March 2014 SCE noted that it had actually strapped its Move motion controller to the side of the HMZ in its early experiments on VR head-tracking. The company’s Shuhei Yoshida even used this experiment with a short tech demo taken from a scene in which he played as series protagonist Kratos in first-person.
Project Morpheus was recently reintroduced with a 1080p OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate. SCE is set to bring the device to a number of events throughout 2015, including the likes of E3, showcasing new titles and hopefully offering more details on its release next year. VRFocus will continue to follow SCE and its work with Project Morpheus, reporting back on the latest updates from the company.