Sony's Project Morpheus virtual reality headset to launch in 2016

Sony has announced an upgraded and improved version of the initial prototype, first unveiled around a year ago. The new model comes with a 5.7in OLED display with 1920 x 1080 resolution and RGB subpixels. This is an improvement from the 5in LCD screen seen in the first model.

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The new screen should display better contrast levels, and it's also claimed it will render graphics at 120fps (frames per second). This is roughly twice the refresh rate of most PS4 games, but Sony confirmed there will be a software update for the PS4 that will allow it to create an "in-between frame".

A higher refresh rate is needed for virtual reality headsets, not only to help games appear smoother, but also to reduce the risk of nausea. A larger 100-degree field of view also means users will be able to see more than in the previous model.

Things have changed with the look of the Morpheus too. It features a new headband design that not only makes it easier to take on and off, but also distributes weight evenly across the user's head. Sony has also added three more LEDs, bringing the total to nine. These LEDs are tracked by the PlayStation Camera, and the theory goes that the more there are, the more accurate the tracking, resulting in a smoother performance.

Pricing and availability for Project Morpheus has yet to be confirmed, but Sony says it's expected to go on sale in the first half of 2016.

Sony isn't the only company to invest in virtual reality gaming. Facebook paid $2bn to buy VR firm, and perhaps Sony's biggest rival, Oculus, in March 2014. HTC announced a partnership with online gaming company Valve at MWC 2015. It's expected the HTC Vive VR headset (pictured above) will work with games from the Steam online marketplace.

Dolby also recently announced a partnership with virtual reality company Jaunt, to bring Dolby Atmos to VR headsets. Jaunt says all you need to get going is the Google Cardboard VR kit, and a compatible smartphone.

[via PlayStation Blog and BBC]

Max was a staff writer on What Hi-Fi? and subsequently spent a good few years writing news and features for various technology and hi-fi publications, before jumping on a plane in search of a more fruitful life in Australia. Now based in Byron Bay, he writes about tech, health, fitness and style.