PlayStation 4 fans finally got their first official taste of Sony’s plans for virtual reality gaming when the company unveiled “Project Morpheus” on Tuesday night. Sony called the announcement “the next innovation from PlayStation that may well shape the future of games,” and it showed off a prototype virtual reality headset as well as a software development kit (SDK) that will allow game makers to create immersive VR video games. As it turns out, however, Sony isn’t the only big name working to bring virtual reality gaming to its latest console.
Buried in a report from The Wall Street Journal earlier this week is a very interesting note that should definitely excite Xbox One fans. According to the report, Microsoft is also working to a bring virtual gaming experience to its Xbox lineup.
“Microsoft has also developed 3-D virtual-reality devices, people familiar with the project say, and it has filed at least one patent for it so far,” The Journal’s Ian Sherr wrote. “The software company has been developing the technology concurrently with a project known as ‘Fortaleza,’ or ‘fortress’ in Portuguese. The effort has been discussed as an attempt at creating a suite of experiences unique to Microsoft’s Xbox products, people who have been privy to discussions say.”
Sherr continued, “At least one iteration of Microsoft’s technology was based on a concept known as ‘augmented reality,’ which often superimposes animation on a display along with images of the real world, people familiar with the project have said. Devices like the Oculus goggles, by contrast, show only computer-generated images.”
The patent in question is titled “multiplayer gaming with head-mounted display,” and it was filed in early 2012.
No timeline was provided in terms of when Microsoft’s vision for VR gaming might be unveiled. And we can only hope that the “augmented reality” portion of WSJ’s report refers to IllumiRoom, which is still the most amazing video game-related project we have ever seen.