Virtual reality wars heating up at Game Developers' Conference

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- On the biggest day yet of the Game Developers' Conference, three titans went head to head in a battle to be on your head.

They say you have to experience virtual reality to believe it. Sony is showing off the new prototype of Project Morpheus.

"Our engineers worked really hard to make it really simple," Sony Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida said.

When it launches next year, the virtual reality headset will be plug-and-play. "When you purchase Project Morpheus and hook it to PS4, it just works," Yoshida said.

But of course, it only works with a PlayStation 4. "It'll be good for Sony and PlayStation gamers, but it's not going to be like the world-leading solution that'll take over everything, like the potential for Oculus or the potential for Valve," GamesBeat reporter Jeff Grubb said.

Oculus, now owned by Facebook, was first on the scene and here at the Game Developer's Conference, they're lining up to try its latest project -- code named Crescent Bay.

"The best way to describe it is the technology fades away and you're in a whole new place, experiencing something as if you're really there," virtual reality developer Brad Herman said.

Oculus has opened up to third parties, making accessories like a treadmill. But what if you could actually run around?

"You got the dining room that you've never really used. It's for guests. Yeah, well get rid of it. Put a VR system in there. You now have a use for that room," Valve engineer Ken Birdwell said.

That's the point of the newest headset called Vive from HTC and the PC gaming giant Valve. It uses lasers to track where you are in the room.

"You're not looking at something, you're in it. You're walking around in it. It becomes where you are more than just what you're looking at," Birdwell said.

Virtual reality has the ability to teleport you to a whole different world, but along with that comes a responsibility. Everything in that world has to work just right or you might not have a pleasant journey.

"In the real world, when you turn your head, nothing ever like blurs and moves," PlayStation Research & Development's Richard Marks said.

Sony wanted to make its latest prototype blindingly fast because a little delay makes a big difference.

"It can make you sick and make you feel not good. So that's why we focus on it so much," Marks said.

None of the headsets are on sale to consumers yet. The companies are busy courting developers, so when you do buy one, you'll have awesome games to play on it.

"There is the next phenomenon out there and it is going to be someone who's probably here right now that's going to make it," Grubb said.
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