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Sony’s Project Morpheus VR headset is a “Really Bad Idea,” says Pachter

Tuesday, 25th March 2014 09:58 GMT By Dave Cook

PS4 will be a “wild success”, according to Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter, but the analyst feels that the new Project Morpheus VR headset will be a “Really Bad Idea for Sony.”

It follows claims from this industry insider than Sony will show new VR demos in due course, and that PSone and PS2 support is coming to PS4 with native 1080p rendering.

Speaking with DualShockers, Pachter suggested that the VR scene is already too crowded. “I think it’s a bad idea for multiple participants to chase it,” he began, “and I think it’s a really bad idea for Sony. I have no problem with the Oculus Rift, that they’re trying it, because they’re a startup and that’s a very small market and if they dominate it that’s great, but if it’s a small market and there are multiple players, it’s gonna be hard for anybody to make money.

“And I don’t think it’s gonna be a big market. It sounds interesting, but I don’t think there will be enough content to justify making the capital investment to create the headset. I think it’s chicken and egg. If there’s no content you’re not gonna buy a virtual reality headset, and if you don’t buy a virtual reality headset, there won’t be any content, because no one will make a dedicated game for a very small audience.

“The Oculus Rift guys are making some games themselves, and they hired some pretty impressive people. Sony certainly is capable of doing the same, and if you wanna think about Sony’s success here, remember all the big 3D games and how those did. Nobody cares. So I think it’s just a super super small market.”

Pachter didn’t write Oculus off however, and added, “I think the Oculus guys are gonna be very happy with a million sales. If they get a million sales, they’re gonna get a ton of money. A million sales is a huge success for Oculus Rift. It’s just a hiccup for Sony.”

It’s a topic that came up in my recent VR roundtable interview with a handful of prototyping virtual reality developers. Check it out for some neat insight into this emerging market.

What do you make of Pachter’s comments? Let us know below.

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11 Comments

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  1. CycloneFox

    Wow if Pachter says that, I have no doubt in Project Morpheus anymore. That means, VR is finally really coming to the mass market. *-*

    #1 4 months ago
  2. Panthro

    Why do people still listen to this babbling idiot?

    It would be more constructive (and more entertaining) to just pick up a homeless man off the street and ask him what he thinks about it.
    I would actually give more credibility to whatever the homeless man said to.

    #2 4 months ago
  3. RPRezo

    I’m starting to think that he is saying stupid shit on purpose. There is no gaming analyst as quotable as Pachter nowadays.

    Morpheus is not even a direct competitor to Oculus. It’s an alternative for gamers with PS4 instead of a powerful PC.

    #3 4 months ago
  4. Michael Ireland

    For once Patcher said something accurate.

    #4 4 months ago
  5. KineticCalvaria

    Oh fuck off Pachter.

    If it works well, I’ll be buying it day one.

    #5 4 months ago
  6. Dragon

    Money making wise, I agree that initially Sony wont make much.
    But really in this case I don’t care about that. VR will be a revolutionary tech in years to come, make no mistake about that. And what drives the tech forward faster? More people working on it.

    I hardly care how much money each makes. I just want VR to reach its full potential soon. VR will be revolutionary in the future.

    #6 4 months ago
  7. Luciferous

    @Dragon Exactly! If you have one company developing tech it gets stale because they hit a success but have nowhere else to go. Throw in another team approaching the problem from a different angle you suddenly have different avenues of approach for both companies.

    I reckon that is why the Oculus guys actually seem excited about Morpheus, it isn’t a direct competitor, but it offers them new ideas and a bit of good natured competition.

    If they both turn out well I’ll be getting both on or near day one (providing they are affordable)

    #7 4 months ago
  8. Dragon

    @Luciferous,
    Patcher only talks about money matters. So while I hear him on those topics, I don’t care what he talks about VR. Everything isn’t commercially viable from the start.

    VR is just the ultimate tech in terms of immersion. Rather funny how he talks about 3D TV since nothing will ever come closer to immersion than VR.
    And mind you, not just in games. The possibilities are truly endless.

    #8 4 months ago
  9. salarta

    … Pachter has no idea what he’s saying here. It’s a really bad idea for Sony? Out of all the major players in the market, Sony has got to be the best fit. Sony has experience making TVs, monitors, and even the “personal viewer” headsets that are a perfect precursor to this very idea. If it’s not a good idea for Sony, then it’s not a good idea for anyone, ever.

    The failure of big 3D games is a result of something else entirely. Those 3D TVs are more like visual gimmicks in that the 3D serves no actual function, they come with problems like causing headaches, and they came in swiftly after HDTVs. People that just spent a ton of money on HDTVs don’t want to rush out and buy a new TV solely for a gimmick

    VR headsets are not 3D TVs. They’re a radical shift in perspective, and if handled properly, can lead to new forms and variations of gameplay. Pachter’s “chicken or egg” comparison is false, because we know you need to make the headset before games can be made for the headset, and it’s perfectly possible for the industry to be a success if enough money is put into both the headset and the games to provide the pair at launch.

    The only possible problem with competition is if there’s no cross-compatibility, say if Sony decides to prevent use of the headset on anything other than Sony products. If that happens, then VR could potentially crash solely because nobody wants to have to buy a different headset for every system. However, I don’t see that problem happening. These businesses seem intelligent enough to know better, considering Sony doesn’t prevent Microsoft consoles from working on their TVs.

    #9 4 months ago
  10. roycruse

    What the hell is this Pachter character on about…..

    The gaming world is ripe for living room VR.

    Sony will make this popular. I can see it working very well for any first person game especially driving and flight sim stuff.

    Sorry @salarta but the Morpheus headset will very much only work on a ps4…

    It will use Playstation move electronics and the PlayStation 4 camera to acurately track your head position and orientation. So even if it did work on another device it would be only as a stereoscopic screen not VR. Can’t see Microsoft or any other manufacturer adding PlayStation move and playstation camera tech to their products.

    I have been waiting for VR to reach the home console for the last 20 odd years ever since I tried a game in a lo don arcade that had very poor polygon graphics.

    I was sure something would get released for ps3… So now I have my ps4 I will be waiting eagerly for this product.

    #10 4 months ago
  11. cjmayberry

    Project Morpheus – Playstation VR Forum and http://reddit.com/r/PlayStationVR

    Two of the places to be if your interested in the future of Playstation VR. I know I am!

    #11 4 months ago