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Could Silent Hills be a Project Morpheus exclusive?

Monday, 25th August 2014 10:24 GMT By Brenna Hillier

Silent Hills’ teaser P.T. already makes it look like one of the scariest games of all time, but with a little help from VR it might be reclassified as a guaranteed cardiac arrest.

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What is Project Morpheus?

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Project Morpheus is the code name for Sony’s VR headset, an Oculus Rift-like peripheral. “Morpheus” is a classical name for a god of dreams. It was announced at GDC this year.

Designed for the PS4 – the DualShock 4′s light bar exists primarily for VR – it will also be compatible with Vita.

Currently just an (admittedly sexy) prototype, Morpheus is not expected to ship until 2015 at the very earliest, but no launch window has been named. Sony seems really serious about it, though.

Q.U.B.E. 2 was recently confirmed as coming to Morpheus, along with Project Cars, Among the Sleep, EVE: Valkyrie, Surgeon Simulator, war Thunder, and a handful of other titles including first-party efforts from SCE London.

We sent Stace to see what it feels like to play a Morpheus game.

Silent Hills, the Hideo Kojima and Gillermo del Toro collaboration announced inside the PS4 exclusive teaser P.T., fascinates me.

As such, I was browsing the Silent Hill subreddit today when I saw this interesting theory by an individual rejoicing in the name of meddle111:

“Is it possible ‘new toys’ refers to Project Morpheus…maybe new Silent Hill is new launch title for Morpheus headset”.

Holy fucking shit.

For the uninitiated, P.T. contains a sequence of text right before the Silent Hills announcement trailer which ends with the words “But guess what? I will be coming back, and I’m bringing my new toys with me”.

(You can spoil the entire teaser by reading all the in-game text found so far on Silent Hill Memories, but what you should actually do is go play it for yourself a few times and try to solve the puzzle of how to unlock the announcement trailer at the end.)

This cryptic text has provoked a number of fan theories as to its meaning, as has the entire teaser, which seems to be stuffed with riddles and puzzles (indeed, Kojima hid the game’s title in there as a number sequence, not expecting the teaser to be completed the day it was released). Is the Silent Hills protagonist a gamer? Is Silent Hill itself alive and breaking into our world? Is it all actually aliens?

Who knows! But this idea that “new toys” might mean an entirely new platform is very, very interesting. Working on the assumption that the text is sort of a promise between Kojima and Silent Hills fans, I had assumed the “new toys” in question were FOX Engine features or new kinds of scare, but VR is a whole new level of possibility.

Please don your tinfoil hats, kids.

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Why won’t they tell us about platforms?

There are a couple of consideration which make this theory compelling – for those who want to believe. The first is that neither Sony nor Konami will talk about platforms or release date. Pat asked straight out, and was rebuffed. We know it’s coming to PS4, but there’s been no word of it being exclusive – possibly because neither company wants to tip its VR hand too early.

Now let’s pour salt on it. It’s entirely possible that the project is in such an early stage that nothing’s been decided yet. On top of that, publishers don’t like to talk about platforms until they have all their lucrative exclusive content deals set in stone. They don’t really like to talk about anything useful, to be honest; all the information we got on new releases is very tightly drip-fed. A PR gag may be all we’re seeing here.

We were all like “ho ho, oh Sony” and then we played it and cried like babies.

Why is it in first-person then?

So, on to the next point: P.T. is played in first-person, which is a first for the Silent Hill series. I’ve already argued that first-person could be a wonderful change for a franchise which has rather stymied, especially as P.T. proved its effectiveness.

It’s a huge change though, and fans tend to be resistant to developments of this kind – but it makes a powerful amount of sense if you’ll have the option (or perhaps the necessity) of playing with a VR headset.

Alas! The counter arguments are compelling. P.T. is, as the name suggests, a playable teaser rather than a demo; we don’t know if any of the content will be in the final Silent Hills game, or if it will play in anything approaching the same way. Kojima told WhatIf Gaming that he hasn’t yet decided if the game will be first or third person, and may alternate between the two. (It’s notable that he emphasised that at least some of it will be in first-person though, don’t you think?)

How else are they going to sell Morpheus?

Finally, there’s the argument that as a Project Morpheus launch exclusive Silent Hills could be something of a killer app for the hardware. That would justify Sony making a huge investment in the project to secure an investment. With two companies financing the project, talent like del Toro and Norman Reedus, as well as the huge production values behind P.T., make a lot more sense.

Unfortunately, as mentioned above, nobody is talking platforms yet, which puts a dampener on things. However, as we saw with Rise of the Tomb Raider, games companies are absolutely rubbish at communicating the details of exclusivity partnerships even when there is a launch window.

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It’s probably all rubbish

I’ve contacted Sony about this theory but if it even dignifies it with the “no comment on rumour or speculation” response I shall be extremely surprised. The platform holder hasn’t seriously started talking about Morpheus’s launch at all, so even if this weren’t constructed out of the merest tissue of hype Sony would be unlikely to say anything.

You can see why the idea is so exciting despite all the holes, though. There’s no question that Sony is going to need some massive games, and games that really work, if it’s going to make Project Morpheus a thing, and VR fans really want that to happen.

Sony doesn’t have a very good track record of making things happen, though. PlayStation Move never really took off. 3D and 4K TV have both proven less popular than the company seemed to expect with the brawny biceps of the PlayStation arm behind giving them a punch. Everyone’s sort of nervously glancing between Sony on one side, and Oculus Rift and Facebook on the other, and wondering if between the two of them they’ll ever get this thing off the ground.

Konami could really help in that regard. I can think of at least three household “necessities” I could chop out of my budget should Silent Hills be a Project Morpheus launch title.

Not health insurance, though. I’m going to need that when Lisa literally stops my heart.

Silent Hills does not have a release window. Neither does Project Morpheus. COINCIDENCE?

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