Project Morpheus: blue pill or red pill?


Sony has just published its latest press release regarding “Project Morpheus” and it has set ‘the Internet’ on fire. The virtual reality battle is starting to heat up, with supporters defending both Oculus Rift (PC) and Project Morpheus (Playstation 4). Who will be the winner will be interesting of course, but what has our curiosity here at BrandNewGame is how the rise of Virtual Reality projects will affect Serious Gaming for commercial businesses. To be continued..




Tokyo, March 4, 2015


New Prototype Enables Developers To Immerse Players in Amazing Virtual Worlds
Project Morpheus To Launch In The First Half of 2016

At the 2015 Game Developers Conference held in San Francisco, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc. (SCEI) unveiled the new prototype of “Project Morpheus” (Morpheus) – a virtual reality (VR) system that takes the PlayStation®4 (PS4™) system to the next level of immersion and demonstrates the future of gaming.

Morpheus enables players to experience a sense of presence, where they feel as though they are physically inside the virtual world of a game. This unique VR experience was met with huge interest and industry enthusiasm since the unveil of Morpheus in March 2014. Over the past year SCE has been listening to feedback from both developers and consumers, and has made several enhancements that will further the capability of Morpheus to deliver a sense of presence and push the boundaries of play.

OLED display
In exchange for the 5-inch LCD, the new Morpheus VR headset is equipped with a 5.7-inch 1920 x RGB x 1080 resolution OLED display. This new screen expands the field of view and enables low persistence, removes motion blur and flicker, both of which build immersion and help deliver the sense of presence for the player.

120fps output
By adopting OLED, Morpheus now supports 120fps output, and is able to render 120 images per second. Furthermore, via a system software update, all PS4 systems will handle native 120fps output when connected to Morpheus. By combining the OLED display’s high refresh rate and the power of the PS4 system, Morpheus produces amazingly smooth visuals and achieves the next level of immersion.

More accurate tracking and reduced latency
To make positional tracking more accurate with PlayStation®Camera, the new prototype has added three more LEDs to the headset for a total of nine. Morpheus continues to support 360 degree tracking, and additional LEDs improve robustness and stability. Additionally, the overall system has been optimized to reduce latency between the physical movement of a player’s head and rendering on the headset’s screen.

User-friendly design
While inheriting the original visor style headset design that reduces the pressure on the players’ face, the new Morpheus prototype features a single band and a quick release button, which makes it easier for players to put it on and take it off. Other components have also been adjusted and configured to make the headset lighter, so that players do not find the headset cumbersome or uncomfortable to use.
Developers will be able to use the new prototype to create Morpheus content for PS4, a robust and well-defined platform that has sold over 20.2 million units*1 within 16 months of its launch. In addition to the enhancements, the new prototype will continue to support 3D audio and social screen, a feature that outputs the same gameplay that’s within the Morpheus headset to a TV so additional players can interact. Furthermore, SCE will provide an SDK that converts 60fps images to output in 120fps, which will allow developers to bring their content that was being developed on the prior prototype to the new Morpheus prototype.

SCE will continue the development of Morpheus in order to launch as a consumer product in the first half of 2016.

“With the technical specs achieved on the new prototype, we are one step closer to realizing our vision for making amazing VR experiences on PS4, and ultimately to deliver a real sense of presence to players,” said Shuhei Yoshida, President of SCE Worldwide Studios. “We believe that the near-final technology of Morpheus combined with the power of PS4 will provide a standard for game developers to target as they build on their creative ideas and turn them into VR games and experiences.”

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PlayStation 4 Line Up 2.0


As part of PlayStation’s continued commitment to The Players, this year’s conference burst out of the blocks, before Jim Ryan took to the stage, with updates on big titles from SCE WWS all available over the next six months: 

  • inFamous™: First Light – the upcoming standalone expansion to inFamous™: Second Son
  • Ready at Dawn’s cinematic masterpiece – The Order: 1886™
  • LittleBigPlanet™3 – which showed off the exciting Create potential for SackBoy™ and his new friends
  • And a dynamic first gameplay reveal for the highly anticipated new franchise from industry legend Hidetaka Miyazaki and his studio FROM Software, Bloodborne™.

PlayStation went on to showcase the innovation and imagination of developers across the globe, highlighting their willingness to leverage the potential of PS4 to push the envelope and provide truly breakthrough experiences. A range of unique, compelling and quirky experiences were on show to demonstrated the level of choice coming to the diverse PS4 community

  • Dylan Cuthbert of the acclaimed Q-Games took to the stage to kick off this deluge of exciting titles by offering a first glimpse at their fantastical new game The Tomorrow Children
    • The game is a beautifully depicted reimagining of a future world created by the after-effects of a 1960’s Soviet experiment gone wrong
    • Players must explore, mine, craft and battle in cooperation with each other in a bid to reinstate the human race and restore it to its former glory
  • It was announced that indie favourite The Vanishing of Ethan Carter was headed to PS4
    • The Vanishing of Ethan Carter is a story-driven mystery game that focuses entirely on exploration and discovery
    • The game is played through first-person perspective to offer immersive storytelling – an escapist experience of discovering the secrets within another world
  • Mike Bithell, independent game developer and creator of the critically lauded Thomas Was Alone then introduced a new video for his latest work, Volume, coming to PS4 later this year
    • Volume is a stealth game about being heard and is a near future retelling of the Robin Hood legend starring Danny Wallace and Charlie McDonnel
  • Two new titles were announced as coming first to PS4 from Paradox – Hollow Point and Rune Master
  • Dean Hall, from Bohemia Interactive announced that Zombie-survival sensation Day-Z was coming to PS4
  • Hell Blade, by Ninja Theory was announced to be coming first to PS4
  • A new trailer for Tequila Works’ RIME was also shown, once again enthralling audiences with its beautiful art style and mysterious setting
  • An additional eight indie titles were also announced to be coming first to PS4

SCEE showcased the diverse range of partnerships across the entire gaming spectrum as well as the plethora of awe-inspiring PS4 games being produced as a result

  • Eric Hirschberg, CEO of Activision Publishing and Jonty Barnes of legendary game creators Bungie showcased the latest trailer for Destiny, featuring multiplayer action on an epic scale
  • An exciting partnership with Warner Bros. Interactive will offer PS4 players exclusive content for the upcoming action adventure title Shadows of Mordor, launching later this year
  • Alex Hutchinson, creative director at Ubisoft, demonstrated the vast opportunities available to players using the Keys to Kyrat mechanic, making its debut in Far Cry 4
  • Hideo Kojima, Head of Kojima Productions, came on stage to unveil an unusual and light hearted view of his next blockbuster game Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain
  • A playable teaser for PT is also now available to download exclusively from the PS Store 

Just as critical to the PlayStation experience is the technology that underpins it. With social connectivity at the heart of PS4, SCEE announced the evolution of its system software promising groundbreaking new ways to interact with this global gaming community

  • System Software Update 2.0 – launching in Autumn – improves on the best-in-class innovation gamers have come to expect from PlayStation with many new features designed to take the central experience of sharing and interaction to a whole new level
  • Share Play was announced as a key feature in the update; a truly groundbreaking addition that allows gamers to invite their friends to join them in a shared gameplay experience even if they don’t own the game that’s currently being played
  • Whether it’s asking a friend to take over and help them overcome a particularly tricky section of gameplay or having them join in a game of intense multiplayer, Share Play is a completely new way of sharing these interactive experiences with friends
  • Other feature announcements include:
    • The ability to upload game footage direct to YouTube and even view it through the bespoke PS4 YouTube Player App
    • And more to come

SCEE unveiled plans to expand the PlayStation ecosystem in the European markets over the coming months

  • It was announced that a PlayStation Now beta would be coming to the UK in 2015 – opening the doors to a large library of PS3 games, ensuring the innovative service is the destination for all players
  • SCEE announced that it would be bringing PlayStation TV to European and PAL territories for the low price of just €99, including three digital games, on the 14th November
    • PlayStation TV is an entertainment system that utilises Remote Play functionality allowing players the freedom to play their favourite PS4 games on a separate television
    • PlayStation TV gives players access to a vast lineup of PS Vita, PSP, and PS One classic titles, complementing the outstanding PS4 remote play experience
  • Project Morpheus, [the Virtual Reality project / Oculus Rift device of PlayStation] made available to the public for the first time on the Gamescom showfloor, is part of PlayStation’s pursuit to reach the outer limits of immersive and breathtaking PS4 experiences that have never been seen before. It immerses players in other worlds with a full 360 degree perspective

Senior Vice President of SCE WWS, Michael Denny, unveiled even more 1st Party exclusive games for PS4 

  • Built from the ground up to take full advantage of the PS4, Until Dawn is a truly next generation horror game that allows gamers to craft a bespoke interactive experience based on their actions
  • Paul Rustchynsky of Evolution Studios demonstrated the social heart of DRIVECLUB, a title that is redefining the racing genre
  • It was announced that the mesmerising platform adventure Tearaway will be making the jump to PS4 in a reimagining of the PS Vita hit – Tearaway Unfolded. The game has been rebuilt from the ground up to take advantage of the enhanced power of the PS4 and the unique features of DUALSHOCK®4 Wireless Controller, with new fourth-wall-busting interactions and a bigger, more beautiful world to explore

Michael Denny closed the show by announcing two brand new IPs, developed in Europe, coming exclusively to PS4

  • Alienation, developed by the hugely talented Housemarque, creators of the hit PS4 shoot-em-up RESOGUN
  • WiLD, a survival adventure that offers players unlimited online interactions in a vast Celtic landscape set 10,000 years ago, was announced live at the conference
    • This modern adventure tasks players with handling the primal beauty and harsh destructiveness of the natural world and everything in it, offering emergent gameplay in a living community where every other character or animal could be another player
    • Developed by Wild Sheep, an all-new European studio, WiLD was built using the core philosophies of the PS4: power and sharing

More information about PlayStation® products can be found at

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Gran Turismo 's sixth Race Challenge with Nissan

By Bart Hufen – Player 1 @BrandNewGame

A great example of building a brand through an in-game tournament is Nissan’s search for driving talent through the game Gran Turismo. They have been organizing this event for six years now. The virtual talents have proven themselves on the real-life circuits in races like Le Mans 24, GP3 (the championship known as the predecessor for the Formula 1) and in some cases the drivers have moved on to Red Bull’s racing driver development team.

In the past six years more than 4 million people entered the GT Academy. They all fought for a chance to become the newest NISMO Athlete. The great results so far (mentioned above) have proven that in-game training for talent is successful, which is why Nissan continues to organize the online tournament. In 2014 new talents will be delivered to drive in competitions in Europe, US, Australia, India, Middle-Esat countries, Mexico and Thailand. After an intense Driver Development Program, only five international driving champions can win the ultimate prize: becoming a real race driver for Nissan in the 24 hours of Dubai next January (2015).

Like I mentioned in my book – Gran Turismo in my opinion is a ‘simulation-game’. It tries to be as accurate in creating a real-life experience. The fact that Nissan uses this game to find racedrivers around the globe proves that games can train people to become anything they want – provided that the game was developed by professionals.

You can enter the GT Academy through the game Gran Turismo 6 for PlayStation 3, but you can also check some real live events through Facebook… More information can be found via these links: and

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It's the most playful time… of the year…

As just released by the ESA

Washington, DC – December 11, 2013 – Approximately 79 million Americans intend to purchase video games during the holiday season, according to new market research and analysis released today by the Entertainment Software Association (ESA).

The report, “Holiday Purchasing Study 2013,” found that nearly 30 percent of those who said they intend to buy games and game-related items as gifts also plan to spend more on these items than last year. This demand is driven by a strong line-up of video game releases, and the launch of new next generation video game consoles, including the Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and Wii U.

“With a new generation of consoles and growth in expanding genres such as mobile and social games, video games continue to be among the most sought after holiday purchases this season,” said Michael D. Gallagher, president and CEO of ESA, the trade association representing U.S. computer and video game publishers. “This new research underscores the industry’s ability to continually innovate and anticipate consumer demand, making it an economic engine, especially during the holidays.”

Other key findings in the report:

  • Video games and related items are among the top five categories of gifts that Americans plan to buy this holiday season;
  • Physical games and next generation consoles are among the top three categories of video game items most likely to be purchased by gamers; and,
  • Consumers aged 25 to 44 are planning to spend an average of $219 on video games and game-related content.

The NPD Group conducted the survey for ESA among a U.S. representative sample of approximately 3,000 individuals over the age of 13. Survey respondents said they currently play video games on at least one system or device, such as a smartphone, video game console, portable game console, computer, or other game system.

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Platform Mayhem: Xbox One versus PlayStation 4?

Today I got a phone call from a journalist who was writing an article for 14 local newspapers. He asked me about my opinion on the ‘battle of platforms’ and wanted a response to the quote that ‘the AAA hardcore game platforms are doomed to die’…

I wrote an item about this recently when I saw new platforms were emerging like the Ooya, the Gamestick and the Steam Box.

If you saw the release of the Xbox One (great name by the way) yesterday you know that Microsoft is trying to claim the battle for the living room entertainment with a ‘all-in-one’ content solution (music, moveis, TV, series, games, etc.) and I must say I was impressed that finally one company dares to really claim that spot. However… shouldn’t (or didn’t) Sony have taken that spot years ago…??? They have the hardware (TV, Audio sets, PlayStation), software OS, content (Sony Music, Sony Pictures, Sony PlayStation)…?? I still wonder why they never managed to make it happen….

What Sony PlayStation does is claim to make gaming social and play ‘anywhere – anytime’ on different devices (cross platform gameplay). Finally the integration of devices revolving game content! And finally ‘social connections and ‘instant share’ of ‘in-game moments! They even added a button on their controller that facilitates that. Sony PlayStation sees that gaming has truly become a ‘social activity’ and understand that gaming is accepted around the globe. Thanks to Apple of course! Because if you can say one thing about the iPhone, iPod Touch and iPad…they are all game devices and Apple has made ‘gaming’ cool, easy, accessible and mainstream! I remember when people looked at me when I told them I am a fanatic gamer like: but you are not fat, hairy, smelly and eat chips and drink coke all day??? Not without rum at least… and I DO SMELL! 😉

I sincerely thank Apple that they made gaming as an ‘anytime – anywhere activity’ acceptable and that they managed to make touch screen devices work in a superior manner.

Where is Google Play by the way? Oh yes of course. Well Android is a great follower in this matter and the Ooya will bring Android games to our living room on a big screen for who ever wants that. It will be great I am sure. And as for Nintendo? I respect their choice of target group: family and children. And that’s just fine and swell.

So… back to my main question: who will win the battle of the platforms? My answer: ALL OF THE ABOVE and more…

It’s just a matter of context, target group, interface and game genre. It all depends. Example?

I love to play shooters and strategy games on PC, because I need an analogue control to react quickly in shooters and need a lot of buttons to control my armies in Shogun 2 (a strategy game). I love to play ‘The Walking Dead’ and Machineria with my girlfriend on the PlayStation 3 in the living room. I love to play Angry Brides (just kidding: birds – BIRDS) and Ridiculous Fishing on my iPhone where ever I have to wait for an appointment… so there is no ONE game console (except for the XBox One but that’s not a game console anymore, it’s a HES – Home Entertainment System, just like the PlayStation 2, 3 and 4… and Apple iPhone, iPad and Apple TV…).

This video above is a joke of course…

Posted in Apple, iPad, iPhone, Microsoft, PlayStation, Xbox | No Comments »

PlayStation 4 Revealed!

Check out this video of the PlayStation 4. My verdict? I think they developed a good vision, made the right choices and executed well accordingly. To summarize it in my own words:

– Instant access to your favorite games

– Relevant offers based on your current catalogue

– Connected and sharable experiences (multiplayer & sharing scores & moments)

– Elegant (simple & easy)

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Gaming platform evolution…

Since I will be speaking about games, gamification, applied games and my book the upcoming two days in Istanbul I might as well share this slide about the evolution of game platforms, also because the most recent addition to platforms can be pre-ordered per direct. The Game Stick that works with a controller and a USB stick is a sheer novelty!

Although they (Ouya, Gamestick, Onlive) still have to prove their success I am really curious if they will change the way we will play our games in the living room. Yesterday I tweeted that Apple will introduce the ‘next gen’ game console in a form called ‘Apple TV’ probably this year. Providing gameplay through their iPhone, iPod Touch and iPads as controllers. How great it may sound, personally I still prefer controllers that have buttons. And what will Sony introduce along with their PlayStation 4…? Indeed – touch screen – in between their two sticks. Another mistake in my opinion. They could better have made their buttons even MORE analogue. So I can use the buttons as a ‘gas pedal’, or for sneaking (pressed slightly), walking (pressed normal) or running (pressed all the way). I advice the traditional companies to stick to their competences and optimize their systems in line with their own vision to keep hold of their fan-base instead of trying to become a ‘all in one- product… Stick to the Core I say! And let the young innovative companies try to shake up the world with novelties like the Game Stick….

Posted in PlayStation, Wii, Xbox | 1 Comment »

PlayStation 3 – The Third

The new PlayStation 3 has been announced. It will come to market in two appearances:

1. A 500 GB version

2. A 12 GB Flash Memory version on which you can connect an external Hard-Disk Drive.

The press release does not mention ‘cloud-gaming’ at all, but I would expect that the ‘flash-based’ version is all around that… ? It also surprises me that there is no mentioning of PlayStation+ in this release…? Not even the logo on the box….?

Completely  redesigning the internal design architecture,  the internal volume and weight of the new PS3 is reduced by more than half compared to the very first PS3 model with a 60GB HDD. By adopting a sliding disk cover, the new PS3 continues with the characteristic sleek curved simple body design, which fits various places in the home and enables users to enjoy an array of entertainment content.

Since the launch of PS3 in November 2006, the number of BD-based titles has reached more than 3,300 titles and downloadable PS3 games to 4,100 titles worldwide, with the support from a broad range of third party developers and publishers.

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PlayStation Vita Launch: innovation or recreation?


One of the funniest things that happened during the launch of PlayStation Vita was that the PR-lady introduced the new PSP saying: “I played with it last night and just couldn’t stop… it really felt great in my hands…” of course all 640 present nerds (me included) laughed out loud (LOL) and clapped their hands. This was one of the highlights of the presentation of Sony PlayStation.

I don’t want to make this posting a ‘hatemail’ because I love the power of PlayStation and really admire Sony, but during the presentation yesterday they tried to highlight ALL product features instead of picking just a few eminent benefits compared to modern smart phones, like the iPhone.
That’s what bothered me most I feel. To name one example, PlayStation claimed to ‘start the social gaming revolution’, but the social gaming revolution has already started thanks to companies like Zynga with all of their ‘social’ games on Facebook and Spil Games with all of their gameportals around the globe… and to be honest: Battlefield and Call of Duty with all of their multiplayer features are social as well and what about World of Warcraft where you have to slay dragons with hundreds of fellow gamers in epic battles….?

The intentions of the people of PlayStation was not to be arrogant I’m sure, but promoting the fact that the PSVita has a camera on the front and on the back and that it can be connected to the internet seem outdated Unique Selling Points in my opinion since my iPhone has both of these features…
To help you to an insight on the most stunning USP’s, I summed them up below in my comparison of the PSVita with my iPhone…

The advantages of PlayStation Vita compared to an iPhone:

+ Compatible with PlayStation 3 content: play anywhere and even play against PS3 players
+ ‘Scratch my back’ touchscreen controller for innovative gameplay
+ Physical controllers instead of ‘just’ touch-screen controls.

The downsides of PlayStation Vita compared to my iPhone:

– It’s a lot bigger than my iPhone
– Extremely high priced games compared to 90% of all iPhone games
– PSVita was lagging behind and now just caught up instead of setting a new barrier

Other features are Augmented Reality games and motion controlled features, but that’s just tech-shizzle and in my opinion seldom ads great fun to my game-experience. The fact that Microsoft has opened up to all programmers in the world also means they cannot think of enough sound and useful applications of the Kinect-technology. I keep saying that the only good example of Augmented Reality is Layers… but of course I am slightly exaggerating… 😉

So all in all I am really sceptic if Sony’s latest toy will be the big hit they need so much… I know great things will happen soon with the Sony Entertainment Network (formally known as the PlayStation Network), but until then – I don’t think the PSP Vita will meet Sony’s expectations… I guess Nintendo’s unique selling point of providing a safe gaming playground for children is why their Nintendo 3DS is still selling so well. They have a clear focused strategy which will probably help them through these tough years of play…

Now, the retail price for the PSVita is € 249,- which is fair I guess, but games will cost you in between 20 and 50 euro’s…

Please form your own opinion and check out the promotional video:

Posted in Kinect, Microsoft, Nintendo, PlayStation | No Comments »

PlayStation to become biggest global TV network

>After the news end of last year about YouTube dedicated HD TV-channels and Google TV, PlayStation announces that it will rename it’s current ‘PlayStation Network’ to SEN: Sony Entertainment Network. I saw an incredibly cool presentation last week at the ‘iMMovator-conference’ about connected television where Sony unfolded their plans for 2012 and beyond.

As I predicted in my book ‘A Brand New Playground‘ the ‘game consoles’ develop into home entertainment systems that are connected to all the content in the world through the internet. The video below shows you how PlayStation was already providing all sorts of content in 2010. It organized consumer content (photo’s, music and video’s), but was also connected to content providers like Hulu and Mubi (arthouse movies) and loads of other stuff. It’s nice to know that currently more than 50% of all PlayStations are connected to the internet, which is about 30 million PlayStations globally…

Now in the near future PlayStation will largely copy Apple’s functionalities: the PlayStation will be the core of content that will be accessible by all Sony devices and screens in your household. The cool thing is that they decided to make it an ‘open system’ based on Android. Hooray for Sony – well done.
Now finally we can access Sony pictures, Sony music and Sony PlayStation content with all kinds of devices and a specially designed remote control with touch screen and a complete abc on the back will help you to navigate through all that content! Sony also promised to deliver full internet access instead of just limited versions of YouTube and Google.

The main difference is that with Google TV on the Sony televisions you can actually watch two layers of content at the same time: internet + television content. Technically these two cannot be integrated as of yet, but the layers are so well integrated that it will feel as ‘one’ stream of content. The ‘older’ internet television force you to choose between either ‘TV-content’ or ‘internet content’… the future televisions (connected televisions) will enable you to multitask like you never had before and make your tablet your third screen while sitting on the couch instead of your second screen… 😉

I will be visiting the release of PlayStation Vita tomorrow where we will hear more undoubtedly!

Meanwhile read some more on the Sony USA website 

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