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Sony London Studio director thinks 'there'll be a lot of VR multiplayer'

"We're really focused on making it a social experience"

Sony studios working on Project Morpheus are keen to ensure that virtual reality gaming on PlayStation doesn't have to be a solitary experience.

Dave Raynard, studio director at Sony London Studio, told CVG following a recent Project Morpheus hands-on session that he expects there to be "a lot of VR multiplayer" experiences.

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"We see a lot of value in multiplayer features," he said. "You've got your friends, you want to show them this great kit. You want to do something where you can all have a go, so there's a bit of pass-and-play, maybe some asynchronous play with a companion app, so we're really focused on looking at things like that and making it a social experience."

On Monday, Sony officially revealed Morpheus, which has been in development for three years. Four demos are playable at the Game Developers Conference this week, including The Deep, which casts the player as a deep sea diver inside a shark cage.

The tech demos on display offer solitary experiences, but Sony is working on second-screen functionality that syncs with the VR helmet. A companion app for The Deep will allow a second player to take part, and Sony hopes this extra functionality will prove a critical differentiator to other VR devices like Oculus Rift.

"With the companion app, you get to see a view of the cage, you can see the shark swimming around and you can actually introduce other wildlife," Raynard said. "So we can introduce a sea turtle, you can direct where the sea turtle swims to and then the shark will go and attack it.

"We did another demo with a companion app where we got [PlayStation exec Shuhei Yoshida] walking around in this creepy house, and on the companion app we had these different scary sounds. So we would scare him with these really eerie noises, but the payoff one was this really horrible face that would leap out really close [to the players' face], and Shuhei screamed 'Ahhhhh!'."

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