The official spec sheet of the prototype of Sony’s Project Morpheus virtual reality headset mentions the “processor unit” that we’ve seen in the form of a black box cabled between the PS4 and the headset itself. SCE Worldwide Studios President Shuhei Yoshida and Senior Director Richard Marks explained exactly what it does in an interview with the Japanese website 4Gamer.
The unit contains three separate processors: a Digital Sound Processor (DSP), a Frame Rate Conversion (FRC) unit and a third chip to correct lens distortion.
The DSP generates the three dimensional sound for the headset. Its presence in the retail version of the headset is not final, as it’s possible to use the internal DSP of the PS4.
The FRC unit effectively doubles the frame rate by creating an interpolation frame between each frame. Basically it analyzes the correlation between the past frame and the present frame of the rendering and creates the appropriate frame between them, converting 60 frames per second into 120. It’s crucial in reducing the afterimage effect of the LCD panel.
The third processor is dedicated to correct the distortion caused by passing the image through a magnifying optical system built into the headset. Both this and the FRC unit are not final, and it’s undecided if they’ll make it to the retail unit, as it’s possible to offload their tasks to the GPU of the PS4.
Yoshida-san also mentioned that the LCD used with Project Morpheus is an especially made panel that isn’t the common vertical scan type, but a horizontal scan type that is much faster at updating horizontally adjacent pixels with a side scrolling image, and can dramatically reduce the afterimage effect of the picture.
The possibility to use an OLED screen is being examined, but a final decision between the two options for the retail version hasn’t been taken yet.