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Boring name, cool tech: Sony’s Project Morpheus is now called PlayStation VR

This morning, Sony kicked off the 2016 edition of the Tokyo Game Show with a host of new game announcements and other news. Among the updates shared at the company’s conference came the official rebranding of the virtual reality system many had become very familiar with as Project Morpheus.

Sony announced that the peripheral will now be known as PlayStation VR — a rather dry name for an exciting bit of equipment. As is the norm for video game hardware, the codename was far more interesting than the official label it will be released under.

Executive vice president Masayasu Ito is quoted as saying that the new name ‘reflects our hopes that we want our users to feel a sense of familiarity as they enjoy this amazing experience’ in a post on the official PlayStation Blog for Europe.

Related: More than 30 games are in development for Sony’s Morpheus PS4 headset

Project Morpheus was first announced at the 2014 Game Developers Conference, but had reportedly been in development for some three years ahead of its unveiling. Since then, it’s been a constant presence at trade shows, and hands-on impressions have largely been very positive.

Sony has maintained that the hardware will be ready for a retail release in early 2016, and the fact that this rebranding has taken place now certainly lends credence to that plan. The consumer version of the Oculus Rift is also anticipated to release in the first quarter of next year.

The race for virtual reality dominance is certainly starting to hot up, although it remains to be seen which device will come out on top. A fun experience for five minutes in a trade show setting is one thing, but the proof of the pudding will come when the hardware is in the hands of consumers — then we’ll see whether this tech is really the future of gaming, or just the latest fad.