Sony has set up a new PlayStation developer in North West England to focus exclusively on making games for its Project Morpheus virtual reality headset.

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News of the studio emerged after Sony placed a raft of advertisements on its PlayStation jobs website.

The new developer falls under Sony Computer Entertainment's Worldwide Studios banner, which Shuhei Yoshida runs as president.

North West Studio is still in its early stages, and Sony Computer Entertainment declined to offer much detail when asked for comment by Eurogamer.

"We are still in the early planning phase with this studio, and are currently focused on hiring the right team," a spokesperson said.

"We look forward to sharing more news and formal announcements in the near future."

We've heard from two people familiar with Sony's plan who both said the new studio is being set up in Manchester - and former Evolution staff are involved.

In March Runcorn-based Evolution suffered a number of layoffs as Sony restructured the studio to focus on updating its PlayStation 4-exclusive racing game as a service, as well as the launch of the long-delayed PS Plus Edition.

At the time Sony said it would look to relocate team members throughout the Worldwide Studios network.

One of our sources said before Evo suffered the restructure it had a number of virtual reality prototypes in development for Morpheus, and the new North West Studio may take them further.

Evo had developed a version of DriveClub that worked with Morpheus, but that failed to progress, with Yoshida telling press it was "kind of difficult and sickening".

PlayStation once had a significant development presence in North West England, but that has dwindled somewhat following the demise of WipEout developer Studio Liverpool and the downsizing of Evo. However, Xdev, which works with external studios on PlayStation games, continues to operate at Sony's Studio Liverpool facility.

As for Morpheus, we know Sony London Studio, based in Soho, is working on virtual reality games. And we understand Sony is working hard to secure Morpheus games from a raft of external developers ahead of the headset's planned consumer launch during the first half of 2016.

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Wesley Yin-Poole

Wesley Yin-Poole

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Wesley is Eurogamer's deputy editor. He likes news, interviews, and more news. He also likes Street Fighter more than anyone can get him to shut up about it.

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