Sounds Like Sony Is Working On A VR Gaming Headset

Sounds Like Sony Is Working On A VR Gaming Headset

Where there's smoke, there's fire, and there's too big a black cloud for something not to be burning here: it sounds like Sony is working on a virtual reality headset for video games.

Both Eurogamer and CVG are reporting that Sony has been developing a VR headset. The PlayStation makers originally planned to unveil their shiny new device at GamesCom in Germany last month, according to reports, but they pulled it at the last minute. CVG says Sony plans to reveal the device at the Tokyo Game Show later this month.

I heard the same thing from a different source two weeks ago, but couldn't confirm the info, so I didn't share it. Today's reports make me feel more confident that this is indeed something that's happening. (We've reached out to Sony for comment, and we'll update if they choose to say something.)

This won't be Sony's first step into the world of virtual reality, of course — the House of Kaz has already released two versions of their HMZ headset, a silly-looking device that lets you watch movies in 3D. You can use the HMZ-T2 (pictured above) to play games, too, but reports have pegged it as rather uncomfortable, especially compared to the popular Oculus Rift. It's also very pricey, targeting high-end customers who don't mind dropping a grand on strange playthings.

Presumably this new device will be more of a mass-market VR device, which leads to a lot of interesting questions. Will it be multi-platform or PlayStation-only? Will it support every game you can buy on the PS4? Will people even really care, or will it go the way of the 3D television, highlighted oh-so-prominently at Sony's E3 press conference in 2011? Is virtual reality the future of gaming?


Comments

    Oh snaaap. This is awesome.

    Occulus Rift is for the early adopters, this will take it to the masses and be a game changer.

    Now let's hook one of these babies up to a kinect...

    I am really hoping there is a strong push this coming gen for an occulus rift style headset

    Can you imagine games like Destiny and Titanfall on such a device?

    It would we a gaming experience like no other...

    Very exciting times if you're a gamer!

      As much as I am ok with Sony attempting the VR market again, I hope some of the stuff Occulus has made was carefully patented to avoid being completely ripped off my a big corp.

        i think they showed these off just before the rift campaign hit kickstarter. i may well be wrong though...

          They have been doing VR before Occulus correct, but it's the tech behind the lenses in the Rift I'd be worried about. Not so much the motion sense and other doodads.

            It's actually more that the quality and tech of small screens had reached a level where (with some fancy lenses) higher rez images are possible in a headset.
            The biggest problem with VR in the past was tiny screens and thus low field of view with low rez.
            The better the display technology gets, the better the VR headsets will get. I don't think Rift did anything fancy, they just jumped back into a field that's been fairly dead for about 10 years because of the availability of new tech.

              They did do something fancy though, the way the lenses work, accompanied by the software itself (no idea how it works). It's not like they just put in high res screens, because no they're pretty low res for the SDK models, but the technique itself of (concaving? / convexing?) the in game cameras to project it just the right way. I dunno, I just don't want the little guy squashed is all :D

              Last edited 04/09/13 11:50 am

          If you're thinking that because you've seen the headset in that picture it's an existing Sony product (the HMZ headset, sort of a private big screen TV) not concept art for the new VR headset. It's a pretty cool little toy.

          I hope this is going to be a surprise announcement about a feature they've had developers working with since they started handing out SDKs. I'd hate to see something like this released a year after the PS4 launches and get that add-on level of support where only the game that comes with the headset really makes any use of it (like light guns, cameras, expansion modules, etc).

            I'm not thinking it because of the image. That's why I said 'attempting again', but I get where you're coming from. All hands on deck, and we all should see some pretty cool results, I don't want Occulus to shelter everyone off no, that's not what I said, I just want them to be able to protect themselves now they THEY themselves have seen huge support for VR where others have failed. Sony included.

            Last edited 04/09/13 11:50 am

        I hope they work together, Oculus can still make money off it, if tech was patented, and I'd rather not have a 'format war' where game developers would have to choose which VR format to support.

        If these guys team up things will definitely speed up.

          That would be neat, Sony giving Occulus support for their console device :D

    When I saw the picture, before I read the article title, I thought this was an article about a shoe... :)

    Sony would never release something as strange looking as the device in the picture.

    I’m fully expecting it to look like a PS1 controller that you wrap to your face using the controller cord.

    I'm hoping this is true, supported, and awesome. It's been mentioned above but this is where Move and efficient the Sharpshooter would come into play. The tech is there, it just sucks without head tracking.

    IMO Sony is in the best position to make a viable VR product. I mean, who else has the manufacturing , technology, design, developers and content to really make this happen.

    I can hardly wait to see it happen. It would also be far easier for Sony since they would have to develop VR for very specific hardware, and can eliminate (by customizing) various issues concerning lag and positional tracking.

    This is very exciting news!

    Last edited 04/09/13 11:22 am

    I own the HMZ-2 headset.
    The image is pretty good, besides occasional blurring at the peripheries mainly noticeable with small text.

    I agree that the biggest problem with the headset is the ergonomics, because after an hour or so It starts to get uncomfortable. No eye strain though, just the forehead pressure from the pad.

    I definitely think Sony can easily pull off a VR headset. With limited knowledge of how it works, I would imagine they could pretty much put accelerometers (like in their controllers) on either side of the HMZ and be done.

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