Sony continues 3D push with HD headset

HMZ-T1 head-mounted display to launch in Japan on November 11

Sony will launch a head-mounted 3D viewing display in Japan on November 11.

The HMZ-T1 allows the user to view both 2D and 3D content in high-definition, providing an experience similar to watching a 750-inch screen from a distance of 20 metres.

The "Head Mounted Display" contains one 0.7-inch OLED panel for each eye - both with a resolution of 1280x720 - and integrated 5.1 surround sound headphones. The headset must be tethered to a separate processing unit to function, which will feature a second HDMI port for a second headset or an external display.

Sony remains committed to pushing 3D as a home entertainment experience, despite growing doubts within the industry and the vocal opposition of senior figures like EA's John Riccitiello.

The HMZ-T1 is expected to be priced at 60,000 ($783 / 482). Sony hasn't announced plans to release the device outside of Japan.

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Latest comments (20)

Jolyon Leonard Senior Designer, Climax Group8 years ago
Needs to come with a silver jump suit too...
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Andrew Lackey Sound Design, Wabi Sabi Sound Inc8 years ago
We need to start seeing clearer audio specs. If Sony adds audio that would mean you wouldn't use your own headphones. What is the frequency response of the speakers? How are they getting 5.1 sound from 2 speakers?
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Kingman Cheng Illustrator and Animator 8 years ago
Or I can use that money and save for a nicer TV.
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Show all comments (20)
Wow, that is *super* expensive. Is it really that hard/pricey to produce?
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Pete Ranson Senior Producer, doublesix8 years ago
reminds me of the cyber maxx units from the early 90's
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Rodolfo Magallon Game Designer, Kaxan Games8 years ago
yeah 750 inch display..... but at 20 meters! is like watching at a 30' display no thanks!
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James Wells Gaming Contributor - 8 years ago
LOL @ Pete... someone once gave me one of those Maxx headsets. I played a single race in F-Zero and was like, "I'm good." What a crock!
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Johan H. W. Basberg CEO / Lead Designer, Gatada Games8 years ago
This device really has to come with a gyro sensor for games and interactive applications.. That would be awesome. Looking to the side to check mirrors and the sides in Shift 3, or look around in any FPS..
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David Bachowski VP Business Development, Babaroga8 years ago
Also reminds me of the "sex" scenes in Demolition Man :)
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Jeffrey Kesselman CTO, Nphos8 years ago
Price is a bit high but its nice to see another competitor in the high def HMD space!
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Jeffrey Kesselman CTO, Nphos8 years ago
For head tracking, nothing currently beats a TrackPoint. I'd use that with this.
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Dan Howdle Head of Content, Existent8 years ago
3D basically doesn't work, it just gives a parallax effect that looks nothing like reality and makes a lot of people, including myself, feel rather ill.

Looking at this device, I feel like I'm back in 1986. It didn't work then either.
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Andrew Jakobs Lead Programmer 8 years ago
@Jeffrey Kesselman: what other competitor in the high def HMD space? as there is no other competitor with a headset with specs like that for the same price..

@Dan Howdle: speak for yourself, as for me it works perfectly even on a low resolution HMD like the vuzix VR920 (or even more low resolution Forte VFX1). This HMD is nothing compared to shutterglass/polarized glasses with 3DTV.. And with the higher resolution it is much clearer, and it did work back then too..

The only thing this is missing is headtracking, I don't know about the latest vuzix glasses, but the vuzix vr920 has unusable headtracking, especially with the latest drivers, which seems to take your location in the world into account and was developed on the other side of the world. My VFX1 works perfectly with headtracking. Luckily there are some external headtrackers available, but it would have been nice if it was integrated..

Also if the real price will be 482 it's really cheap compared to the 399.98 you have to fork out for a vuzix wrap 1200 (which is the highend vuzix visor also no tracking, only 854x480 per eye and no HDMI)

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Andrew Jakobs on 31st August 2011 6:10pm

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Keldon Alleyne Strategic Keyboard Basher, Avasopht Development8 years ago
Hmm; I think we're still far too early in our technology to truly embrace stereoscopic 3d technology. The problems are the complexities of stereopsis and how the brain works with it.

Human controlled lens focusing
People need to be able to focus using their own lens, this alone could greatly swing perceptions of stereopsis. Maybe we could achieve this with multiple layers of screens that project different depths of the scene, using optical technology that imitates depth with special adjustable lenses that allow the human eye to naturally focus on objects. Or maybe that behaviour can be simulated by somehow monitoring the lens itself and rendering a scene that corresponds.

Mismatch between the point of focus and the lens focus of the scene will add to feelings of *nausea.

Different angle of stereo cameras depending on depth
The angle between the cameras (or eyes) need to correspond with the distance. The eyes begin to cross as the object being viewed comes closer.

Failure to simulate this will also lead to a mismatch that will add to feelings of *nausea.

Manipulation of inner ear balance
Correspondence between perceived movement and inner ear balance needs to be maintained, failure to do so adds to feelings of *nausea. I have no idea how this can be dealt with without physically messing with the related organs, and this is likely to invoke reflex reactions.

Holographic 3d
Maybe holographic 3d is our next frontier.

*: Appr 10% of the population are known to suffer from nausea when is a mismatch between perceived depth, focus, inner ear balance, movement or angles of objects in view in relation to where there positions are expected. Motion sickness is a defence mechanism against poisons that confuse inner ear balance when mismatches are detected, which I believe is at play with 3d induced headaches.


With regards to gaming, not all games will benefit from stereopsis, but that does not mean no game can. It's all about creating great user experiences, and this technology can allow us to innovate with things that aren't possible with monoscopic viewing.

Edited 1 times. Last edit by Keldon Alleyne on 31st August 2011 6:49pm

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Daniel Harty Audio Capture Specialist, Electronic Arts8 years ago
I'm the only adopter of full stereoscopic 3D PC gaming in my circle of friends, family and colleagues and I find that many people think and say that 3D makes them feel ill.

I would say that in most cases this is simply a case of not having teh depth split adjusted appropriately for their first experiences and of course it does take a period of time to get used to the 3D effectof the glasses. There are of course also games which are just not optimised to display in 3D and this is always (in my personal experience) due to the graphics constuction for things like lighting efffects, shadows, water effects( and of course the sky nearly always looks like a ceiling abour 30 feet above your head with clouds painted on it). They are generally graphical "shortcuts" which make certain effects in 2D very well while requiring substantialy less processing power to be generated.

Examples of games where the 3D effect is perfect/flawless/incredible could be Crysis 2 (in game 3D option), Team Fortress 2 (emulated 3D only), Left for Dead 2 (emulated 3D only) & Civilisation 5 (to name but a few). My point is that the technology works just fine right now, the problem is that few developers are developing their games with out using these graphical "shortcuts" leading to many buggy 3D experiences.

If this Sony 3D headset includes compatibility with current 3D PC gaming standsards then I would easily pay 500 for them as few 3D monitors are larger than 27" and seeing "outside the screen" doesn't help achieve complete immersion. Gyroscoping sensors, integrated headphones (even better with the 5.1 effect achieved in other commercially available headphones) would be an incredible package for me.

Although to be fair, I'm probably not your usual consumer...
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Eric Boosman Creative Director, Dark Tonic8 years ago
Sounds fantastic to me! I'd love a pair.
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Eric Boosman Creative Director, Dark Tonic8 years ago
Sounds fantastic to me! I'd love a pair.
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Ignacio Garcia8 years ago
Ladies and gentlemen, the new Virtual Boy!!
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 8 years ago
Rodolfo, a 750" display at 20m gives, by my calculations, about an 80 degree field of view, which is pretty darn wide. (My projector setup, which has a considerably wider FoV than any TV setup I've seen, is about 70 degrees; I find that moving closer to widen it to about 80 degrees makes me slightly uncomfortable when playing games.) For comparison, a 42" TV at 2.5m gives only about a 40 degree field of view.

In other words, this is going to be a truly big screen experience, if nothing else. That's a major advantage; watching a film on my projector setup is considerably more immersive than watching it on friends' TVs.

People must think that the disadvantage of only one person being able to view it at once is pretty darn huge if a price lower than any 3D-capable TV is too high. (I was looking around at prices for these the other day, and there was nothing under about 100,000, or 42". Though perhaps it would be more fair to compare this to a computer monitor, which would be more like 45,000 with a pair of glasses, if I recall correctly.)

Andrew: the "5.1 headphones" thing is a pretty badly abused term, as far as I can tell. It's certainly possible with appropriate audio processing to reproduce multi-channel-speaker sound in headphones (basically, simulate a binaural recording setup with a head, two mics in the ears, the speakers surrounding it, and an appropriate room), but how well this is done by any particular device is always an open question. I've not dealt with digital signal processing for years, but it doesn't sound cheap to me.
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Daniel Harty Audio Capture Specialist, Electronic Arts8 years ago
There's a lot more info here:

[link url=

Seems that 5.1 sound is integated but no news on its compatibility with PC's...
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