- Sony unveiled the third consumer iteration of their head-mounted display, the HMZ-T3. The new version has better quality video, audio, it’s lighter, features several fit and weight improvements, a wrap around viewing mode for 2D content, micro-HDMI connectivity for Android devices, and wireless connectivity. This does not have head tracking, so it’s not a VR headset, but Sony is clearly improving their head-mounted display technology. Sony probably can’t ship head tracking hardware to consumers before there is a VR game platform to provide content.
- Last year, at TGS 2012, Sony quietly showed a modified prototype of the HMZ-T2 with head tracking and augmented reality pass through.
- This year, at TGS 2013, they are rumored to reveal new VR headset hardware and full PS4 support!!! here and here. I expected Sony to announce VR functionality at the PS4 unveil. I’m surprised that they have waited this long, but I’m very glad it is happening.
- PlayStation has a “share” website to accept user ideas and feature requests. I submitted request for a head-tracking, head-mounted VR device years ago, before Oculus Rift existed. My plan was to advocate for that idea on this blog and get lots of votes, but the idea never got basic acceptance. After a few months, I resubmitted the idea, and it still didn’t get posted. After a few more months, I resubmitted again, and it still got screened out. My suspicion is that Sony has VR plans in secret and didn’t want to draw attention to them earlier.
- Oculus Rift: Most people associate VR with Oculus Rift. They’ve done some awesome demos, they have some credible technology, they have celebrity talent like John Carmack, and they’ve dominated the news channels while Sony has been completely silent on VR. However, Oculus didn’t invent the idea nor do they have any kind of ownership over the idea and they still haven’t shipped a consumer version or even announced release plans. VR fans should be supportive of anyone else who tries to make great products. My one caveat is this: I want excellent PS4 support and first party Sony backing. There are currently three options for enthusiast type gaming: Sony Playstation, Microsoft Xbox, and Microsoft Windows. iOS and Android are great for what they are and they are getting better, but they aren’t near term options for this type of enthusiast gaming. Personally, I don’t like the Microsoft ecosystem of technology, so for my gaming, PS4 is the only serious choice, and Sony support is necessary for ideal VR functionality.