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Sony developing virtual reality headsets

27 Jul 2011

Sony is currently testing a prototype 3D headset that bears a striking resemblance to that 1980s 3D arcade folly, virtual reality.  The head mounted display features twin –OLED screens, one for each eye, capable of delivering a 3D image that completely fills the wearer’s peripheral vision. The two tiny screens effectively becoming the biggest screen a human can view.

Sony has also incorporated head-tracking technology into the prototype device and is currently testing it with a number of different games. Imagine Modern Warfare with a PS Move Sharpshooter rifle, played on 3D headset and motion tracking.

Mick Hocking, senior director at Sony Worldwide Studios, revealed the technology to UK gaming industry magazine, Develop ahead of the annual Develop Conference.

This is truly a revelation that really could change the way we play video games. It also raises questions about Sony’s faith in current 3D technology – technology that the company has spent a lot of money shoehorning into the PlayStation 3 hardware.

Personal headset displays could provide gamers with the optimal 3D visual experience. With head-tracking incorporated into the devices, the experience would be unlike anything that we have ever experienced.

Granted, it wouldn’t be very sociable, a group of gormless gamers waving around with headsets strapped to their faces is a far cry from the smiley family fun that seems in vogue with console manufacturers at the moment. But then again, a room full of folks sitting in the lounge wearing polarising 3D glasses, like a gathering of Roy Orbisons, doesn’t exactly match the marketing imagery either.

This tech is still at the R&D stage and may never see the light of day. This could be the future, or maybe just a last ditch attempt at selling the 3D fad to the public before it disappears, once again, into obscurity.