Sony toying with virtual reality gaming headgear - Report

SCEE group studio manager says publisher is doing research on bringing VR games to recently announced 3D headset.

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Sony built its Consumer Electronics Show 2011 press conference around a massive push into the 3D space, going so far as to ask attendees to wear the medium's polarized glasses throughout its presentation. In addition to games, movies, and TVs that boast 3D compatibility, the studio trotted out a headset that resembled Cyclops' headgear and called up nascent virtual reality technology.

Sony's 3D push may extend to virtual reality.

That 3D head-mounted display may be used for more than just viewing passive entertainment. Speaking with Develop, Sony Europe group studio manager Mick Hocking said that the company is currently researching ways to integrate the 3D headset into virtual-reality-type games.

"We've also got a new head-mounted display that we showed at CES that can produce really great quality 3D and a very immersive experience for games," Hocking said. "The head-mounted display has twin-OLED screens; very high quality. At the moment it's just a head-mounted display; the head isn't being tracked--but that's something we're doing R&D on... We're working with a couple of games at Sony that are experimenting with virtual-reality-type experiences."

Hocking offered no further indication on the games that may use the technology. However, it is worth noting that a number of high-profile Sony Computer Entertainment studios fall under his command. These include MotorStorm creator Evolution Studios (which Hocking cofounded), WipeOut developer Studio Liverpool, and Sony London Studio, which handles SingStar and EyePet.

As for the 3D head-mounted display, it boasts twin 720p OLED displays, one for each eye. It also features 5.1 surround sound. Sony has not yet indicated when the device will be available or how much it will cost.

Discussion

319 comments
PodXCOM
PodXCOM

@Frame_Dragger It's kind of weird you said "you just went over my head in terms of the technical aspects of computer graphics" at the Avatar graphics news page, because I have no idea what you are talking about here. Care to tell me what you are going on about?

GamerLegend10
GamerLegend10

i think there are a lot of problems with this at the moment...VR would be awesome at some point though

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Frame_Dragger I suppose your right, DEW would be best used as a missle defense mechnaism, if using focus thermal energy is required for taking down single targets would be to fire lasers in short pulse bursts before blooming takes effect due to atmospheric conditions. Or even using thin curved mirrors for low density for higher focus intensity. As for phase arrays, I couldn't see that as a full proof option right now. Flying cars are far too unsafe for public, if this is going to happen, I'm more lenient towards the idea of a hover craft that levitates 2-3 ft. off the ground. I think that was the model Ford is currently working on. Without tire traction and resistance, cars would move incredibly fast and attain top speeds beyond current land speed records.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Frame_Dragger The U.S military has been toying with D.E.W (direct energy weaponry} since the very birth of laser tech. Light that travels faster than sound refracting onto lengthy distance objects as well as focusing thermal energy onto a single focus point, they've already managed to make physical manifestations long ago. When they find methods to maintain stable light travel through weather conditions, this will be considered "today's tech" I do agree that flying cars have been a blunder. Although ideas of flying cars existed since the wright brothers, feasible and solid models that actually fit objective standards without crashing have existed since the early 2000's. Ford manufacturers are developing newer models every year hoping that by 2015 -2020 these vehicles would reach a level of practicality that would deem it a true evolution from today's 4 wheeled vehicles. When weight,stability and safety no longer are issues, this will be considered "today's tech" My main point is that old tech is retrofitted using newer tech once improved drastically and adopted positively by consumers. I agree, key virtual components have not yet come to reality, my point was that old ideas are retrofitted using new tech. Once virtual gaming becomes feasible, it will be "yesterday's idea" "today's tech".

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

@Frame_Dragger Flying cars have been around for decades as well, so has laser weaponry technology, that doesn't mean it's yesterday's tech". Technology is still fairly new until it has been universally adopted as a meaningful advancement. Virtual tech has not reached a mass medium yet, that's why it isn't "yesterday's tech. When I said "this is the future of gaming", I was referring to the rate of adoption of the consumer. Reason why virtual reality didn't blow up back then is because: 1. Gamers had not become bored yet of traditional gaming methods 2. tech had not advanced enough during this era to use virtual gaming to full potential 3. Developers realised that gaming had plenty of evolution in it left without using virtual tech (graphics and gameplay for instance)

moviequest14
moviequest14

@endorbr: From what I have seen/experienced there is no big improvement there from wiimote to move...many game critics (including those from g4,etc.) say it is not as accurate or precise as it could've been,and even if it were preciseness would be the only change,it has the exact same build up and everything that isn't much change for better or worse.And it isn't just motion gaming though,all the time you see standards for other systems stolen *cough* I mean ''innovated'' from them and added onto sony's systems.Take the vita for example...touch screen and ar..the first being something an exact staple of the ds and the second being a new feature of the 3ds,this is the exact reason why am so seldom impressed with Sony they didn't do the research and science themselves,they just took what was already developed or worked to be developed,stood on top of the shoulders of the ones who made it,slapped their sticker on it,and sell it.Sure Kinect isn't as good as it could be,but at least microsoft is TRYING to be different and unique,there is still new innovation there,not what I can say for Sony though...you see companies like Microsoft and Nintendo that bring in new innovation (especially nintendo) with every system they make and see Sony on the other side copying the tech with no innovation and little to no change/research and then selling their tech for more expensive prices than either of the other companies...that doesn''t speak well of Sony's name OR software.

Megavideogamer
Megavideogamer

I remember Sega was looking into a VR headset way back in the Sega Genesis days. Sony should continue devevopment but in no way try to release a Sony Virtual reality gaming system. I did play VR games in the last days of coin-op arcades. But it was expensive $5.00 per play. The Virtual Reality did cause nausea,dizziness and headaches. The graphics were in full color but advanced for the time. VR will never catch on as a home system. Sony could make money off an arcade unit. But only in Japan. North America cannot/will not be able to support videogame arcades anymore. This was tried in the late 1990's with "Playedium" featuring high end (for the time) arcade games. But playing $4.00 - $7.00 per play didn't appeal to the public. Arcades worked only when games cost .25 cents per play. VR is just unpractical for Home use. But look into Virtual reality Sony and release an Japan only Arcade VR experience.

leeko_link
leeko_link

Sorry Sony but the Virtual Boy and R-Zone ended the VR market a decade and a half ago. Good luck reviving it.

liam82517
liam82517

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

endorbr
endorbr

@Frame_Dragger - Thanks. I've got to say I'm just not all that crazy about the motion control craze myself but I will give Sony credit for making the system that actually works the best out of the three available. If they do it right they could actually make motion control a different (maybe even fun) option for games you would typically play with the standard dual shock.

endorbr
endorbr

@moviequest14 - I will give Microsoft props for trying to be innovative with Kinect. That said it doesn't really work as advertised. It is far from accurate, extremely touchy, has ridiculous distance requirements, and is quite frankly limited in its overall applications (although Microsoft is trying to shoe horn it into every game anyway). The PS Move is what the Wii mote should have been in the first place but I don't think Nintendo has learned any lessons from the Wii motes short comings since the Wii U seems to be using the exact same controllers. As for the camera for the PS2, Sony still sells that product as part of PS Move. It serves the same function that Kinect does for the 360.

liam82517
liam82517

@Frame_Dragger Its so easy to say things wont work isnt it. Its harder to try and realise solutions. You are so cool! Oh and an advancement of technology is when something is used for the first time. 3d shutter glasses have been around since the 80s but youd be hard pressed to find any 3d tvs knocking about up until a year or so ago. In short you dont know where you will end up unless you take the journey. Id rather end up being wrong than never have tried in the first place, but you enjoy setting up there on your high horse with your vast wiki knowledge!

the_real_luigi
the_real_luigi

Hopefully this won't turn out to be another "Sony Gassatron" headset!

ImBananas
ImBananas

They should include MGS first person VR missions since this is a VR device.

liam82517
liam82517

@nini200 Please tell me how advancing the understanding of technology and putting people in a situation to try new things or look at old things in a different way is bad? And if youre talking about bombs and stuff sorry but thats people doing their usual great job of messing things up. technology has a domino effect and creating this to be a commercial success could lead to better things. Like kinect being used be surgeons during operations. At some point humans must leave earth how else can we do that without advancing technologies?

Dynamo11
Dynamo11

Well I will never get one but if Sony wants to waste money investing in it then sure why not.

holtrocks
holtrocks

Im really getting sick of all this kinda stuff just trying to get in with the casual gamers. The hardcore gamers is what put you in business and is what will keep you in business.

naruto-fan55
naruto-fan55

man i'm lovin' this, but hope that sony will amke something creative with it, because bottom-line is this: sony just ripped off the 3D idea off from nintendo (BIG sony fan, though, nintendo sucks)

pszone
pszone

This got nothing to do with Ps4 they Reasleing VR Boy reborn since it exitest long ago i see why not sony do one because never know see better 3D Look grapihics. Let again nothing to do with ps4

DiscGuru101
DiscGuru101

Virtual reality headsets have serious potential - if they are done exactly right: Wireless + 360 degree viewing + 3D sound + Doesn't give a splitting headache.

Stonecutters908
Stonecutters908

Coming in 3rd place in the console wars has completely discombobulated Sony. They have been sucked into the gimmick wars by Microsoft and Nintendo and this would be a huge misstep if they follow through on this. You think the Wii-U's controller will be expensive? How about a quality VR headset? I just think Sony needs to stay with the Move and make a robust HW upgrade on their next system and cut out all the bells and whistles and make their system affordable unlike the PS3 which was a ludicrous $600 dollars on launch. Do that Sony and you will have my money because IMO Microsoft is going to make their move for the top in the upcoming generation. By that I mean they are going to try to launch earlier than Sony, with equal or better HW than Sony, and have more online services than Sony. They may even sell at a staggering loss in an effort to bury them in the Hardcore market. Sony is in a bad place right now. They have 2 years of losses coming onto the books with the PS Vita, they lost huge amounts of money on the PSN hack, and they are losing the motion control battle. I think they should come in with a plain old console, with a great HW upgrade, just enough online services (PSN Store, Netflix, Hulu), and great exclusives all at lower price than MS.

moviequest14
moviequest14

@endorbr: You have one part right....Sony taking other's technology....but not so much (imo) about making it better,just ripping it off.Compare move to kinect...Nintendo broke the mold into motion gaming,in order to follow up both Microsoft and Sony did motion gaming,Microsoft introduced kinect,this was a great new innovative way to introduce motion control to 360,it could use some motion sensing like wii but still be unique and individual.Sony however pretty much took a wii remote,painted it black,and added a glowing ball on the end (they even included a nunchuck like side controller!).There was NO new innovation or tech with the move,while on the other hand Kinect was full of new tech and an entirely new concept in itself and,while I myself am not a big fan of playing kinect,I have to give microsoft some BIG thumbs up for being creative and innovative.The only thing Sony did to ''improve'' on the tech created by Nintendo was just influence it in fps ps3 games which they already had anyways. And speaking of Ps3 gimmicks...I mean tools I am reminded of the ps2 camera....anyone else remember it? That was considered by Sony to be the next big thing almost equal to vr.But now it is off the charts and out of mind,though there is a chance that this vr might be the next step in gaming,it might end up like that...there are no definite bets either way.

neosantana
neosantana

@Frame_Dagger OK, I agree. There's HUGE room for improvement in immersive gaming, but someone needs to make the first move. (No pun intended) On a side note regarding motion gaming, I'd rather use the Move than the Kinect. Because the Kinect is utterly ridiculous, inaccurate, and set the gaming world back.

neosantana
neosantana

@Yeebsey Get your priorities straight, will you.

neosantana
neosantana

@Frame_Dagger This is regarding the comment you posted earlier. YES, it's the past in a new suit. But to be frank, no one even thought of the Bugatti Veyron when the Ford T came out. Same tech, improved drastically.

yeebsey
yeebsey

@neosantana "I wouldn't compare a headache to nuclear holocaust anytime soon" you're quite clearly never suffered from a hangover after an absynth bender

neosantana
neosantana

@Frame_Dagger When did we go from talking about VR goggles to WMDs? That guy said it in a way that "All advancements are bad" way, clearly forgetting the fact that he's using one. I wouldn't compare a headache to nuclear holocaust anytime soon.

johnjarvela
johnjarvela

somehow I don't see this working too well for Sony

Yuck_Too
Yuck_Too

Guess people have forgotten about the headaches that VR always bring with it...that is the real reason this sort of thing keeps dying and coming back every half dozen years.

endorbr
endorbr

Nintendo did this idea first with the Virtua Boy two decades ago. But from what I've noticed Sony is good about taking technology that someone else pioneered, actually making it work, and developing it into something worth using. Case in point the PS Move. They took Nintendo's Wii motion concept, made it accurate, and are actually starting to incorporate it's functionality in a useable way into games. So who knows? This could be the future of gaming.

bigcrusha
bigcrusha

Like it or not people, this is the future of gaming, very soon, this is how we will game, as soon as they find methods to make this safe on the eyes with prolonged use, this will be the standard

monson21502
monson21502

just a friendly warning... do not buy anything from sony untill they prove they will stick with it and not go for the next trendy idea.... if this is built into the ps4 then thats fine but as a addon buyer beware!!!

thelegendlives5
thelegendlives5

Man this looks brilliant. I think this is one step closer to the dream of every gamer. Being IN the game!!!!

neosantana
neosantana

@MuffintopX EXACTLY, back in the day, it didn't work because they had no Idea how to use it, today there are dozens of ways to use a set of VR goggles.

neosantana
neosantana

@idosofacility cook "Poop" right? OK, The H-Bomb was a horrible thing, but what about the advancement in communications? As in the internet.

idosofacility
idosofacility

"How can the advancement of technology be a bad thing?" the H-bomb. or more closely, the fact that your wallet is empty couse you bought all those move/kinect periferals hoping to play an imersive shooter, and they will release no good title before next gen arrives. don't go to fast. let us enjoy what we have now, dont force poo on us.. cook it right and bring it to the table when its trully ready.

neosantana
neosantana

Everyone said that BLU-RAY was a gimmick, and now people see it as an advantage. Wait till it comes out then rant, it failed in the 80s because they didn't have the context, the NES Zapper failed in the 80s as well, now we have the Wii and the Wii U. Be reasonable, Sony gave us Motion FPS games just last year, imagine a full on FPS all around. Give it time.

neosantana
neosantana

If done correctly (ONLY IF), This could be the best thing to happen to gaming since dual analog sticks. And considering this is Sony, there's a big chance they'll pull it off.

neosantana
neosantana

@ Gamer_4_Fun HOW can you thumb someone down for saying "There's a rumor" I didn't even say I believed it. Read the post carefully before running you mouth.

moviequest14
moviequest14

The problem is...while this MIGHT be stellar with certain types of games like fps mainly,and that is the negative factor...it would only be impressive in fps titles...if you have a wider game variety or don't like fps then it is an expensive and practically useless piece of tech.For things like 3rd person,simulation,racing,etc. titles vr would add little if any benefit,you might as well be just playing on tv (not to mention it would be more comfortable and a WHOLE lot cheaper).Vr is also way too involving...if you have to just go get a snack or answer the phone with modern gaming..just pause and get it,but with vr you must take it off place it down put the remotes down,etc.and by the time you get it all off it is too late anyways..it also has a big chance of being gimicky and having a load of shovelware...sony usually has stuck to just improving their console experience in settle ways...but with vr I can already imagine titles like ''head-racers!'' where you must move your head (thus almost getting whiplash) to control the car...need I say more?

SDBusDriver1979
SDBusDriver1979

Yo dawg I herd you like 3D so we put 3D in yo 3D so you can not buy it while u not buying it.

mos182
mos182

Virtual Reality, this is what I hope is going to be the next big step for Gaming.

vallan2
vallan2

Side note: A Metal Gear Game with this would be stellar, the possibilities almost endless.

vallan2
vallan2

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