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.
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.

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