We first saw Sony’s head mounted display at CES 2011. Fast forward 8 months at it looks like this crazy device is coming to market. We caught up with it again at IFA 2011 to immerse ourselves in its experience.
The design from the exterior is certainly a winner for us. Although the concept is a little crazy, it does look sort of cool. Once you’ve donned the Personal 3D Viewer, you’re in that world.
Unfortunately Sony had removed the head strap, so it had to be held to the face when testing it on the stand. This makes it a little difficult to determine how that weight feels strapped to your head, and whether it’s going to be a pain in the, erm, neck.
Internally there are two OLED panels offering up a resolution of 1280 x 720 each. With one for each eye, the idea is that they can produce 3D images without the sort of crosstalk you get from single-panel displays.
That much seems to be true. Sony demonstrated some live footage from the HDR-TD10E 3D camcorder and it looked excellent, very clear, very sharp with a very distinct 3D effect.
However, we never escaped from the feeling of having your face stuffed into a plastic box. In our peripheral vision we could make out the plastic housing which made it all feel a little alien. If you've ever been snorkelling or SCUBA diving, you'll know what we mean.
Some masks give you an astonishing view in which you lose yourself, some always frame the view so you feel slightly detached. It's the difference between feeling a part of that world or feeling like you're an observer.
Of course, we might change our mind when hooked up to the PS3 to enjoy some 3D gaming, which is one of the options it offers, but we’ll have to wait till we get it in for a full review before we make any hard and fast decisions about it.
We also think Sony missed a trick here. Put a small camera on the front to give it a “view through” feature and you could press a button and interact with your real environment before returning to your virtual world, or even bring a little augmented reality to your PlayStation gaming.
We believe it to be touching down in November and should cost around £480.