Sony’s Head Mounted Display: HMZ-V1


At CES 2011, this was demoed as a mere concept, now it’s scheduled to be a real shipping product.

  • Twin 720p OLED displays. Supposedly this provides higher image quality than traditional LCD displays.
  • Optical lenses give the viewer a widescreen 45-degree horizontal viewing angle. The lenses simulate a 750-inch virtual screen with a virtual viewing distance of approximately 20m (quoted from Sony PR, yes they are mixing metric/English units).
  • Stereoscopic 3D support that works at full brightness that is 100% crosstalk free.
  • HDMI in and HDMI passthrough
  • Requires wired connection to separate processing box.
  • Integrated Virtual Surround Sound Audio.

IGN has an excellent hands on preview.

A few comments:

  • This is a large advance over previous displays of this type.
  • The obvious missing feature is head tracking. I assume the hold up is there are no game systems or other devices that currently use head tracking data.
  • Ultimately, I’m hoping Sony creates a PlayStation platform dedicated to the VR input/output form factor.
  • On PlayStation’s idea sharing site, where users can submit PlayStation wish list ideas and vote on them, I submitted this concept as an idea (with head tracking) several times in 2010. For some reason, the idea never made it through their audit process, never got published, and my support requests were ignored. Obviously, they were working on this exact idea as I was submitting it, so I wonder if they blocked it purposely.

Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Jay on August 31st, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    hmm, I think display sizes are measured in inches universally, and this might be through European PR, hence the metric measurement (for those who don’t know metric, 20m is approximately 65.5 feet)

  2. #2 by xDeFcoN_2FasT4Ux on September 1st, 2011 [ 2160 Points ]

    Hmm. Darrin your last comment is plausible. And well, I have a question, isn’t this bad for your eyes, or have they made it so that it does no eye damage?

  3. #3 by Pedro on September 1st, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    However cool this is, I’d have to try it extensively before I commit. And it’s going to be $700, which might be “a little” too much if you’d ask me.

  4. #4 by premiersoupir on September 1st, 2011 [ 17020 Points ]

    yeah, seems really neat, but the price has to come wa-a-ay down. maybe people could be enticed for something on the order of $250-300? IGN reports $800, btw.

  5. #5 by Darrin on September 1st, 2011 [ 17143 Points ]

    @xDeFcoN, I doubt that there is much eye damage. There may be some small or reversible issues, but anything more serious probably would have been noticed by now. Obviously, as these become more widespread, we will know more.

    $780 is too much for casual users and impulse purchasers, but it looks like it has the best price:quality ratio in it’s category by a long shot. I’m tempted to buy, but I’d also like to wait for the second generation: I’m inclined to wait a year or two and get the next major iteration with all the first-gen issues worked out.

  6. #6 by Markus on September 1st, 2011 [ 4322 Points ]

    I wonder what gaming will be like in 30 years… I should live that long lol… Going to be crazy!

  7. #7 by Jason on September 1st, 2011 [ 26366 Points ]

    sucks for people who wear glass’s. Guess its time for that laser surgery eh

  8. #8 by Pedro on September 1st, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    I agree with Darrin. I also think $700 – 800 is too much for the casual gamer, but more importantly it’s not something you’ll want to get if you upgrading from a tube TV for example, since only one person can wear it at a time. That’s also the reason I think this might be really good for gaming, but less so for movies and TV.

    And as much as this amazes me, as I said, I’d like to try it beforehand, but waiting a year or two for a model with all the kinks sorted out sounds like a good idea too.

    @Jason, maybe it can work with smaller glasses? The headset seems big enough…

  9. #9 by Jay on September 1st, 2011 [ 83111 Points ]

    @Pedro: the downside, by looking at the design, is that the area around the eyes seem to have to be flush against the skin, and having glasses will prevent you from being able to use it properly, possibly even causing focusing problems and/or eye strain (as well as outside ambient light possibly washing out the picture). With that said, this would definitely, hands down, provide the best 3D output.

  10. #10 by Pedro on September 1st, 2011 [ 39949 Points ]

    It should work with lenses though… And yes, this would provide “the ultimate” 3D experience because of the individual screens for each eye, that would mean no more glasses (which definitely would be better because 3D glasses are always a little dark) and possibly a greater sense of volume…

  11. #11 by Darklurkr23 on September 1st, 2011 [ 23156 Points ]

    No NO No. Stop with the Virtual Boy crap. That’s TOO CLOSE to your face. Eye strain ahoy! What can’t companies understand about this?

  12. #12 by Emrah on September 2nd, 2011 [ 7319 Points ]

    Since the image would be relayed as if coming from 20m, so I don’t think there would be eye-strain at all, it might be very pleasing to look at. Also, there *might* be a focal correction option for people with myopia to use the system without glasses. :Not probable, but it’d be nice..

    (Btw, the metric / english system mix-up is on purpose, as even here the screens are noted by the inches, the stores do not use the metric system in model names and sizes, so we buy 42 inch screens etc etc.)


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