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Sony Looking Into Virtual Reality 3D

Aw, remember the Virtual Boy? Man, that thing was cool. ...didn't work so well but still.

Sony Worldwide Studios senior director Mick Hocking told Develop that his company is working on a prototype device to test virtual reality. At first, the unit just displayed in "high-end 3D;" the device features twin OLED screens - one for each eye - that eliminates information crossover problems. But further developments have allowed Sony to implement head-tracking, which might lead to a full virtual reality gaming experience. Said Hocking:

"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.

I have to say, what we’ve done in the R&D projects has just been fantastic. We’re working with a couple of games at Sony that are experimenting with virtual reality type experiences."

Right now, they're experimenting with a few games, including first-person shooters. There are no other details at this time, but it gets one thinking, doesn't it? Personally, I never really got involved in the whole 3D gaming thing; it just doesn't seem as immersive as I would've expected. But virtual reality...? Might be nutty.

Tags: sony, game news, 3d games, virtual reality

7/18/2011 9:46:27 AM Ben Dutka

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Comments (30 posts)

duomaxwell007
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:02:59 AM
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a REAL .hack like game ftw!! >.>

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Stabs88
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:12:37 AM

they NEED a new .hack for PS3 or PSV. Ive been dien for another series!

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Dreno
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 12:08:05 PM

+1000000

I effin love .hack

And I been waitin for along time to hear about some vr. I'm so excited I think I just wet myself.

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Qubex
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:03:28 AM
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I am not surprised by this at all...

I guess Sony are thinking it is time to push the bar yet again, however I do not see it replacing a PS4 outright.

Realistically, the PS4 would probably still come with a controller of sorts, however the Reality 3D head-tracking system could be sold as an add on.

Similarly; we have the ability to play current (and future) games in either 2D or 3D... I expect the user to have choice of playing the same game in Virtual Reality - should the tech and game engine permit it.

Again, it is another way to consume entertainment really.

Don't be surprised when movies start to appear that give you the ability to "look around" your environment. Depending how it is filmed (Google Street View camera rig is a rudimentary example)... it will be similar...

Its all about giving the user new experiences, and if Nintendo and M$ don't do it, Sony will.

To survive in this industry you have to innovate, however it does come at a price, and pricing toleration is all important in this day and age of austerity...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

Last edited by Qubex on 7/18/2011 10:10:11 AM

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Highlander
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:25:04 AM

Indeed, could this be a sign of some future version of Move for the PS4?

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Qubex
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:37:55 AM

Hmmm... excellent thought, it could well be Highlander...

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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gumbi
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 1:31:11 PM

Interesting thought indeed highlander. Although, I think I'd need hands in VR, real hands. They'd definitely need to elaborate on the motion controllers to work with a VR headset. Wands just won't cut it.

Maybe they could go PS Eye style with a camera mounted on the headset and some special mocap style gloves with accelerometers built in. Of course, then you have the issue of character movement (maybe a low profile analog nub on the side of each index finger, then you could just make a fist and move around via traditional controls)... yeah I know, now I'm pipe dreaming, but just imagine the object interactions and the Minority Report style menu systems they could implement with full VR hands.

Last edited by gumbi on 7/18/2011 1:31:30 PM

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Highlander
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 3:03:52 PM

I know what you mean Gumbi, but I was thinking that the controls on the move controllers would suffice as substitutes for hands when it comes to manipulating objects in-world, so to speak.

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Xzer0
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:09:55 AM
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I think that this idea will be implemented in ps4.

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Highlander
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:22:13 AM
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Interesting. I hope this makes it to a real and realistically priced product.

One thing that struck me from the beginning of Home is that in a sense Home is the jumping off point for something significant. The advent of Move potentially drives it further, and if the Home engine supported 3D rendering modes as well, it would really be getting very close to having real virtual reality at home. Imagine you are using your PS3 on a 3D TV with the glasses, you have your Move controller in hand ad are using Home, with a headset providing audio and microphone, you are already in a virtual environment the likes of which hasn't really been seen in a home environment, and that's just putting the existing technology together. Imagine how this could go further with a notional PS4 system running an improved Home client along with these OLED Glasses. That could truly bring this 3D virtual reality to life for us.

Fast forward to the future please...

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Qubex
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:42:42 AM

Hmm... again, some very interesting points raised here. A VR version of HOME could be very tantalizing... Can you imagine simply moving you head around and actually turning toward the character you want to interact with.

Similarly in a game world... can you imagine Red Dead, or Skyrim?

I always dreamed of this in the Starwars Universe. Look around the cockpit of your X-Wing as you are flying by one of Vaders' Battle Cruiser... what an experience - and realistically a PS4 could do it - full stereoscopic 3D in 1080p 60fps with VR head tracking...

Damn-it!!!

I WANT IT NOW!!!

Q!

"play.experience.enjoy"

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Highlander
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 12:07:01 PM

Since this apparently includes head tracking, that could very well be the case Qubex. Oh that is a very tantalizing prospect indeed. Even if Sony simply did this in Home for the PS4 as a tech demo, I think it would ultimately make it's way into the more immersive RPGs and shooters.

The thing is that while we are gaming on a 2D screen that we look at whether standing or sitting, technology like Kinect and move is limited in the way it can handle things. However if you put the screens in front of the eyes on glasses with head tracking as well as a Move controller set in your hands, you are now in a position to be interactive within the game, to look around by moving your head, and moving sing the Move controller. That combination would really make that 'dream' of being in a truly interactive game a reality, and it's really something that can't be done while we are still dancing around like fools in front of a camera based system (move or Kinect). The reason I am saying it can't be done wth the current motion control systems is that the screen itself represents a fixed point that the player has to constantly reference, with the screen being 'head mounted' in glasses, the screen is no longer fixed, and as the head moves so does the point of view. That would be a huge departure for such systems and a major advancement in the retail technology - if/when it comes to retail.

Last edited by Highlander on 7/18/2011 12:09:01 PM

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Nlayer
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 3:50:28 PM

Speaking of StarWars. I remember about 7 years back I got to play Star Wars: Dark Forces II with a virtual reality helmet and something that looked like a Move Control(This was before any of that motion control came out for consoles though). I was able to move my head around and look around in-game. It was amazing to look around and then run over to a storm trooper (using the controller by titling it) and slash him with a lightsaber. I really felt like I was a Jedi!

This technology does exist and I think Sony could make it even more amazing if they tried.

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Eld
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 10:54:46 AM
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This is kind of news I expect from Sony, and frankly they could use a little support from us... the users.

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Highlander
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 12:09:42 PM

Indeed, it's nice to see that they are continuing to develop newer technologies and move forward pushing the envelope.

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DcIronfist
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 11:01:07 AM
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I wonder if some people would experience sickness from motion with the display so close.

I am curious about this for sure :)

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maxpontiac
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 11:12:46 AM
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As cool as motion control gaming is, I see this as the future.

Virtual Boy was ahead of it's time, and the technology was not there.

Here is to hoping Sony's next virtual reality system is an amazing one!

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bigrailer19
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 11:29:57 AM
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As long as I can still use my controller then this is the type of innovation I like hearing about and am used to hearing about from Sony.

Last edited by bigrailer19 on 7/18/2011 11:30:54 AM

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Omnipro
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 12:32:41 PM
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I'm glad they are working on VR again. I though no game company would touch it after the Virtual Boy failure.
It has been several years and many new technologies have been developed since then like OLED screens. So a nice VR visor would be lighter and smaller than the old headsets.
I can also see this working with the PS Vita as well.

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sha4dowknight05
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 1:14:22 PM
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sweet sony is going to have an awesome future now!!!!

we'll see how they unfold.

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Lawless SXE
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 1:33:25 PM
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They showed off that headset at CES, and it seemed mightily impressive. Can't wait to see where the idea of virtual reality takes us.

EDIT: May I just drop in something I wrote a couple weeks back on this very topic, regarding the history and potential future?
http://www.velocitygamer.com/pt/Gaming-Technology-and-Trends-Virtual-Reality/blog.htm

Last edited by Lawless SXE on 7/18/2011 1:37:29 PM

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 2:16:17 PM
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Well if people don't mind those 3D glasses (ouch they pinch the back of my head) maybe they won't mind a Robocop helmet on their head. Maybe this thing will come standard with the Playstation 4.

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RadioHeader
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 2:56:58 PM
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How is this possible? My old peepers can barely focus on something at arm's length.

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BikerSaint
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 3:59:49 PM
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The real life start of our very own Deus Ex world.

Yes,yes,yes Sony, I want,I need, & I gotta have!



BTW, I still play a bit of Mario Tennis now & then on my Virtual Boy. Just gotta pick up a lot more games for it too

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SolidFantasy
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 4:59:07 PM
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This idea has crossed my mind over and over, and I'm surprised no one has researched earlier. I always run into the same wall and that is, how to you incorporate leg and arm movement. The PS move could work for hands I guess, but using a controller to move forward, just sounds like a turnoff. You're so close to being in a VR, but so far b/c you can't walk around like you would in real life.

Why can't we just plug into our minds Matrix style? That might be our final frontere.

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WorldEndsWithMe
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 5:06:29 PM
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I remember when Atari was making this for Jaguar. It really would have made Missile Command 3D a much better game, too bad that system had so many problems.

Last edited by WorldEndsWithMe on 7/18/2011 5:07:31 PM

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JMO_INDY
Monday, July 18, 2011 @ 5:46:09 PM
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Since no one has brought it up... ORBs (Move Orbs) on your fingertips. In compilation with the "VR headset" so to speak could make for some pretty interesting conceptual games and art applications alike.

We must also bring in price... yes I know the dreaded Realist in me is coming out. If SONY is to have any success with yet another Peripheral... which I assume will be a PS4 accessory not a PS3 one. Depending on how far in development this thing is and when exactly it will be implemented in conjunction with the PS4 and it's price, we should watch out for the cost of entry into the pool of VR gaming. You'd be looking at possibly a new camera, the headset itself, and a 3DTV if it is deemed necessary for the headset..... things are going to get expensive REAL quick.

They would be smart to not release this thing too soon after the PS4 is released in order to avoid drowning the customers wallet and entry fee into the new generation.

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___________
Tuesday, July 19, 2011 @ 3:49:36 AM
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that things old as, i remember them showing off something similar at CES 09.
had a cylinder typed LED screen too looked really cool!
great, thats all we need more people walking around and spewing all over the place like they just finished 2 bottles of sambucca!

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Alexeon
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 11:59:31 AM
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I just hope this comes with an adapter so it works as a display for phones, laptops, and other devices, too, not just for gaming. I mean, I love games, but this screams cyberpunk potential!

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Ather
Thursday, July 21, 2011 @ 3:28:14 PM
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Can't see 3D, so meaningless to me.

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