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Strapping on Sony's HMZ-T2 Personal 3D Viewer


Sony's HMZ-T2 Personal 3D Viewer certainly gives off a good first impression. The device looks sleek, like something out of the future, the sort of streamlined future that movies have been promising us since Metropolis. Actually strapping the thing to your head is a slightly different experience.

The unit had a tendency to slide down my nose during my hands-on session at TGS, though this was alleviated somewhat with the straps tightened. Essentially, the entire weight of the HMZ-T2 is distributed between a pad that rests on the forehead and the strap that circles the user's head. Even with straps tightened, it can be difficult to keep the HMZ-T2 stable, which is especially important to experience the headset's 3D display. I found myself having to adjust it frequently.

Sony was demonstrating the HMZ-T2 with Minna No Golf 6 (AKA Hot Shots Golf 6), which probably isn't the best game to showcase the headset's 3D capabilities. Something from a first-person perspective might have been more apt, but the 3D effect seemed about on par (har har) with that of a 3DS. While the unit itself is very close to the face, the screen appears to be floating several feet away.

The 3D effect was most pronounced in sections where visual depth was more apparent. Shots on the putting green and camera cut-aways, in particular, looked best. In other words, sections of gameplay where objects moved toward or away from the camera, something 3D displays tend to do well.

At the end of the day, however, that's all you have: a head-mounted 3D display. There is no head tracking, making the $900 price awfully steep just to play games or watch movies in 3D. Apart from the more intimate viewing experience, you're not getting anything that a decent 3D TV wouldn't provide (although I suppose the HMZ-T2 takes up significantly less space). The HMZ-T2 is slated for release in Japan next month.

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