Sony is ushering in the future (the one we imagined in the 90s) with a new head-mounted "personal viewer" that allows users to enjoy an immersive experience when watching movies, playing video games and listening to music. The HMZ-T1, which resembles something between a pair of futuristic goggles and a visor, will feature two 0.7-inch, 720p displays in the headset supporting 2D or 3D high-definition visuals and 5.1 surround sound.
Sony says it has optimized the integrated lenses to give users a wide 45-degree view, eliminating much of the borders surrounding the integrated OLED displays, and simulating a 750-inch cinema screen. The headset comes with a separate processor unit that uses a normal HDMI connection, allowing you to connect any HDMI device to the HMZ-T1. This means it will work with game consoles, a cable box, a Blu-ray player or even your computer.
Headphones are also built in the device with support for four modes: standard, cinema, game, and music.
Scott Lowe from IGN got some hands on time with the HMZ-T1 and apparently, after dealing with the setup process, it actually worked very well: "Instead of presenting users with a low-resolution, low-fidelity visuals, the HMZ-T1 actually rivals a full-sized HDTV in terms of picture quality. The quality of the dual OLED displays also makes 3D particularly effective. Since you're presented with a dedicated display for each of your left and right eye -- and because they are high-quality OLED screens -- the unsavory effects of stereoscopic video, like blurring, ghosting, and eye strain, are reduced."
Sony will be showing the headset off at IFA 2011 this week and expects to begin sales in Japan as early as November for around ¥60,000 ($783). Release information and prices for other markets are not available for now.