back to article Sony says virtual reality is virtually a reality

Amid the reshuffle of company positions, Sony has talked up the future of gaming. Don't worry, though, it's not another PS4 or Vita story, but the Holy Grail of home entertainment, virtual reality. Remember Sony's head mounted display which was on show at CES 2011? Well, apparently the tech is now evolved enough to deploy. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Hardly a huge step forwards

    I already have a 3D headmount display and have done for about 4 years now. I hope that "evolved enough to deploy" means they've made some serious advances over the prototype kit at CES as the only technical differences I could see between that and my ageing headset are that it uses OLED screens instead of backlit LCD and has a horizontal resolution of 1280 instead of 1024. Slapping a white plastic surround on it is hardly enough to make it next gen kit. The hardware was never the issue here, it was getting proper support for it into the software.

    1. xperroni

      Think of the FLOPS!

      I'd counter that hardware has always been the issue. Software-wise the 3D worlds promised by VR have been possible for as long as the headpieces existed. The problem was the hardware required to render them in real-time, and as we know, the VR hype died off long before it could ctach up. That, I believe, is the "evolution" the Sony guy is refering to: now that both hardware and software are able to produce interactive virtual landscapes of engaging detail levels, it's time we take another shot at VR.

  2. Anonymous Coward


    Whenever I see some supposed advance in VR, I always think of the Red Dwarf episode.

    "There's only one reason you use the VR Lister, it's to have sex! It's revolting watching you jiggle about like that."

    "It's not the only reason, I use it to play tennis at Wimbledon!"

    "Only because you want to get off with that jail-bait ball-girl!"

    Somehow I feel that, like VHS, the only way VR will ever take off is when the pr0n merchants get to grips with it, so to speak!

    1. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

      Beta Dream Skunk Works

      "Somehow I feel that, like VHS, the only way VR will ever take off is when the pr0n merchants get to grips with it, so to speak!" ..... Anonymous Coward Posted Wednesday 29th June 2011 15:51 GMT

      And what makes you think that they haven't got their sweet sticky kittens and hot studs on the job already, AC, exploring sublime potential in an undoubted prime primary market.

  3. mark 63 Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    this is not VR

    This is just a display

    When you can touch , smell and taste as well as hear and see - then its VR

    1. xperroni

      What's in a name?

      Actually, "virtual reality" as it's historically conceived is pretty much just that: a head-mounted display showing first-person-view images. Of course there's some trinkets attached – the headpiece should include an accelerometer so the images change as the viewer tilts their head about, images should be 3D to further enhance the illusion of "being there", some sort of controller should be available to enable navigation around the virtual landscape, etc – but that's it essentially.

      I reckon that were you to have invented the term "virtual reality", you'd have set the bar somewhat higher. Alas, you haven't; therefore any bloke who comes up with an accelerometer-enabled display and a good 3D feed is free to call the kit VR, and no one to say otherwise.

  4. Stephen 2

    Haha, nice way to drown out negative PR

    What a lovely story to drown out all the negative PR about Sony right now.

    We have all this power, we can do it but we're only really just starting to look at it so ya know, don't bother coming back to us for more info.

    I wish it was true in the here and now, it would beat the crap out of the Wii. I once tried out VR at segaworld in London and it was awesome. That was many many years ago - so I don't understand why we dont' have it yet.

  5. Clive Galway

    Kinect solution?

    Isn't it way simpler to go the TrackIR route but use a kinect for the head tracking? No need for glasses and the display is as good as whatever you can afford.

    Unless they integrate head tracking into the glasses then I don't really see the point. Even then you open a new can of worms as you have issues of visibility of the controller.

  6. M Gale

    Problem with VR...

    ..isn't the tech. We've had fast enough 3D technology ever since the Playstation, Saturn and 3DFX days. The problem is who wants to look like a dork with a giant thing strapped to their head? Who wants to pay bucketloads for two headsets to play multiplayer?

    Until you can somehow make VR headsets fashionable, I can't see them taking off in a huge way. Not that I wouldn't want to play with the tech, but then I'm not exactly a fashionista either.

    1. xperroni

      Age of the dorks!

      Looking like a dork isn't a problem ever since the Kinect came out – no more than jumping around and waving your arms like a crazy chimp, that is.

      Lo and behold! For the age of gadget-fueled dorking is upon us!

  7. sandman

    Back to the Future

    I remember the guys working at IBM Hursley produced great VR back in the 90s. Trying to escape from a burning oil rig while being shouted at by the virtual Scots foreman was pretty "real".

  8. amanfromMars 1 Silver badge

    Red Hot Spots ....... for Debbies Doing Dallas with a Tokyo Twist

    Providing SMART Adult Programs for Virtual Reality shows is bound to be a fabulously valuable leader for development of virtually real promotions in Live Operational Virtual Environments.

  9. Kibble
    Thumb Up

    RE: 3D

    The 3D aspect is a continuing development in the gaming industry, apparently. However, one question is how much development is given to support a head mounted display? Personally I would love to see Linden Labs come out with support one in its Sadville viewer program as the 3D aspect of that virtual world is certainly well done at present.

    Another question would be whether a wireless HUD using Bluetooth frequencies would be fast enough to support the use of fast rendering with or without accelerometers. (Cords so get in the way.) IMO development is still needed as are newer standards for the use of headsets in both soft and hardware for a truly realistic immersive experience- pr0n not withstanding. ;-0

    Standards in specific views still seem to be based on degree of rotation per mouse click rather than on smooth scrolling. This leads to somewhat jerky views in virtualities and not realistic at all even using a standard computer display. This seems to be getting better as time goes on and our puters get faster graphic processors though.

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