Sony rolls out 'personal 3-D' goggle set

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A shiny headset that lets you watch 3-D video, play video games or listen to music — not to mention looking at home on an extra from your favorite sci-fi film — is on the way.

Sony on Wednesday announced the HMZ-T1, a head-mounted “personal 3-D viewer,” will be rolled out later this year.

The headset includes a pair of goggles housing a 0.7-inch, high-definition OLED panel that Sony says is the equivalent of a 62-foot virtual screen.

It includes virtual surround-sound and can be used for watching movies or other videos, listening to music and playing video games (we’re assuming they’d prefer you to do so on the PlayStation, although they say the headset is hardware-neutral).

“This new 3-D viewing style provided by ‘HMZ-T1’ will enable users to enjoy the movie theater-like experience whilst relaxing on their living room sofa, thus further expanding Sony’s 3-D world,” the company wrote Wednesdayin a news release.

The headset will be released in Japan (where else?) on November 11 for the equivalent of about $780, according to Sony. No release dates for other countries were given.

Sony had rolled out a prototype version of the headset at January’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, but it was far from fully formed and no timeline for its release was announced then.

If it all seems a little Geordie La Forge from “Star Trek: Next Generation” to you, well, you’re not alone.

“Geordi La Forge may not be scheduled to don his replacement eyesight for another 329 years, but Sony’s the latest company to take a stab at the basic idea,” Sean Hollister wrote Wednesday for tech site This is My Next.

Hollister got to test-drive the headset and, while generally positive, said it’s a bit front-heavy and not entirely comfortable. But he called its visuals “nothing short of stunning.”

“[T]hose twin 0.7-inch OLED displays shot out deliciously crisp images with deep blacks and beautiful vibrant colors,” he wrote.

Gizmodo’s Mat Honan also gave the experience high marks.

“This was one of the more immersive entertainment experiences I’ve yet had,” he wrote. “When I tried playing ‘Gran Turismo’, I found myself pivoting my head to look left and right although that has no effect on the display (of course). It was just a natural reaction.

“I felt like I was in the driver’s seat of a car, and was scanning the road as I normally would. When we popped in a 3-D movie, I actually ducked a bit as a shark swam overhead.” (Doug Gross, CNN News)

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