Sony finally opened up sale of its next-generation Personal 3D Viewer, the HMZ-T3W. At $1000, it's not cheap. Available now in the U.S. at Sony Stores and select retailers nationwide, the wireless head-mounted device provides two HD OLED screens generating a virtual 750 inch screen from 65 feet away, allowing users to enjoy 2D and 3D content with virtual 7.1 surround sound without forcing the neighbors to call the police.
This is actually the third generation of Sony's HMZ headset line, following the HMZ-T1 (2011) and the HMZ-T2 (2012). The device is lighter than the previous models, and provides flexible headbands, improved padding, and a tethered "battery box" providing around three hours on a single charge, dumping the required AC connection in the previous models. The device also supports MHL, meaning it can recharge a compatible smartphone or tablet while the device is transmitting video and audio over the same connection.
"The Sony HMZ-T3W portable 3D viewer keeps serious gamers in the game with speedy responses from its twin OLED screens and no annoying on-screen image lag," reads Sony's press release. "A one-touch button instantly boosts contrast and enhances shape details (game-mode), allowing gamers to relish the competitive edge in dimly-lit scenes where danger's always lurking. Plus, there is no fumbling for the right keys in mid-game - the ergonomic visor-style headset gives an unobstructed 'look-down' view of your PC's keyboard and mouse while you play."
The device is compatible with PCs, consoles, tablets, smartphones and other HDMI-capable devices via a micro-HDMI or HDMI port located on the battery box. In Engadget's hands-on, the site said that users can actually reduce the size of the virtual screen down to 70 percent in case user's find the experience too immersive. There's also a new "screen" mode for 2D content offering a curved, movie theater-like wraparound view. Video content is reportedly clearer and sharper than the last model, and colors are supposedly richer.
Also new to this model is a 32-bit DAC and MDR-XB90 headphones, which connect below and just to the left of the redesigned eye-piece. "Consumers can listen through either the supplied 16mm driver in-ear phones or pair the HMZ-T3W with their own favorite headphones," Sony's press release claims. "Whichever option [is] chosen, Sony's Virtual Surround Technology creates an impressive 360 degree soundstage with dialogue, music and effects placed accurately around the viewer. It's like being in the cinema – or right in the action as the gaming battles rage around you."