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Sony's HMZ-T2 Personal 3D Viewer looks good but wears bad

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We take a look at Sony's new HMZ-T2 Personal 3D Viewer at the 2012 Tokyo Game Show. The revamped viewer is lighter than last year's HMZ-T1 and adds a 3.5-millimeter headphone jack in lieu of embedded earphones.

Gallery Photo: Sony HMZ-T2 personal 3D viewer hands-on
Gallery Photo: Sony HMZ-T2 personal 3D viewer hands-on

One of the major attractions at Sony’s multi-floored Tokyo Game Show booth is its revamped HMZ-T2 3D head-mounted display. We got to spend a few minutes with it and the upcoming Metal Gear Rising: Revengeance for the PS3, and while we can definitely see the appeal of the immersive 3D experience Sony’s offering, having a large display unit strapped to your head for extended periods of time may not be to everyone’s taste.

It's lighter, but it's not light

Sony says the new unit is a little over three ounces lighter than the HMZ-T1 unit we saw last year, and while the difference is noticeable, it’s still not exactly comfortable to wear. Personally, I’m nearsighted in one eye and farsighted in the other, so 3D on an ordinary display is usually a lackluster experience. A diopter adjustment that would allow me to dial in both eyes individually would be ideal, but unfortunately, that particular adjustment is missing on the T2. On the plus side, the dual 720p OLED displays were bright and contrasty, which really works for gaming.

Sony also abandoned embedded earphones in its new headset in favor of a 3.5-millimeter audio jack that lets you play with the cans of your choice. We got to use some nice open Sony monitors, which definitely helped to make the game feel more immersive. All in all, at ¥70,000 (almost $900), we can’t see the headset making a big dent in the market, but it’s an impressive piece of technology, and after a few more iterations (and some significant price drops), could possibly become a realistic alternative to a conventional 3D display.