Though the big news lately has been about the Oculus Rift, Sony’s HMZ-T1 is still a solid HMD option thanks to its 720p resolution and incredible OLED displays. A few months back, Platige Image was brought in to create an immersive virtual reality setup to promote the game Datura, a PlayStation 3 exclusive title that was developed by Plastic Group for Sony’s PlayStation Move motion peripheral.
The developers of Datura apparently wrote a custom version of the game to support headtracking. Unfortunately the game was never released with that capability, so this was just a demo. Using the Move and Sony’s HMZ-T1, Plastic Group created what appears to be a fairly compelling VR demo. Actually, they used two Moves; one was used by the player to control the game while the other was attached to the HMZ-T1 for headtracking. Platige Image helped setup an impression demo station so that a promotional video could be filmed:
The demo seems to have only been shown to a few outsiders. From Gamer Revolution’s brief hands-on:
When I turned my head left in the game, the camera panned left in unison. There was no pause. There was no lag. The Move controller in my hand offered just as precise hand movements within the game. The massive screen of this “wearable HDTV”, in full steroscopic 3D, in surround sound, combined with the two PlayStation Move contollers, brought this game to life in a way that I never thought possible—at least not for many more years to come. This was it. This was virtual reality. And this was the most surreal gaming experience I ever had in my life.
Sounds like a pretty awesome experience, however, after testing the HMZ-T1 I’m not sure that it has quite the field of view necessary to really make you feel like you are inside of a virtual world. Because of the 45 degree HFoV, the image seen inside of the HMZ-T1 appears like a TV floating several feet away from you. When you move your head, even with headtracking, it appears more like the TV in front of you is moving around rather than you moving around inside of the game-space. I’m willing to bet that the Oculus Rift would provide a more compelling experience thanks to the wider FoV.
Datura itself was not released with the headtracking capability for the HMZ-T1, and the game didn’t exactly break any records. Here’s the trailer for the game if you’re curious: