It’s a shame that neither Sony’s HMZ-T1 or Silicon Micro Display’s ST1080 have integrated head tracking technology. HMD’s are great and all, but building in the ability to tack the movements of the user’s head opens up far more options for immersive gameplay. Even though it’s not built right in, that’s not going to stop intrepid DIYers and early adopters.

Case-in-point, here’s someone who fitted together a simple head tracking setup by combining the Sony HMZ-T1 and TrackIR 5 infraread camera.

I wish the video showed a bit more, and obviously some real game-level considerations would need to be taken for proper and useful implementation, but you can easily imagine how much more immersive your favorite games would be with such a setup. Once HMDs become affordable and wide spread, developers will begin to make with them in mind; I’m very much looking forward to this.

I recently played Dear Esther, a neat Source mod which is less of a game and more of an interactive story. The experience was pretty neat but I couldn’t help myself from thinking how immersive it would have been with an HMD and headtracking — the cave scenes in particular would have been brilliant. Have a look at the trailer below — it won’t take much imagination to see how the visuals and the tone of the game would work great with such a setup:

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