Today at CES Sony revealed a new standalone MR headset equipped with “4K” OLED displays. The headset is yet-unnamed, but the company says it’s aimed at creatives building 3D content and will launch this year.

Sony’s unnamed standalone MR headset is based on Qualcomm’s XR2+ Gen 2 processor and is said to include 1.3-inch “4K” OLED microdisplays. It isn’t clear at this time if Sony means 16MP (4,000 × 4,000) per-eye, or something else, but considering that XR2+ Gen 2 can purportedly power two displays up to 18.5MP (4,100 × 4,100) each, it may indeed be the case. We’ve reached out to the company for clarity.

Image courtesy Sony

The Sony MR headset includes passthrough video, a flip-up visor, and a very unique pair of controllers. Well, “pair” is perhaps not the right word as both are very different. One is a pointer-like controller that’s controlled with the index finger while the other is a small ring-like device that’s controlled with the thumb.

Image courtesy Sony

Sony is positioning the headset toward 3D creatives, pitching it as a superior way to interact with and create 3D content like models, architecture, and design review. Sony is partnering closely with Siemens to make the company’s NX CAD software compatible with the headset.

Image courtesy Sony

While the headset’s OS will undoubtedly be based on Android, it isn’t clear what kind of OS layer Sony will build on top or how flexible it will be. Questions on our mind for instance—will this headset be OpenXR compatible or designed to work only with proprietary implementations?

The Sony MR headset hasn’t been priced but the company says a release date will come this year.

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Ben is the world's most senior professional analyst solely dedicated to the XR industry, having founded Road to VR in 2011—a year before the Oculus Kickstarter sparked a resurgence that led to the modern XR landscape. He has authored more than 3,000 articles chronicling the evolution of the XR industry over more than a decade. With that unique perspective, Ben has been consistently recognized as one of the most influential voices in XR, giving keynotes and joining panel and podcast discussions at key industry events. He is a self-described "journalist and analyst, not evangelist."
  • GunnyNinja

    What’s wrong with the wheel?

  • XRC

    Looks like an evolved version of the long delayed Lynx

  • another juan

    very interesting device, but it was cringey that they branded it as “spatial” instead of vr. guess this site will be renamed “road to spatial computing” next

    • Somerandomindividual

      Spatial computing is the next buzzword, so no wonder they are using it.

      • ameba#23234 mdrea

        It’s so fkin meaningless already. Like using the word AI for machine learning algorithms and literally everything else

        • another juan

          the term “artificial intelligence” was agreed upon by computer pioneers in a 1956 conference. the term “virtual reality” comes from engineers back in the 80s.
          “spacial computing” comes from apple marketing like 6 months ago

          • Andrew Jakobs

            No it wasn’t coined by Apple, it came from an MIT engineer back in 2003.

          • another juan

            i stand corrected. but to be fair, “spacial computing” in that thesis is eg “an auto-flushing toilet”

          • Christian Schildwaechter

            Spatial computing has been used by others like Microsoft to referring to application where the focus is understanding the positions of objects in space and interacting with them. VR uses real space only to map the user’s physical movement to the virtual world. In AR the main function is adding information to the real world, which can be as simple as a HUD showing directions.

            Spatial computing often refers to overlaying information to then do something with (real) objects. Such applications precede the term “spatial computing”. In the 90s Boing employees used belt worn computers with single eye displays, capable of recognizing patterns printed onto fuselage parts and showing the user in which position and orientation a specific piece had to be installed, instead of having to check manuals.

            So Spatial computing is using computers to interact with the space surrounding us and objects within it. The term is actually more descriptive than Mixed Reality, which is something fuzzy not just VR with passthrough, but also not AR. Nobody really knows, except the Meta marketing team that adapted this from Microsoft’s marketing name for VR, while early on it was used to describe blending a person using VR in front of a greenscreen into the image of the virtual world.

          • another juan

            since it became a marketing buzzword, one can expect apple fans preferring “spatial computing” over vr/ar/xr from now on, in the same way facebook haters started despising the “metaverse” word after october 2021
            anyway, it’s silly arguing over frivolous marketing branding. i, for one, will end up using whatever the public decides

  • Somerandomindividual

    The question is what lenses will it have and can it be used for wireless PCVR?

    • Garhert

      A comment on the YT video states:

      Display: Sony 4K microOLEDs
      Lenses: Pancake
      PPD: 55
      FOV: ~90 degrees
      CPU/GPU: Snapdragon XR2+ Gen 2
      Works wirelessly or wired to a PC OpenXR Compatible
      They plan to release it in 2024 but it won’t be sold to individuals.
      It’s not being shown off at their CES booth but members of the Japanese press have tried it.

  • LuckyPalmer

    Reread his comment. The title doesn’t mention lenses or PCVR. Maybe you don’t understand the difference between screens and lenses…

    • Jonathan Winters III

      Hi Mr. Palmer, glad to have you here. We’re so grateful for your contributions to VR – without you there would be no consumer VR right now. Thank you sir!

  • blix

    Why are companies so afraid of the top strap? Its getting ridiculous.

    • Lucidfeuer

      because it’s shit and they’re halo design has always been the superior solution?

  • Rob Cram

    Not sure why Meta does not adopt VR trailers for their store. Would make perfect sense wouldn’t it for those already in the fold. I guess it would mean making two trailers though hence why they don’t do it.

    • ameba#23234 mdrea

      Meta is so bad at software and vision they even got carmack to leave so

      • Dave

        With all the new hadware in development recently, do we know what Carnack is doing now, for all we know he could have joined Samsung or Sony!

        • Jistuce

          He founded Keen Technologies, an AI startup.

          I am not surprised that he’s very interested in AI. But it sure is an uninteresting path.

          Dunno why you’re getting downvoted, though.

          • Jerry Martinez

            Uninteresting? His goal is to program humanitys first singularity.

    • philingreat

      The issue with VR trailers is that you need to be very careful not to make people motion sick.

    • ViRGiN

      how do you imagine a VR trailer?
      a 360 video?
      a 3D 360 video?
      the sizes are massive for any acceptable quality. it’s a chore to capture such footage. you would stream quarter of the game size just for a trailer. and you cant even move around as it’s not 6DOF.
      nah, no point. we dont even know what % of games is sold inside the headset. i bet phone app is more popular. it’s a flawed idea with no real benefit. refunds exist.

  • ViRGiN

    As a PCVR enthusiasts, I hope someone will get it to work with SteamVR. Half Life Alyx would kickass on this headset.

  • J. B. Bost

    Sony has no problem with that headset connecting to a PC. PSVR2 customers should sue at this point because it’s clear they’re being herded to Sony’s overpriced store

    • Andrew Jakobs

      Why? PSVR2 was meant to be used with PS5, this headset is meant to be used by professionals/business, not normal consumers/gamers.

      • J. B. Bost

        Sony’s tactics vis-a-vis Playstation are not only anti-consumer but Sony recently had to pay 8 billion in damages in the UK for overcharging people for digital games. The same exact games you can buy on Quest are more expensive on Sony’s storefront. Are you not capable of seeing how this is very bad?

        • ApocalypseShadow

          He stated PS VR 2 was built for PS5. Just like Portal was built for PS5. Just like Move controllers were built for their consoles as well as their motion cameras. That’s not anti consumer. That’s building products to support your brand and other products.

          Pricing has nothing to do with selling hardware for your own products. It doesn’t need to work on PC, Nintendo or Microsoft products. Just like Nintendo and Microsoft and many other manufacturers build things for their brands.

          I’d bet if you had a business, you wouldn’t be building hardware for the competition to use or to hurt sales of your own products. That’s not smart business.

          • J. B. Bost

            If you can’t follow what my argument is, sit down and stop talking

        • Andrew Jakobs

          But what does that have to do with this headset that is not meant for regular consumers? Prices of many apps on the applestore are also higher as elsewhere, why doesn’t the UK go after Apple for that?

      • J. B. Bost

        By the way, I just realized the irony of you saying this headset wasn’t meant for consumer when it premiered at the CONSUMER Electronics Show

        • Andrew Jakobs

          Yeah, I know, but CES isn’t really a consumer only show for ages anymore.

          • J. B. Bost

            You’re trying to imply that a regular person will be unable to purchase one.

          • Andrew Jakobs

            If you fork out enough money, ofcourse you can buy it, BUT, it is only sold as part of NX Immersive Designer package. It is therefore only targeted at businesses.

    • ViRGiN

      all steamvr fanboys be like

    • Jerry Martinez

      When it launches they will probably bring pcvr driver support to the 2s. My guess is they are making a sony vr app for pc. You forget that they have their own ecosystem to promote first n foremost. Limited exclusivity sold more ps5s while they worked on this in the background. They dont want people to simpily buy the headset and not buy their software.

      • J. B. Bost

        The entire concept of their “ecosystem” is itself arbitrary. It amazes me that in 2024, people still buy computers that come with the case welded shut, yet here we are with the PSVR2, literally the only HMD that can’t connect to a PC nor can even currently play a video file.

  • R G O 2

    One flaw noticed. If it’s not cross compatible with say the ps5 then it will be a short lived item like a lot of old console systems that died quickly after only a year or three. People need to think about the long road not just the here and now.

    • Andrew Jakobs

      No it’s not, it targeted at businesses, not regular consumers.

    • Dave

      Given the very high specifications, controller design, it’s likely to cost a couple of $1000 and therefore targetted at enterprise. The design asthetic is familiar with the PSVR brand though, I’ll give you that.

      • Lucidfeuer

        Nobody in enterprises shells out for non-practical VR headsets except in specific industries for experimentation (and even then they’re starting to be over it). They’ve moved on to other research tax-laundry investment.

    • Chris Meeks

      It’s for businesses. Sony does a lot more than just Playstation.

  • Till Eulenspiegel

    Sony is smart to market this for professional and not for general consumers. That’s what Google should have done with Google Glass 10 years ago – there are mechanics and engineers still using it today.

    Currently, VR/AR is still a niche technology but it has tremendous advantage for some professional applications. Every company is now looking at AI as the next big thing – it’s no wonder that John Carmack left VR to focus on AI 2 years ago.

  • Lucidfeuer

    It’s just a new iteration of Windows MR headsets…still not a viable thing

  • ApocalypseShadow

    I see this being used in car manufacturing and construction. And the fact that Sony now will have a car made and has had manufacturers building Vision Gran Turismo cars many times, tells me that some will use this headset to create cars more efficiently and be costly effective. Buildings can be built and viewed before even laying the first bricks.

    I figured Sony would join the party of a stand alone device. There was even talk a while back from the parent company Sony about a VR headset that wasn’t targeting console gamers. Besides the possibility of a wireless headset in the future for console as they were always researching.

    Lots of things are going to be created using VR and AR for future products.

  • It looks like a very enterprise-oriented headset

  • Garhert

    Could the used micro OLED displays be the same ones as used in the AVP? They are produced by Sony. And accodring to The Elec, they can only manufacture 900k per year.

  • Ardra Diva

    AR/MR to me is truly the new frontier. It’s almost hallucinogenic.

  • Ardra Diva

    Hard to imagine why they would do this when Playstation VR will lose buyers to this product instead.