A Gamer’s Visor: Review of Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer

Christmas is coming and I bet some of you are wondering if this item, the Sony Personal 3D Viewer belongs under the tree.

What I liked about this HMZ-T1 viewer:

  1. The picture quality is really awesome.
  2. Game play for Grand Tourismo 5 in 3-D was simply the best racing game experience I’ve ever had.  I ramped the 3-D effect up to 10 and sat back in a comfortable chair and it was terrific.  Really cool.
  3. Considering the weight – 1.2 pounds – it’s pretty comfortable for 15-20 minutes.

What HMZ-T1 was lacking

  1. The device seems like an engineering model:
  • It’s mostly plastic.
  • The Cord awkwardly comes out of the visor and gets in your line of sight unless you clip it back with a plastic S that comes in the box.
  • The surround sound should be a much better fit with noise counseling.  Instead it feels like leftover headphones from a 1980’s Sony Walkman.
  • The attachable under-eye light blockers work but seem almost an afterthought in their construction and are very difficult to fit because they need to be put on once you are already wearing the visor.
  • Once fit to one head, it is difficult to refit to someone else and then restore the original fitting so this item can not easily be shared.
  1. Although the picture quality is good, the fit is awkward.
  • The movie 3-D was not as intense as I’d like and it felt like I was watching the movie through swimming goggles.
  • If the visor was off at all, the picture was really blurry
  • After 20 min, I was feeling an uncomfortable pressure on my forehead.  (Sony recommends not wearing it more than 20-30 min)
  1. A small or integrated decoder system
  • The decoder box is large and awkward, making it difficult to use this item in more than 1 location.  It is not easily portable.  I’d prefer a comfortable motorcycle-type helmet-piece with integrated decoder to this visor-plus-box apparatus.
  • There aren’t enough HDMI inputs on the box.  It only has 1.  Even the most basic TVs now have 2-4 HDMI

For a gamer who plays solo, this is a really cool accessory.  But, is this item worth the $799 retail? 

If I had one game I avidly played solo – or was considering buying this for someone in such a position – this would be a really cool gift because the game play is pretty spectacular.

As someone who prefers different games and playing with friends, I’m thinking the 3D TV may work out better for me so I’m going to return the Viewer.  For the $799 price of the Viewer, I can get the $499 TV, 2 pairs of glasses, and have money left over for games.  I’ll wait for Samsung or Apple to polish and refine this awesome idea.



Super Gadget Guy

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2 Responses to A Gamer’s Visor: Review of Sony HMZ-T1 Personal 3D Viewer

  1. Federico says:

    I’d like if you can share yours comments about 3D personal viewer with GT5 particulary, I´m thinking about this device to use with it and I´d to know how badly it works without headtracking in first place (I´m sure it will work using the PSEye cam for non refinated headtracking anyway in arcade mode). Second, how about using GT5 en 3D mode… Are the graphics so good as in 2D mode with an 1080P LED TV? any noticeable or important issues? Third, I live in Argentina (South America)… so, usually I can read without problems english language, I can´t write properly as you´re seeing… I´d like you can expand me yours feelings with GT5 exclusively. If I’ll buy this thing then there will be no return. Thank you very much, greetings from Argentina. Federico.

  2. Federico says:

    I´d expand my profile… I play GT5 with “inside car” view, I have a G27 wheel and a custom gameseat. I´d to know then if this 3D personal viewer will push me to a better and newer experience with this game or if it could be a waste of money. Could the force feedback of the wheel (vibration) ruin the position of the head mounted display over my head? I have other racing simulator on PC like Rfactor, Richard Burns Rally (mostly those are my favourites) and others. Well, I wish you can comment about this. Federico.

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