Sony's new 3D head-mounted display to launch in Japan for US$900

The display is the second generation of the popular device, lighter and with better sound than its predecessor

Sony said Tuesday a new version of its popular "Personal 3D Viewer" head-mounted display, which wraps around the eyes and shows video so it appears at the size of a virtual movie screen, will go on sale next month for about US$900.

The HMZ T2, the second edition of the device, is over 20 percent lighter than its predecessor and provides 5.1-channel virtual sound. The headphones can also be swapped out, allowing users to listen via their own equipment. It will go on sale in Japan from Oct. 13, for an estimated market price of ¥70,000, the company said.

The original model, released last year, was a surprise hit for Sony, which has been criticized for a lack of innovative products as it goes through a prolonged restructuring. That model sold out several times and sales had to be paused to restock, despite its hefty price tag of ¥60,000.

The newer version, which displays video so that they appear to be on a screen up to 750 inches in size, includes technology for smooth playback of quickly-changing scenes and better light shielding.

Sony's head-mounted display requires a quick calibration to align its images with each eye, but shows large, clear 3D video for most users.

Sony said it manufactured the OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screens used in the product in-house.

The electronics company quietly announced the new device at the IFA electronics exhibition in Germany that ended earlier this month. The company highlighted a massive new 4k TV set, a tablet and three new smartphones at the event.

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