Following the announcement of the Xperia Z5 Premium smartphone last year, creator Sony Mobile hinted that it might be working on a virtual reality (VR) head-mounted display (HMD) to support the device, which is the first smartphone to boast a 4K screen. In a blog post, the company noted that it thought the device was ‘capable of offering the clearest, sharpest Virtual Reality platform’, suggesting that it would have more news soon. It’s nearly half a year later and ‘soon’ has passed, but no such device has been revealed. Now, it appears Sony Mobile is denying such a product exists.
Speaking to International Business Times at the 2016 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain this week, a Sony Mobile spokesperson reportedly denied that it was working on a VR system for smartphones. This obviously contradicts what the company said in its blog, suggesting that such a project may have been canned. This will come as a disappointment to many VR enthusiasts, as this would have been the first VR HMD to support a 4K resolution, drastically reducing the ‘screen door effect’ in which users can see the space between pixels on the display.
Perhaps Sony Mobile decided not to compete with Sony Computer Entertainment’s (SCE’s) own VR HMD, PlayStation VR, which is on its way to the PlayStation 4 console. That said, Oculus VR is taking on both the mobile and PC markets with the Gear VR and Oculus Rift respectively. For now, fans are still waiting for an update on the release of PlayStation VR, which is yet to receive an official launch date or price, though is expected to arrive in the first half of 2016. SCE will be hosting a presentation on the kit at GDC 2016 next month.
Stick to VRFocus for the latest updates on Sony Mobile and SCE’s work in VR.