Sony wants its new InZone line of gaming gear to be to eSports players what Nike is to professional athletes, an exec behind the initiative has said.
The PlayStation parent announced its InZone line last month. The line-up includes several monitors and headsets primarily aimed at hardcore PC players, but which can also be used for PS5 and other consoles.
Speaking in a new interview with Nikkei, executive deputy President Kazuo Kii claimed Sony’s background as a television company gave it an advantage in the PC market, where most monitors are created by PC manufacturers.
“There is no dominant leader yet among established producers,” he said. “The situation is like a landscape of warring states. This presents an opportunity for Sony.
“Many existing producers trace their origins to PC manufacturing. Because monitors are designed to display data, there are problems to overcome with vibrancy and contrast.
“Sony is unique in that we come from a background in TV manufacturing. We take pride in our picture technology. We look forward to showing customers our immersive experience and realism.”
Although InZone products are compatible with PS5, Kii reiterated that the line “targets hardcore PC gamers, not PlayStation users.”
“We’re going to start at the top and learn what top esports gamers want,” he said. “The vision we have in mind is that of Mizuno and Nike providing shoes for athletes. You can win prize money in esports. If a monitor’s response time lags even slightly, you lose. Sony products aren’t going to let people engaged in these grueling battles down.”
Sony’s flagship Inzone M9 monitor will release this summer for $899 / £999, offering 4K resolution with HDR, a 144Hz refresh rate and variable refresh rate technology. The cheaper M3 ($529 and coming later this year) offers 1080p resolution at 240Hz.
For PlayStation 5 users, the M9 monitor provides Auto HDR Tone Mapping, which allows consoles to automatically optimise HDR settings, and it will automatically switch to Cinema Mode when watching movies and Game Mode when playing games.
The headsets range from $299 to $99, with the premium H9 offering noise cancelling, 360 spatial sound and 32 hours of battery life. The $229 H7 lacks noise cancelling but extends battery life to 40 hours, while the cheapest H3 is wired.
The PC gaming gear launch is yet another signal that Sony is serious about pushing into the PC gaming space.
PlayStation boss Jim Ryan said during a business briefing last month that Sony expects half of its annual releases to be on PC and mobile by 2025.