If you were still on the fence about Sony’s claims that it’s going to be more friendly to the PC, this next bit of news should convince you. The company has just announced a new hardware brand, Inzone, consisting of gaming monitors and headsets.
In both cases, you can see heavy design influences from the PlayStation 5. This makes sense. These peripherals aren’t only for PC gamers but PlayStation gamers as well.
M is for ‘monitor’
Sony’s gaming monitor lineup consists of two models, the M3 and M9, for now. The flagship M9 will ask for $900 overseas which puts it near the top of the premium list. For that, you’re getting a 27in 4K IPS gaming monitor with a max refresh rate of 144Hz. That’s quite fast for a 4K panel. That will be variable for consoles and PCs, through G-Sync support.
Pixel response time is equally speedy at 1ms, according to Sony. You’ll find the usual selection of DisplayPorts and HDMI 2.1 ports around back, with the surprise addition of a USB-C port as well.
The headline feature is probably full-array local dimming with 96 zones. That, together with DisplayHDR 600 certification should mean deeper blacks, brighter highlights and (hopefully) not too much blooming.
That full-array local dimming should play nicely with the smarts from Sony’s TV range. These include auto HDR tone mapping and the ability to automatically switch between picture modes depending on what’s displayed. The former detects when you’ve plugged in a PS5 and optimise HDR output accordingly.
But be warned, Sony won’t include any cables so you’ll either have to reuse or buy some more.
The scaled-back M3 will go for $530 when it launches. Its feature set is largely the same, although as you might have guessed, you won’t get as much fancy. The panel size remains the same but the resolution drops to 1080p, you lose full-array local dimming, and HDR takes a knock down to 400. In place of all that, the refresh rate goes up to 240Hz.
H is for ‘marketing team, Hard at work’
As for the headsets, Sony is launching three of the buggers out the gate. The H9, H7, and H3 will compete at the $300, $230, and $100 price points respectively. Here at home, they’ll cost anywhere from R1,600 to about R5,000. The top-of-the-pile H9 is the only set that will offer active noise cancellation (ANC). These will also support Sony’s spatial audio tech but that means taking pictures of your ears.
The other wireless option, the H7, retains a few features,like dual Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connectivity but drops ANC in favour of longer battery life. It gets an advertised 40 hours compared to the 32 hours of the H9. The wired H3 is for those on a budget. It will connect to your PC or PS5 through a 3.5mm jack or USB adapter. Don’t expect any of the fancy tech from the other two here.
With its new Inzone gaming hardware, Sony makes it clear that its future involves both the PS5 and PC. If things go well, Sony could fill these lineups out even more, or reiterate on them annually like everyone else does. You can expect these to launch overseas before the end of the year. Unfortunately for South Africans, there’s no word of local pricing or availability yet. Hopefully, we get that before year-end as well.