Known for everything from TVs to cameras and smartphones, Sony is getting into gaming-related things, it was announced on Tuesday. Sony’s new InZone brand will include a pair of monitors, as well as wireless and wired headsets aimed at PC and, naturally, PlayStation gamers.
Sony’s first consumer monitors in age
Sony is probably not a name you go by when you go shopping for PC monitors. It has not made consumer monitors since the early 2000s, although it has continued to sell expensive, chunky professional monitors for broadcast and production. This changes with the flagship Sony Inzone M9 and its sibling, the Inzone M3.
The M9, never to be confused with the Samsung M8 4K Smart Monitor announced in March, is a 27-inch 4K HDR monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate. However, its most interesting feature is its LED backlight with Full-Arange Local Dimming (FALD), which—with VESA DisplayHDR 600 certification and 95 percent claimed DCI-P3 coverage—is especially attractive to HDR users .
In its video announcement, Sony said that it has decided to use a FALD backlight to compare the IPS panel’s contrast with that of a VA monitor, without the shorter response times IPS can achieve. The M9 boasts a 1ms grey-to-gray (GtG) response time.
Sony didn’t specify how many dimming zones the monitor has, which is an important factor in how effective the feature is. However, early reviews from CNET and Forbes point to 96 dimming zones. Given that you can find monitors with over 1,000 FALD zones, there are clearly more advanced local dimming monitors available than the InZone M9.
Sony claimed that the display has an 80,000:1 dynamic contrast ratio. It didn’t share static contrast ratio numbers, so we’d love to see dynamic contrast in action to see if it’s effective.
For console gamers, Sony’s M9 supports Auto HDR tone mapping, which, in a press release, Sony said works with the PlayStation 5 “to automatically recognize the monitor during initial setup and [optimize] HDR Settings.”
“In addition, the monitor will automatically switch to Cinema Mode when watching movies and playing games on PlayStation 5 while in Game Mode,” Sony’s announcement said.
Samsung recently started selling 4K, 240 Hz monitors, but the M9’s speed specs should be enough for most gamers. There’s also G-Sync compatibility to fight screen tears when your GPU’s frame rate doesn’t match the monitor’s refresh rate and the variable refresh rate for the PS5 via HDMI 2.1.
The M9 was announced alongside the M3. It’s a 27-inch 1920×1080 display with a refresh rate of 240 Hz, which prioritizes speed over sharp image quality, but doesn’t require the fastest refresh rate in gaming monitors today, 360 Hz.
The M3 has a low VESA DisplayHDR certification that promises a minimum brightness of 400 nits with HDR and a tiny color claim of 99 percent sRGB.
Although both are for screen gamers, they can also be home office hacks. Since they are KVM monitors, you can use them to control two PCs with a single keyboard, mouse and headset, Sony said.
Sony said the M9 will be available this summer for $900, and the M3 will be $530 “within 2022.”
trio of headsets
Sony’s new gaming efforts also include a trio of headsets that are already available in the US. They are the Sony InZone H9, H7, and H3 and are, of course, not to be confused with Asus’s TUF Gaming series of gaming headsets like the H1 Wireless or H3.
The wireless Sony InZone H9 gaming headset (40mm neodymium driver, 5-20,000 Hz frequency range) claims two hours of battery life, while the InZone H7 (40mm neodymium driver, 5-20,000 Hz frequency range) claims 40 hours . charge.
The more affordable Sony InZone H3 (40mm neodymium driver, 10-20,000 Hz frequency range), meanwhile, is wired.
All three headsets support 360-degree spatial sound, which you customize using an app to take a picture of your ear. Note that you’ll need a PC with a USB-A port and Windows 10 or later to use the feature.
For PS5 gamers, the feeling of spatial audio via the console’s Tempest 3D Audiotech will have to try.
Sony is selling the InZone H9 for $300, the H7 for $230, and the H3 for $100.
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