INZONE: Sony Reveals Esports Tech Expansion with New Brand
Following the launch of the PlayStation 5 and the announcement of PSVR2, Sony has taken its technology efforts one step further. It was revealed that, in a bid to enter the esports tech vertical, Sony has created the INZONE brand, boasting a line-up of devices that are, admittedly, quite high-end. For the first outing of the INZONE brand, Sony will release a series of headsets and two gaming monitors, aiming to ‘strike at the heart’ of the esports tech market.
According to Sony’s Head of Game Business, Yukihiro Kitajima, Sony could deploy these devices across the esports leagues that it currently sponsors or owns. This includes the likes of the Evolution Championship Series, the PGL Dota 2 Arlington Major, and the VALORANT Champions Tour. For many years, Sony has been a leader in many technical areas, and since it launched in 2020, the PlayStation 5 has consistently outsold the competition.
What do the new INZONE devices have over their competitors? Let’s find out.
In The Zone With INZONE
First up is Sony’s new range of esports gaming headsets, simply named ‘H3′, H7’, and ‘H9’. They’re a tiered offering, meaning that with each iteration, the headset that you’re getting is simply better – and this is of course reflected in the price. Here’s the breakdown of the headsets coming as part of the INZONE launch:
- INZONE H3: Spatial Sound, Wired, INZONE Hub, Entry-Level ($99)
- INZONE H7: Spatial Sound, Wireless (40hr), INZONE Hub, Mid-Level ($229)
- INZONE H9: Spatial Sound, Noise Cancelling, Wireless (32/20hrs), INZONE Hub, LED Lighting, Leather Earpad, High-Level ($299)
In keeping with Sony’s recent PlayStation theme, the H-Series of headsets adopt a clean black and white style. According to Sony, the H7 and H9 are ‘perfect for PS5’, featuring ‘acoustic designs’ that are optimised for gaming. It’s worth pointing out, however, that the spatial audio features, at least on a 360-degree level, are only available on PC.
While the H3 utilises a standard USB connection, the H7 and H9 are rechargeable via a USB-C connector. For social gamers, the H-Series of headsets are all ‘Discord certified’. These devices are expected to launch in July 2022. Will we see them making an appearance at any top-tier esports tournaments in future?
The Visual Aspect
It isn’t just headsets that make up the INZONE collection – Sony has also revealed a small range of gaming monitors. These devices are known as the ‘M3’, and the ‘M9’, with Sony having apparently omitted the ‘M7’ device, for reasons unknown. According to Sony, these monitors are technological beasts, and they’ll be highly appreciated in the esports world.
Here is the breakdown of the specification for these monitors:
- INZONE M3 Monitor: 27-inches, 1920×1080, 240hz, 1ms latency, built-in 2w speakers, HDR-ready, feat. HDMI, DP, USB-C, USB-B, USB-A, and 3.5mm audio ports (price TBC).
- INZONE M9 Monitor: 27-inches, 3840×2160, 144hz, 1ms latency, built-in 2w speakers, HDR-ready, feat. HDMI, DP, USB-C, USB-B, USB-A, and 3.5mm audio ports (price TBC).
While the INZONE headsets will launch in July of 2022, the monitors aren’t expected to make an appearance for several months. Will this technology change the face of esports and give players enough of an advantage to impact esports betting? We doubt it, but they’re pretty capable devices either way.