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Virtual Reality and .hack


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For those unaware or are new to .hack, the whole franchise revolves around VR headsets as a major (but not required) part of the game that everyone plays with in the .hack series.


You see headsets of all kinds throughout the series from 2002's .hack//SIGN and .hack//Infection's "Neuro Goggles". Being described either as a "HMD" or head mount display, and as the term "FMD" or face mount display. The franchise was pitched by CyberConnect as a PS2 videogame where the players wear these VR devices, and their consciousness gets trapped in the game all the way back in 1999, as a game pitch to Bandai Inc. And in later installments would evolve into 2006's .hack//Roots and .hack//GU with M2D or Micro Monocle Display, which is a visor type. And in 2010's .hack//LINK changed the formula with the M3D which did away with the visor part and was purely headphones only. Then got back on VR with 2012's .hack//Beyond the World's ALGOS FMD, which looked more like a pair of sunglasses or prescription glasses. Kinda a less bulky version of the Google Glasses or Snapchat Spectacles.

But what if I told you VR for the Sony Playstation 2 existed as a product as early back as 2002, and those familiar with 2016's PlayStation VR, there was another Sony branded  product between the 2002 PUD-J5A and the 2016 PlayStation VR; and that was the 2012's Prototype-SR, aka the HMZ-T2.


First, starting with the Sony PUD-J5A for the PlayStation 2. It was only specifically made for 6 PlayStation 2 games, none of which was the .hack// PS2 games; which is a shame. Sadly I have no sources or citation of CyberConnect2 or it's staff using/testing this device.


Second was the Sony PROTOTYPE-SR (HMZ-T2). It was shown off at Tokyo Game Show in September 2012. President of CC2 Hiroshi Matsuyama attended and was able to test out the device being tested with Resident Evil V Tribulation demo.


There was another predecessor to this device, the Sony HMZ-T1 "3d viewer" in the prior year.


And even further back from 1996-1998, which these devices were based on was the Sony Glasstron and it's 5 different models, most notably the PLM-S700E.


Then there was Sony's big breakout, all chips in finally, the Sony PlayStation VR. Which was meant to be a strong contender to it's competitors like the Occulus Rift and HTC Vive. Being a companion for PS4 and PS5 consoles for PSVR compatible games.


But even Hiroshi Matsuyama has been seen playing with the competitor devices.

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