From the horse’s mouth
Sony is creating the INZONE sub-brand that is pitched towards young gamers. This will be primarily used to market monitors, headsets and other peripherals that are optimised for video gaming on consoles or regular computers.
At the moment, there are two 27” monitors that are optimised for gaming on computers or video games consoles like the PlayStation 5 or the XBox X. These are designed on a “horses for courses” basis to suit the kind of video games a particular gamer wants to play. The INZONE M9, which has 4K UHD resolution and 144Hz screen refresh will come in to its own with “massive multiplayer online” and strategy games that excel on visuals but are slow-paced. Then the INZONE M3, which has Full HD resolution and 240Hz screen refresh is optimised for fast-paced games like first-person shooters where it is critical that you can detect the enemies in the game. These screens automatically adapt themselves towards gaming-focused behaviour or movie-focused behaviour depending on what is played through them, allowing them to become entertainment screens for that bedroom or dorm room.
There are two wireless headsets along with a wired headset in the INZONE gaming product range. The H9 and H7 wireless headsets can work with Bluetooth or a dedicated 2.4GHz low-latency wireless link to the host. The H9 is based on Sony’s successful WH1000XM active-noise-cancelling headset platform which allowed Sony to answer Bose with high-quality value-for-money noise-cancelling headsets and kick off the “Headset Wars”. The H3 wired headset connects to the host device via a USB connection or an analogue 3.5mm audio connection. But they all support Tempest 3D AudioTech virtual surround as implemented in the PS5 console thus allowing for spatial sound.
I see the INZONE effort as being very similar to Sony’s XPLOD car-stereo branding. This is the creation of a sub-brand of products that are pitched towards today’s teenagers and young adults who don’t have children and put their money towards leisure pursuits. In the XPLOD case, this was about high-performance car stereo equipment that is installed in those cars that they like to trick out. INZONE would be about marketing a range of gaming-optimised peripheral devices so those young people out there who want to get the most out of video games.
But could I see this as Sony offering more INZONE-branded computer-peripheral hardware pitched towards gamers? An obvious case could be something like speakers or soundbars that have sound qualities that go well for video games. Or I would see something like a range of TVs with screen sizes of between 32” to 40” that have screen refresh rates and image responsiveness desired for “core” video gaming.