Zeiss Cinemizer OLED 3D VR Video Glasses Review

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Gaming Performance

Paired with the $289 head tracking accessory, the Cinemizer OLED could—theoretically—be used as gaming device.  The head tracker is about the size of a typical thumb drive and attaches to either of the ear clips. It adds negligible weight and bulk to the Cinemizer, but it does require an additional USB cable and connection to your PC.

Once connected, the Cinemizer OLED + head tracker function as both a screen and a ‘mouse look’ device that can be used for gaming. The Cinemizer OLED supports games compatible with NVIDIA's 3D Vision technology; at E3 it was being shown with Crysis 3 (in 3D). For testing, Crysis 2 (in 3D) was the primary test bed, along with a collection of both 3D and non-3D games, as well as games in other genres.

Paired with the optional eyeshield ($39 - not pictured above) to seal out external visual distractions and the Cinemizer’s built-in stereo sound, you can definitely get “into” your game a little more. But the experience is still a far cry from the promise of the Oculus Rift, and is really more of a novelty than anything else—and not a particularly good one at that (at least from the PC gaming perspective).

The first issue is screen size, which is just too small. Even at E3 the Cinemizer didn’t really feel like it put you “into” the game. And it’s a liability, because as soon as you need to read a HUD, on-screen text, or almost anything else you won’t be able to.

Another issue specific to PC gaming is that it’s difficult to glance down and see the keyboard (hey, even the best touch typist needs to occasionally glance down during the heat of a game). This is especially problematic, however, when you need to use a key outside the immediate WASD cluster—pressing ‘M’ for a map or ‘J’ for a journal, example. Even without the optional eyeshield this is awkward at best. (This wouldn’t be an issue with console gaming of course.)

The lesson? Much as Nate Mitchell said in our interview about the Oculus Rift, a compelling ‘VR’ device requires more than slapping a screen on your face and replacing the mouse with head tracking.  

But gaming is at best a secondary function of the Cinemizer OLED. Where it truly shines is watching movies—especially on the go.

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