2011 was a bad year for portable hardware. We probably should have taken it as an omen when the year began with Sony unveiling the Headman at the Consumer Electronics Show. The prototype headset with dual OLED displays promised "a theatre-like experience," with Sony's executive deputy president Hiroshi Yoshioka saying he had been playing Gran Turismo 5 with it.

"Nobody - not even my wife - interrupted me, so I could get the highest score," he said, which was weird partly because I may have been misunderstanding how Gran Turismo works all these years, partly because the Headman didn't have any kind of a strap to keep it attached to the user's head so he would have had to use one hand to hold it up to his face and play the game with the other, and partly because it underscored the fundamental conflict of a supposedly portable piece of electronics that completely cuts the user off from the outside world. (Sony pitched it as a good way to enjoy movies on the couch or in-flight, because what could be more comfortable than holding your arms up for hours on end?)
But whatever. Like a lot of what makes headlines at CES, the Headman was more of a tech showcase than anything expected to become a consumer product.

Handheld hardships | 10 Years Ago This Month | GamesIndustry.biz