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Sony’s New Metaverse Bet: $360 Wearable to Record Your Moves

(Bloomberg) -- Sony Group Corp.’s latest gadget is a set of wearable motion trackers designed to bring users into the metaverse on their phones.

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The new Mocopi system consists of six pucks worn around the user’s wrists, ankles, head and hips, used to animate avatars inside various metaverse apps on Android phones or Apple Inc. iPhones. Priced at 49,500 yen ($360) and launching in Japan in January, the Mocopi kit adds to the company’s ventures into virtual and augmented reality.

“We label this a metaverse product instead of a VR peripheral, because we expect the virtual world to further blend with the real world,” Takeshi Aimi, senior manager of Sony’s motion business group, said at a demonstration event Wednesday. “People will access the metaverse without head-mounted displays in the future, and we didn’t want to limit the product’s use to just VR users.”

Tokyo-based Sony has made a big push to expand its gaming empire beyond its traditional strength of console games with more peripherals for PC and mobile gaming. The company also has the PlayStation VR headset and a successor in the offing, both designed to develop an ecosystem of VR experiences along the lines envisioned by Mark Zuckerberg’s Meta Platforms Inc., which he renamed the company after.

Metaverse and VR applications have failed to break through to mainstream audiences so far, occupying only a niche of the global gaming and peripherals market. Sony’s betting on being able to drive this segment with its PlayStation brand and software development talent.

(Updates with comment from Sony executive in third paragraph)

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