Inzone is a new gaming hardware brand from Sony Electronics targeted at PC gamers. Two 27-inch monitors and three kinds of gaming headsets were announced last week by the company.
I had the chance to test out the headphones for a week and the higher-end monitor for two days. Both the 27-inch monitor and the headphones, the Inzone H9, stand out from the competition due to their unique features.
Despite their premium price points, the premium products may be hard to sell to gamers, who already have a wide selection of hardware makers to choose from.
Sony plans to win players over with competitively priced products. An $899 4K monitor with a 144Hz refresh rate will be available this summer, and a $529 1080p monitor with a 240Hz refresh rate will be available later this year.
A full array of local dimming is available on the 4K resolution M9 monitor I tested. As a result, colors appear super bright and pleasing to the eye. On PC, games like 'Valiant,' 'League of Legends,' and 'Neon White' looked crisp and vivid.
The PlayStation 5 rendered shadows and combat well in titles like Deathloop, Elden Ring, and Horizon Zero Dawn. A monitor shows bright and clear photos, and it's easier to see the flaws in blurrier pictures.
The monitor can be controlled using a software program called Inzone Hub, where the brightness and saturation can be adjusted to gaming presets or to a standard picture mode.
When the settings were turned to look more like an average monitor, the M9 still made in-game scenes - such as the green vistas and rushing water in 'Neon White' - look fantastic.
Sony likely relies on the stellar graphics of the M9 monitor to sell units. It performed well on benchmark tests and displayed high dynamic range capabilities when influencers were given advance access to the monitor.
By strategically keeping the price under $1000, Sony drives a hard bargain against lower-end alternatives on the market (some of which cost $300 to $600).
Currently, I own two 27-inch 1080p gaming monitors with decent refresh rates (Acer and ViewSonic), but they're several years old and need to be replaced. It wouldn't have made sense to replace either of them with an M9 monitor; the $899 price point is rather steep when a lower-end monitor will do just fine.
The M9's better colors, brightness, and higher refresh rate made a subtle difference in gaming when compared to my older models. Especially when I play competitive modes, it's a welcome addition to my current gaming setup.
Sony executives observed the growth of the video game and esports industries in 2019 and conceived Inzone. Three years later, Inzone is entering the PC gaming market late.
In an exclusive interview with The Washington Post last week, Sony's president of home entertainment and sound products said that gaming and esports have become even more popular in recent years. Sony's high-quality display and audio technologies will allow gamers to immerse themselves in their gaming world with our products.'
The M9 monitor does not come with an HDMI cable, commonly used to connect to a PS5 or PC, so customers must purchase one separately. Several ports on the monitor allow you to connect a PS5, a PC, a USB-C cable, and a display.
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