Press release: 1994-07-26: CABLE GIANT TCI AND VIRTUAL I/O, INC. AGREE TO OFFER HEADSETS TO SUBSCRIBERS OF NEW INTERACTIVE VIDEO GAME CHANNEL
From Sega Retro
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Original source: The Free Library
ORLANDO, Fla., July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- Video game players will soon be able to play games on a large virtual screen by wearing a revolutionary new headset, while having access to an extensive library of games via cable TV. Virtual I/O announced an agreement with Tele-Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: TCOMA, TCOMB) (TCI) under which TCI will market test Seattle- based Virtual I/O's new cutting edge Personal Display System (PDS) and PDS Gamer! The announcement was made at the SIGGRAPH trade show in Orlando, Florida. "We'll do market tests with our existing subscriber base and our new Sega Channel subscribers to see if viewers and gamers enjoy the products," said TCI Senior Vice President Larry Romrell. "We believe that people are going to love this. The combination of Virtual I/O's PDS Gamer! and the Sega Channel gives game players a large screen, head- tracking functionality, a stereo sound environment, and a library of the latest and best games." Game players are able to choose from over 50 games being offered on the Sega Channel. The new channel, currently in market test, will be rolled out more than 31 million cable TV households this fall. TCI and several other cable operators have announced plans to offer the channel over their cable networks. The channel features unlimited play for a monthly subscription fee. "Our Personal Display System (PDS) and PDS Gamer! will give TCI subscribers a more personal way to enjoy programming and Sega Channel users a more compelling video gaming experience," said Greg Amadon, CEO and President of Virtual I/O. "The combined TCI service and Virtual I/O display system will make on-line video games the most convenient and inexpensive way to get an arcade-grade experience." Virtual I/O's Personal Display System is worn like a pair of glasses. Using stereoscopic technology, the system allows people to play video games in a realistic, three-dimensional setting. The virtual screen takes up only a portion of the viewers' field of view, allowing him/her to simultaneously see the virtual screen and the external environment around it. Viewers have complete use of their peripheral vision. The PDS Gamer! has a lightweight and comfortable helmet design. When the system is turned on, viewers see a screen in front of them that appears to be approximately 96 inches in size diagonally, about six feet away. The Personal Display System is compatible with any standard video output connection including television, cable, and VGA computer or any popular game platform. The system is capable of displaying two-and three-dimensional video games, laserdisc movies, VHS video tapes and television. The Virtual I/O PDS and PDS Gamer! are expected to retail for under $400 and under $250 respectively, and will be available in the retail marketplace nationwide during the first quarter of 1995. For more information on Virtual I/O's products, contact the company at 206-382-7410. Founded in May 1993, Virtual I/O, Inc. is based in Seattle, Wash., and employs 30 people. The company has developed a line of Personal Display Systems that includes: a lightweight three-dimensional video Personal Display System (PDS), a virtual reality helmet customized for the electronic and personal computer gaming markets (PDS Gamer!) and display systems for industrial and scientific applications. The company is funded by private investors including TCI and Logitech. Tele-Communications, Inc. is traded in the Nasdaq market with Class A Common Stock and Class B Common Stock trading separately under the symbols of TCOMA and TCOMB, respectively. -0- 7/26/94 /CONTACT: Linden Rhoads, SVP Business Development, Virtual I/O, 206-382-7410; or Lela Cocoros, PR Director, Tele-Communications, 303-267-5273/ (TCOMA TCOMB) CO: Virtual I/O, Inc.; Tele-Communications, Inc. ST: Florida, Seattle, Colorado IN: ENT TLS SU: RK-AD -- FL005 -- 9648 07/26/94 10:14 EDT COPYRIGHT 1994 PR Newswire Association LLC No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder. Copyright 1994 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.