Sony get 3D

3D Cow Milking

I have written on here before about 3D gaming and how it greatly enhances the experience and immersiveness of gaming. To me it is like being at the theatre, whilst 2D gaming is like watching the TV. A huge jump.

Now Sony have come out with their 3D plans and they are really going for it. Which makes a lot of sense to me. This forms a part of their overall corporate strategy and is not just limited to video games. Their corporate goal is a “Target revenue from 3D-related products of more than 1 trillion yen (excluding content) in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2013″. So they are being pretty ambitious.

When it comes to the Playstation PS3 they have already demonstrated 3D gaming with Wipeout HD and Gran Turismo 5. In 2010 they plan to upgrade the PS3 firmware to enhance it’s 3D capabilities. In fact Sony list 3D as one of the 5 key advantages of the PS3. The other four being Motion Controller, Blu-ray disk, PlayStation Network and PSP Linkage.

It has to be said that Motion Controller and PlayStation Network are not really advantages when Microsoft’s equivalent offerings are both currently looking superior.

Back to 3D and Howard Stringer has predicted that3D games, pictures and movies will be the next ten billion dollar business for Sony. This is brave. They could end up with a competitive advantage that brings them back to being market leaders in several areas. Or the public may not think that the advantages are sufficient.

One thing that is of note for the video game side of this is that 3D eats into the system resources of any platform it is on. So, assuming that the system is running close to it’s capabilities, there has to be a trade off. There could well be a reduction in other elements of the game. Remember too that a gesture interface (motion controller) also eats into resources and you can see that there is a problem here. Using 3D with a gesture interface will be massively immersive, but we may have to wait for the PS4 generation versions to see the full realisation of the capabilities.

It is really good news for everyone in the video game industry to see Sony going for it again, we need the enterprise and innovation that they have brought to previous platform generations.

4 comments ↓

#1 Ben on 11.23.09 at 1:06 pm

Allow me to be a bit skeptical on the chances of success Bruce. Last 3D thing I saw was “Up” by Pixar and I ended up having my eyeballs in my shoes after thirty minutes. It’s extremely straining visually. But tell me, are they using the same technology that they are using in cinema? If so, I’m really doubting it’s well adapted for gaming purpose as gamers stay in front of their machines many hours at a time.

#2 BC on 11.23.09 at 2:20 pm

For a game to have the same quality you get at the cinema it would have to played on a 3DTV at 1080p at 120hz (60fps really, with two renders for each eye). When this is done, it’s very impressive indeed. I felt no discomfort and I usually do with other 3D stuff (even Imax).

Considering most games are struggling when aiming to do 720p (often sub-720p) at a solid 30fps I’d be surprised that Sony’s all encompassing solution is going to produce great results for its library of games. Also, a lot of graphical effects used in games just don’t work well 3D.

3D is going to be great when it gets here, but a lot of people seem to be jumping the gun setting back the public’s opinion of it by years.

3D tech is easy. Making good 3D is hard.

#3 IronM@sk on 11.23.09 at 5:20 pm

It’s all a bit gimmicky at the moment. Somebody invent a commercial hologram projector already. That’s 3D. Anything else is just faux. I don’t like the idea of having to wear those seriously uncomfortable and unfashionable glasses. I have an image (pun) to uphold.

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