Recent Pocket-lint reports reverberate the truly epic plans of electronics behemoth, Sony. There will be Motion Detection, there will be 3D, and many of us have known this for a while now. Sony has stayed dedicated to integrating Stereoscopic 3D into leading content developers’ practices and soon the fruit of that labor will pay off. While this announcement has been made before, it seems like Sony is not getting the attention they deserve for what they are about to unleash on entertainment worldwide. With the issue being a bit confusing and misunderstood, it feels like time to do another breakdown on the status and intended future of the 3D movement.
As many people know, James Cameron’s AVATAR was beyond a blockbuster hit, managing to break countless worldwide entertainment records. This film was experienced by a very large percentage of the audience in Stereoscopic 3D. For those who do not know what this means, remember back to when they had red and blue glasses and red and blue displayed graphics on VHS and later on DVD? This is not that type of 3D! The term stereoscopic refers to the technology that has existed in the PC world for quite some time now and was based fundamentally on the science of hologram postcards. While it is still highly speculative to judge the complete effect this will have on gaming, some feel it is a fantasy that will never occur while others are sure it will provide more immersion and a more intense and/or realistic experience.
Now that we have that out of the way, there are actually displays that can show this effect of 3D with no glasses required called Auto-Stereoscopic models. These are typically very expensive but have been coming down in price from the first prototype DLP models of around $20,000 – $40,000 to today’s beautiful $10,000 full fledged LED and LCD 3D-ready sets from leading lines. Truly this price drop over a period of only about four years should have analysts realizing these sets will eventually be affordable and replace the “goggles-required” version. Currently you can purchase state of the art 3D-Ready 1080p HDTVs from Mitsubishi of the DLP variety for less then 1080p LCD HDTVs were two years ago. If you don’t mind losing name brands altogether, you can pick up a 75″ 3D DLP HDTV for around $800. With Sony set to release new a line or two of 3D ready Bravia LCD HDTVs we will likely be seeing even better options for both stereoscopic (glasses-required) and auto-stereoscopic (glasses-free) 3D HDTVs enter the marketplace.
The content providers of all the movies, television shows, and sports events have all been piling up 3D HD films, TV shows, and sports events since as early as 2007-2008. So while you may notice the industries are parceling out 3D entertainment slowly right now, the success of the movie AVATAR will ensure the future of this evolution in entertainment at a rapid pace going forth. Sony is on the cutting-edge right now with Blu-ray accepted and embraced as the one and only physical HD movie standard. This summer firmware updates will release, adding reverse compatibility to Blu-ray movies. This means all those Blu-ray movies you bought are compatible with 3D!
The launch of 3D Blu-ray players, alongside firmware updates for 3D on existing Blu-ray players, and firmware updates to the PlayStation 3 revealing that the growing library of High-Definition movies will work in 3D is very incredible. But immediately as a gamer, I ask “What about the games?” and thankfully Sony has us covered guys! The same time the movies go 3D this summer, firmware updates for PlayStation 3 will launch enabling the library of High Definition PS3 games to work in 3D too!!! That means all those PS3 games you have bought are currently 3D-ready also! Sony also revealed time and time again that there will be no paid upgrades required for the PlayStation 3 system to do this. Simply owning a 3D-ready television will be the only entry requisite for the next-gen of entertainment graphics, hopefully making it a much smoother transition then Standard Definition to High Definition.
We have already seen some examples of what the PS3 can do, but just think from Call of Duty to God of War, gamers will feel as if they are in the game on a whole new level without even having to buy new games! Sony also states that there are games being developed from the ground up for 3D being launched with the Bravia LCD this summer on PlayStation 3. It is true that this year’s NPD (leading global market research information group) game sales numbers are on the decline, however digital distribution is certainly growing exponentially. The PlayStation Network alone has had over 829 million sales since it launched, including a few 3D games, and its just getting warmed up. Every PlayStation 3 unit out there comes with a hard drive, the new ones come equipped with 250gb hard drives already. If this is not enough users can upgrade up to aOne Terabyte drive from any brand 2.5″ Seriel ATA around $150. This is a huge advantage for a system to have because the industry seems to be heading that way every now and then in months like January. I am sure a lot of potential customers would love to buy more disc-based games right now but simply cannot afford more than a $15 investment, so digital distribution will win out in many situations.
Soon you could be playing your favorite games with the enhanced immersion of 3D. From Resident Evil 5, Killzone 2, Burnout Paradise, Worms, Wipeout HD, Gran Turismo 5 Prologue, Grand Theft Auto 4, to Fallout 3, and more we can imagine how they would change the playing field for these games. In many cases it could be a more realistic, as well as more challenging and engaging experience. Sony is consistently on the cutting-edge of the entertainment and electronics industries alongside corporate partners who will achieve collectively a strong solid format transition in 3D soon. Given these factors coupled with the storage space of Blu-ray Dual Layer at 50gb each, as well as Sony’s presence on the forefront of HD and 3D technologies, I believe the PS3 will be in the most dominant position to cover the emerging market of 3D entertainment while bringing it into the home. Just imagine, the next time you get caught by your girlfriend looking at High Definition boobs on God of War Collection, they will be in 3D!!!