Proof that 3D gaming is a long way off

XpanD shutter glasses.The other day, Sony said it would rely on motion control, 3D gaming, and the PlayStation Network to drive sales in 2010. To me, 3D gaming is a pipe dream, at least for the next five years or so, and today I’ve got a little proof.

XpanD, the company that produced the glasses for Avatar has said a pair of their shutter glasses will start at $70 a pair and run up to $150. That’s on top of the premiums you’ll pay for the TV, though some sets will likely ship with glasses included.

For a family of four, you’re looking at about $300 just for the glasses. Granted, your average family of four won’t be gaming in 3D together, but think about having your friends over. The expense of the hardware is going to dictate that you enjoy your 3D games alone, a trend the industry has been moving away from for the last decade.

Until costs come down, there’s no way Sony can expect real revenue from 3D next year. It’s just too expensive.

Sony to rely on motion control, 3D, and PSN in 2010

Sony taking a swing.When you consider the NPD data for 2009, it’s hard to imagine why Sony thinks it will have such a great 2010. John Koller, Sony’s director of hardware marketing, talked with Gamepro about what’s in store for for Sony fans next year, a plan that hopes to stand on the “three big pillars” of motion control, 3D gaming, and the PlayStation Network.

You’ll have to excuse my sarcasm, because I do think Sony has a big year ahead. The biggest its had in a while, anyway. The PS3 Slim is selling like mad and there are some great games out for the system. The only “pillar” I see working in 2010, though, is PSN. Motion gaming already exists on another system, one that is much more family friendly than a console like the PS3. And 3D gaming? That’s a pipe dream for 2010. Hell, I’d call that a pipe dream for 2015. There just won’t be enough 3D TVs to drive any kind of reasonable business for a game system.

That doesn’t keep Koller from claiming that Sony just might hit the “Holy Grail of gaming,” by “placing you as a consumer into the game physically.” I think he’s nuts. Read the full interview at Gamepro.

Firmware 3.15 will make PSP Minis playable on PS3

PSP Minis on a PSPgo.There’s another firmware update coming to the PS3, build 3.15, that will allow the system to finally play those PSP Minis. Yes, at long last you can make just one purchase of those overpriced little one-hitters and play them on your console.

It looks like the update works with titles you’ve already purchased as well. Just head to your download list and you can pick up the game on your console. The update also makes it a little easier to transfer data from one PS3 to another, a nice little bonus for those of you who picked up the PS3 Slim. The new data transfer is a simple LAN connection that dumps everything over to your new rig.

For full details on the patch, hit up the Playstation Blog.

PS3 to get Facebook update in 3.10 “soon”

Facebook for PS3.The Playstation 3 blog has officially announced Facebook integration with the firmware 3.10 update. By downloading the update you’ll be able to link your PSN account to your Facebook account, including updates for Trophy and Playstation Store activity. The update also gives developers the ability to include Facebook updates for certain achievements made in-game.

There’s no date associated with the announcement other than “soon,” which is funny considering the Xbox Live update adding Facebook integration comes out, oh, tomorrow. The rest of the update is just a bunch of UI tweaks, mostly to undo some of the fugly color changes that came with 3.00. There’s also a nice photo update that allows you to see more photos. Easier media browsing is pretty much always a good thing.

Almost forgot, the live feed updates for in-game accomplishments can be patched in for already released games.

PS3 gets Netflix streaming service

Netflix streaming for the PS3.Sony’s 10-year plan for the PS3 finally seems to be coming together…halfway into its life cycle. As a Netflix press release announced today, the PS3 will be adding the ability to stream content from the rental service. The new feature will be offered free of charge to PS3 owners;all that’s required is a subscription to the Netflix service, which can cost as little as $9 a month. By contrast, the same service for the Xbox 360 requires that users have a gold subscription to Xbox Live, which runs $50/year.

There is a catch, though. While services like that on the Xbox 360 give users access to BD Live content, the PS3 version requires a special disc for the drive in order to access BD Live content. It’s a small trade-off, particularly if you consider the $50 upcharge for the 360.

At any rate, the PS3 is finally becoming the console we all wanted it to be. Sure, it’s all coming a bit late, but better to have these things than not.

UK Retailers Show No PSP Go Pre-Orders

Sony's PSP Go.We already know the PSP Go is a ripoff. It’s essentially a minor upgrade over the current hardware at a premium price. In the UK things are even worse. Our friends across the pond are looking at prices as high as £230 (approx. $380), which is nearly double the price of the current generation mobile gamer.

Whether it’s the price, the hardware, or just an utter lack of interest, UK retailers are showing zero, yes, zero pre-orders, and they’re not happy. The problem comes with the margins on hardware retail, which are historically small. Now that the PSP no longer supports UMD drives, the only justifiable revenue stream comes in the form of Playstation Network cards, which can be purchased in $20 and $50 increments in the US, but remain unavailable in the UK.

Sony’s banking on mobile software delivery for games instead of your typical physical media with the PSP Go, and it’s already got retailers wondering if they should bother with the new device. Seems like a lot of people share that sentiment where Sony is concerned. Will they listen, or just continue to frustrate retailers and developers out of doing business together?

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