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.


Sony wants to lead 3D, return to profitability in 2011

3d glasses workin their magic.Sony wants to be the company that leads us all into the three dimensional future, for both gaming and video. During a presentation for investors today, the company laid out its plan for the next few years, which included news that the PS3 is upgradeable to stereoscopic 3D through firmware upgrades.

Sony hopes the 3D gaming and video markets will help return the company to profitability by 2011. That’s a big step for a company set to post $1 billion in losses for the second year in a row. The company plans to install 3,000 3D cinema projectors in movie theaters around the country, along with expanding its 3D support for game developers and offerings to Blu-ray users.

Sony CEO Howard Stringer also made a point to applaud the success of the company’s restructure schedule, which is outperforming the initial plan. Sony aimed to save $5.6 billion dollars, a goal that was obviously helped when it cut 12 percent of its work force and then boomed 70% on PS3 sales. Thank you very much, PS3 Slim.

For now, I think the 3D thing is a gamble. It’s too gimmicky for widespread adaptation, and I don’t think it will have nearly the impact on gaming that motion control has had. Also, I’m not sure how 3,000 cinema installs can possibly help a return to profitability, but then, I guess I haven’t seen the numbers for 3D cinema audiences. I’ve seen the others, though, and they’re all over the place – not exactly the industry I’d bet on at the moment.

Source: Associated Press


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