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.


PS3 costs Sony $4.7 billion on the way to profitability

Sony HQ.Sony’s Q2 fiscal-year earnings report reads a bit like a good horror story. The most interesting for our purposes is that “networked products and services” division, which includes the Playstation brand. It also includes a whopping $654 million loss this quarter, which Sony attributes to declining PS2 sales and appreciation of the yen. The PS2 sold some 600,000 units less this year than last. Ouch.

Maybe worse, though, is that the numbers have given math nerds around the web enough info to figure that the PS3 has cost Sony roughly $4.7 billion over the course of its life. That’s a monstrous figure, particularly since this is Sony’s third-gen console. Microsoft lost about as much with the original Xbox, but the 360 hasn’t hurt Redmond nearly as badly.

There is some hope, though. As manufacturing costs continue to plummet and sales rise with the PS3 Slim, Sony thinks the brand will become profitable as early as next year. That would be a hell of a turnaround, and frankly one I doubt we’ll see, but I’m willing to hope a little for Sony’s sake.


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.


250GB PS3 Slim will cost you $350 this November

PS3 Slim in 250GB pants.It looks like Sony is willing to part with its 250GB PS3 Slim as a stand-alone console (i.e. not part of its many bundles). The company announced the new SKU today, which will run you $350 when it launches next month. The company will still offer the standard PS3 at the 80GB/160GB SKUs, making it pointless to get anything other than a PS3 Slim.

I’m still surprised Microsoft hasn’t announced the same. As the holidays edge closer it seems prudent to get a top-of-the-line system out to market as that splurge gift from mom and dad or the elusive fat, bearded guy.

If you’re big into downloaded content or digital storage for your various media, spend the extra $50. It more than doubles your drive capacity for what feels like pennies in comparison with other console storage media.


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