We’ve talked about 3D before at IQGamer, about the ramifications on how it could affect game design, as well as the possibilities in providing an experience that is literally closer to home. However this 3D revolution could actually be hitting you sooner than you might think, especially since by this summer, most of the large flat panel manufacturers will have 3D enabled displays finally on sale.
Sony are one such manufacturer, and whilst in the past there has been speculation as to when exactly the firmware update will arrive to enable the PS3 for 3D output, possibly hinting at it appearing in time for the launch of their first 3D Ready HDTV, it has now officially been confirmed by Sony themselves.
The company plans to launch their first 3D enabled TV in Japan on June 10, a 46-inch 1080p Bravia LCD screen, costing around 350,000 yen. Panasonic are also planning to launch a 3D HDTV in time for this summer. Their flagship 50 inch VT20 3D Ready Plasma is set for release in early May, right here in the UK, and is a screen which borrows some of the legendary technology used inside Pioneer’s exceptional Plasma displays. Some leaked shots of Firmware 3.20 confirmed the plan to offer PS3 owners with a 3D solution earlier this year, and now a report on Japanese site AV Watch dates its release for this June.
This report has since been officially confirmed by Sony themselves, and just yesterday, Sony engineer Ian Bickerstaff, in an interview with Gamasutra, speculated on what kind of initial uptake to expect, and how development studios themselves were planning for a potential 3D revolution.
"I think (3D gaming uptake is) going to depend on the uptake of 3D televisions. We're not going to spend crazy, crazy amounts of money (on 3D games) expecting everyone tomorrow to have 3D TVs, clearly. But, we believe this is the future, and three or four years from now, you won't be able to buy a television that doesn't have a 3D capability."
"To be honest, we have not had an internal project to throw at people to make their games in 3D, yet there are loads of games in 3D, like MLB 10, Super Stardust HD - that looks fantastic - and so on," he said. "And that's really just because of the enthusiasm from the developers themselves."
He also added that Sony as a company were taking the cautious approach, but were very optimistic with the potential by going down that particular (3D) route. By the same token, he also stated that it would take time for 3D to really take off in the home, boiling down to how fast an uptake there is with people buying 3D TVs.
How fast will it take for 3D to finally hit the mainstream? Well that all depends on the price of entry, as well as the ability to buy a 3D TV in a smaller screen size, such as a manageable 32-inches, or something similar. Currently all 3D offerings are at least 42-inches or above, with pricing starting at over £1000, not something anyone will be able to rush out and buy. However, with 120hz accepted input and 3D support likely to be integrated into all new HDTVs in the future; it’s perhaps only a matter of time before it becomes another standard check-box feature to tick off your list.
We look forward to finally getting our hands on at least one 3D enabled display at IQGamer. You never know, hopefully someone will be kind enough to let us to sample the mighty Panasonic VT25 upon release, but we doubt it.