Sony Achieves Record Holiday, 3D a Future Focus

Sony Achieves Record Holiday, 3D a Future Focus

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The PS3 had its best holiday season ever, with Sony hoping that 3D technology will enable the same thing to happen again next year.

In accordance with Sony's CES 2010 press conference, a press release was put out detailing the company's holiday success this year. Sony was able to move 3.8 million PlayStation 3's worldwide from the last week of November through the end of 2009. This is a 76% increase over last year's holiday sales.

The news is anything but surprising, as the PS3 finally is within a more affordable price range at $299. Priced the same as Microsoft's primary competition, the Xbox 360 Elite, the PS3 may shine above it in many people's minds as far as value for the money goes. The PS3 also benefits from not being one of the most defective consoles in history, which is one of the other reasons many consumers could be switching over from the 360. It's much easier to add a PS3 to your gaming library when it's cheaper than ever and games like Uncharted 2 are available. It doesn't appear that Microsoft has released any similar sales numbers quite yet, so there is nothing to compare to here. Either way, both consoles are carving out their own niches well enough.

Along with Sony's announcement of strong sales came the official reveal that every PS3 will be capable of playing 3D games and Blu-ray movies through a future firmware update. 3D is going to be a strong focus for Sony, with the company investing in 3D television and gaming technologies across the board. While 3D gaming seems like a gimmick, IGN's CES impression of some early 3D games makes me feel like it could be something to look forward to.

In the case of Super Stardust HD in 3D, the new technology seems to be exactly what you think it'd be, with asteroids hovering above the background and not really adding a whole lot to the game. In the case of Gran Turismo, the 3D display gives more of a perception of depth that looks to be relevant to actual gameplay, according to the impression. The only problem is, I'm not sure I ever want to wear any special glasses while playing videogames if I can't even stand them while watching short movie clips. If the cost of watching or playing in 3D is only a pair of special glasses and the flip of a switch, it could be worth the price of entry anyway. No release dates for the 3D enabling firmware have been announced yet.

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3D? Well, I suppose it had to happen eventually. Be intresting to see how exactly that is done. If anything like the films and need glasses to play your console...

Not surprised by sales figures, much more value for money than it was.

Urgh. 3D. I despise 3D...

Oh god, here we go again. When will Sony learn, and try to emulate the success of the PS2? All it needs is solid support and a solid platinum, diamond encrusted back catalog, not crappy gimmicks.

I'm not sure on the specifics but if this technology requires a 3D tv, well then good luck Sony. I highly doubt people will be all over upgrading from HD to 3D at this point in time. If all you need are a pair of glasses and a standard TV however, this could be interesting.

This is interesting. Imagine how much more intense CoD would be if you could see bullets and things coming at your face.

Ah, This could be cool or just another kiddy fad like the Wii.

EDIT: I mean like how all the kids want one and then play it for like a week. I love my Wii.

This is going to be a disappointment. It's 3D... with gimmicky glasses. Really now...

Please Sony, no 3D.

Spare us this migraine inducing gimmick.

Sweet! 3D will Rule! Hopefully they have good options for people with glasses already.

I would like to see a nice headtracker built in with some headphones, and some big glasses that will fit over my glasses and an Emotive head set and a mic as one unit.

yeah, that wouldn't be nerdy at all.

3D sucks ass.

Hell, I can never see it. Whenever I put on the glasses and watch a "3D movie", all I see is a 2D movie in red and blue.

When I watch it without glasses, it just gives me headaches.

Trying to deal with those while playing a game is going to be a pain in the ass.

we'll see what it will be.
if it's optional i don't mind if it sucks.

Irridium:
3D sucks ass.

Hell, I can never see it. Whenever I put on the glasses and watch a "3D movie", all I see is a 2D movie in red and blue.

When I watch it without glasses, it just gives me headaches.

Trying to deal with those while playing a game is going to be a pain in the ass.

3D will obviusly just be an option for the games...

-.-

3D could be awesome if the right games use it. As someone above suggested i would have thought FPS games would really benefit. Maybe work a visor or something into a headset?

iamq:

Irridium:
3D sucks ass.

Hell, I can never see it. Whenever I put on the glasses and watch a "3D movie", all I see is a 2D movie in red and blue.

When I watch it without glasses, it just gives me headaches.

Trying to deal with those while playing a game is going to be a pain in the ass.

3D will obviusly just be an option for the games...

-.-

oh... well then fine.

I'm still against focusing on 3D as the future.

But so long as it remains an option, I'll tolerate it.

Irridium:
3D sucks ass.

Hell, I can never see it. Whenever I put on the glasses and watch a "3D movie", all I see is a 2D movie in red and blue.

This is true, if you're still in the 1980's.

Like anything else, 3D will take time before it is properly utilised. There's no doubt that most of the games will be next to useless at first, but give the developers time to get used to the system and eventually gems will start appearing.

I've been chomping at the bit to try NVIDIA's 3d Vision goggles for some TF2 gameplay, but that whole system is outrageous - 120hz monitor, 120fps graphics card and processor, plus the glasses? Yea right, I'll never have that kind of technology.

PS3 on the other hand, I might just get one of those: just as soon as I can get one of these... which won't be any time soon. it says next year, but they haven't done anything.
Games are already ready for the 3D transition, first person shooters will make the transition naturally. But the only 3D blu-rays I can think of that are worth having are Avatar and the Pixar collection. Oh, and Nightmare Before Christmas 3D. Yep, that's about it. Good titles, but not a system selling library.

Excellent, fully qualified, non-confrontational news article. You get full points sir.

Tom Goldman:
Priced the same as Microsoft's primary competition, the Xbox 360 Elite, the PS3 may shine above it in many people's minds as far as value for the money goes.

yeah which proves how little people know about value, if you have to pay more for the console then it's not a better value, the 360 still has the $50/yr subscription fee

3d would be rather cool

hardly news I can already play skate 2 in 3D

Has anybody here tried gaming in 3D? If so, what was it like?

Speaking of 3D and watching short movie clips and stuff, why do we get the blue and red glasses and not the clearer not-colored glasses like at theaters?

I guess that's ok but it's more of a given. What else are they gonna do in the future?

3D could definitely be an interesting turn for gaming, more immersion and believable worlds and such. I'm always for advances in gaming no matter how small, ridiculous, or pointless it may seem. So long as playing a game in 3D is a side option, I'm fine.

I'm hoping that an option to turn off the 3D is made available, I can't use 3D glasses of any kind and this could force me into a standstill with my games.

it all depends on how it is used and if it is a option. Gimmick=bad, adding depth and emerssion=good, forcing new technology on people too soon=bad

I think 3DTV is being developed so that you don't need the glasses at all; don't ask me how, though.

I'm looking foward to a time all prescription and sun glasses have the option of additional, unnoticable tints so you dont need anything extra to view 3D, then you can have billboards that jump right out at you!

What's the big deal about 3D?

Nimbus:
Oh god, here we go again. When will Sony learn, and try to emulate the success of the PS2? All it needs is solid support and a solid platinum, diamond encrusted back catalog, not crappy gimmicks.

This is a lesson that all the console makers could stand to learn. The PS2 > 360, PS3, and Wii in my opinion. Even when it wasn't last generation it had the best priced game to value ratio.

When are console developers going to learn that true 3D in any capacity on a 2d plane is not worth the headaches? (both figuratively and literally)

Also given how long it's taking to put out Gran Turismo 5 I would expect a 3D-enabled Gran Turismo would come out sometime around 2050

I am utterly surprised at the lack of knowledge of 3D Displays. An enthusiastic gamer should want to know all there is about upcoming tech that could change the way games are played, so ever since the RUMOR that Nintendo's big thing after Wii was a 3D display (no really, they own a patent, not that they ever made it work, but they bought out a company because of it - so who knows), I've been steadfast into trying to learn more about all of this. And this was before the very first RealD circular polarized theatrical movie release.

Sony mentioned they would be releasing the firmware update for 3D as early as January (this month), in time for a potential release of their first 3D HDTV (using a 200hz TV and nVidia's 3D Glasses) in either February or March - fitting to get it out as early in the fiscal year as possible so it has a chance to build momentum before next Christmas.

3D would not be added as a 'forced-option' (doesn't sound much like an option to me) with the update. Obviously, you can not see the 3D if you do not have the 3D equipment. It is likely the firmware will have 3 options (and a 4th on the way, I'm sure).
A) Unmodified display
B) "200hz" Display which I will explain
C) forced Red/Blue display for the desperate that don't mind the ickiness

And option D) would be a firmware update later in the year for a "120hz" mode that would never work on today's 120hz TVs. I will explain that too.

B - "200hz" mode.
Games on the consoles often strive for "60 Frames-Per-Second." They will often end up between 30 and 45, but who cares as long as it looks good. Whatever frames the game displays, it is always that many frames "Per-Second." What the firmware does is it divides those frames over that second. It then adds extra frames (even if they are just an image copy for the previous frame) until it reaches 200. The update would adjust the camera perspective enough to give the illusion of depth perception between two sets of frames. The 200 frames flash from two-perspectives 100 times for each eye. Whether or not you see an effective 60-frames on the screen at a time, or 30-frames (because now it has to render two perspectives instead of just one, potentially jarring the performance of the gameplay) is a matter beyond me. But I would sadly expect the latter. Now, if it is a game that has achieved 60 Frames-Per-Second and is reduced to 30, don't fret. Many games run at 30 FPS, and we rarely notice unless it dips below that mark. Cinema film is only 24 FPS. North American TV is 30 FPS (actually, 29.997 or something, I don't get that part), even though it runs at 60hz, the original film is 30 unless it's one of the many modern HD movies made with Blu-ray in mind that actually has 60 Frames Per Second. It would only be bothersome on those games that never made it past the 30FPS mark to begin with. But who knows, maybe the firmware update will have better performance in 3D than their 2D counterparts, computers are full of surprises.

Option C would simply suck. Most games would likely have a great deal of slow-downs frame-wise. B isn't trying to overlay two images over each other, it's switching them back and forth through very fast video memory. But using Red and Blue glasses would mean the images would need to be overlayed seamlessly on top of each other, adjusting colors on the screen. You may see more than a 50% performance drop if this is an option Sony decides to include.

Option D would be something Sony would have to do eventually. The more likely TVs to win the "wearing glasses" 3D wars would be a Polarized TV. Just like the 200hz version though, this would take the frames and span them over 120Hz, 60 hz for each eye. But the performance loss would be similar between B and D. If you do not know what a Polarized TV would be, you have yet to become aware of the iZ3D 22" Computer Monitor that works on nearly all DirectX 9 PC Games. Google it. I've wanted one for so long now.

Now there are other 3D techs out there, but no matter how you swing it, if Sony can make the PS3's output work for B and D, any other 3D TV out there should not have a problem getting what they need to be compatible with the output, which could steer the way towards a 3D standard. It is surprising so many TV Manufacturers are looking in to 3D (Sony, Samsung, Toshiba, and Philips, as far as I am aware). But the other techs are in Philips and Toshiba's courts. Philips was the first to come up with WOW.v.x. (google that too), the first 3D TV that does not require the assistance of glasses. And now it looks like Toshiba has done the same.

Oh, and by the way, people who like to have their own personal theatres, here's something I've been thinking about on a personal level - you can buy Circular Polarizing Lenses off the internet. Two projectors, two lenses, and Dual-DVI on PC output - bam, you can use the iZ3D driver to get 3D output to your 100"+ screen! I want two 1080P Projectors just for my PC games in 3D! lol. But a company is going to need to make an HDMI to Dual-DVI/VGA adapter, and a Dual-DVI to Single-HDMI(3D) adapter. I guarantee there are early adopters, and they'll feel left behind without such products available.

Thanks for reading!

EDIT: Forgot to mention, option D's 120hz mode that "would never work on today's 120hz TVs". I've already had this question so I meant to answer it right away - Today's 120hz TVs take your TV/DVD (30 FPS, 60 for BD) input, and fills it in with bogus frames of what it THINKS it should be between this frame and that; until it hits 120 Frames, which then displays the final product at 120hz. If you saw two displays beside each other, both showing 120hz video, the first originates from DVD or even BD, and the second is media that is actually sourced at 120 Frames per Second: the feeling you get from watching the displays would make it apparent that 120hz displays have an incredibly unnatural look to the motion. The only thing I've seen where the 120hz mode on those TVs wasn't jarring is Planet Earth on Blu-ray. Anyways, what I'm trying to say is, the TV is made to take 30 FPS or 60 FPS and BS it's way to 120 FPS. But they were never made to actually RECIEVE a 120 FPS signal, and since it is not (as far as I know) part of the HDMI specification, those TVs do not even have to try to make heads or tails of it. So no sort of adapter would make a current 120hz LCD display compatible with nVidia glasses running at 120 Hz. Though I keep hearing people that say as if they're convinced that some Plasma HD TVs may be more forgiving for the upcoming 3D buzz. Though I have no idea how.

Oh, but I wouldn't be surprised if "HDMI3D" cables start coming to the market. Word of advice, make sure they're not just HDMI cables repackadged. You can get these things for $10 for a 6 ft, $14 for a 12 ft. Don't let Monster and such companies trick you - gold plating and cable shielding make NO difference until somewhere after 12 ft --In a High Interference Area-- (you could go 20 ft with a cheapo HDMI cable and still see the same perfect Full HD Video and Audio as the expensive ones). The only plausible issue is that signal loss and interference could at -some point- interfere enough to actually cause missing video data).

OmegaXIII:
3D could be awesome if the right games use it. As someone above suggested i would have thought FPS games would really benefit. Maybe work a visor or something into a headset?

I suggest you patent that idea, mate.

 

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