Getting people interested in 3D gaming is all about restraint, says Sony.
People won’t invest in 3D gaming just because it’s 3D; it has to offer them something special to make them part with their cash. That’s the message from Sony’s Mick Hocking, who says that Sony goes to great lengths to make sure that its 3D games are as good as possible.
He said that Sony didn’t view 3D as a “tick box” it wanted on every game. It was more interested, he explained, in seeing it done well in the right games – which so far has included Killzone 3 and the upcoming Uncharted 3 – rather than done badly everywhere. “I’ve been asked where is the Avatar of [3D] games, the big killer app,” he said. “And we don’t want just one of those. We’re working really hard to make all of our games very high quality in 3D. We don’t want peaks and troughs. We want a consistent level of quality.”
Quality was part of the reason that Sony had not included 3D on the PS Vita. Hocking explained that while it was possible to get a really good glasses-free 3D effect on a handheld screen, it involved the viewer keeping his or head very still. As one of the Vita’s features was its Sixaxis motion controls, the two didn’t really gel well. He also said that Sony had wanted to include a high-resolution screen in the Vita, which was easier to do if it stuck to 2D, at least for now.
Hocking was also asked whether the disappointing sales of the 3DS had informed or changed Sony’s 3D strategy. He neatly dodged the question, saying that he couldn’t comment on the 3DS directly; he implied however, that the problem that Nintendo was having was that the 3D effect on the 3DS wasn’t amazing, and the games that were available for it weren’t really up to snuff either.
“I think what we’ve seen over the last 12 months is a strong correlation between good quality 3D content and great response from our fan base,” he said. “The opposite is also true. When people see 3D that doesn’t work very well, or content that isn’t very compelling, I think quite naturally they’re not as interested in it.”
It’s not hard to see why Sony is so keen on seeing 3D done right; almost every branch of the Sony Corporation stands to benefit if 3D becomes prevalent, whether they make TVs, consoles, or movies. It’s interesting to see it approaching the situation with restraint though, rather than pushing hard on the technology.