If developers want their game to have more accurate controls and a better sense of space, Sony says all they need to do is add 3D.
Sony Computer Entertainment Europe executive Mick Hocking says 3D isn’t just some visual gimmick. Quite the opposite in fact, as he thinks that 3D represents an entirely new creative medium for developers.
In his Liverpool Games Conference keynote speech, appropriately enough titled “Seeing is Believing: 3D, a New Creative Medium for Games,” Hocking said that 3D could make games more “natural and accessible,” and offered significant gameplay advantages. He said that unlike passive media like movies or television, 3D games had plenty of room to innovate and that 3D afforded players greater control and accuracy, and better communicated space and distance. He also reiterated a point he made earlier in the week, that Sony was happy to train developers on how to best implement 3D into their games. It’s wasn’t all sales pitch however, as when asked about the challenges of working in 3D, Hocking did admit that pre-rendered cutscenes would require around 50 percent more storage space than their 2D counterparts.
Few would dispute that 3D technology offers new creative opportunities, but to call it a “new creative medium” seems a little bit much. Of course, there’s almost no part of Sony that won’t benefit if 3D media takes off in people’s homes, so executives really pushing it is to be expected. Hocking is almost certainly aware that such grandiose language is hyperbolic, but getting on stage and saying, “Yeah, 3D is pretty cool,” wouldn’t be anywhere near as effective.
Unfortunately, until the penetration of 3D TVs is much higher, developers won’t be able to use 3D for gameplay elements, because the majority of the audience won’t be able to see the effect. Even after 3D equipment is more common, develops might be reluctant to use it for fear of leaving people out. The most likely scenario seems to be that 3D will be stuck as neat visual effect until 3D TVs are in almost every household, no matter what Sony says.