3D or not 3D? That’s the question!

Posted on 06/17/2010


3D is in movement. Is the future of gaming within our reach? Sony whispers in one ear, Playstation 3 and Nintendo is whispering in the other ear 3DS. Sony has made a priority of 3D and wants to be the pioneer and takes advantage in this area. Sony Bravia 3D television is also ready to give us the best of 3D games. Thanks to a recent firmware update, all PlayStation 3s (about 35 million) which have been bought to-date are 3D-capable! They just have to be connected to Internet to update and here is a 3D console.

Nintendo is also at the party with its 3DS. It just put in our hands a 3D hand-held console without the need of glasses. The first tests of the 3DS say that we will not feel that the hero will step out of the screen, but there is a real effect of differences in depth. Quite amazing for this small screen, don’t you think?
Nintendo also had the good idea to include a knob on the right side, called Slide Pad, which controls the degree of 3D. The use is intuitive. Players would be able to take full advantage of 3D games which are rich in contrasts, as Metal Gear Solid, or, rest the eyes for games with less contrasts like Animal Crossing.
Another point is that the exterior of the device has two cameras, which allows, to get a shot in 3D.
If the console is not yet launched, the catalog promises to be particularly rich. 40 titles are announced and among which we can find Assassin’s Creed: Lost Legacy, The Legend of Zelda: 3D Occarina of Time, Resident Evil Revelation or Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D. Nintendo also promises that we will be able to watch 3D movies on the 3DS.A 53-inch screen is not ideal for watching a movie in 3D but it can be funny. Finally, the 3DS is enriched by a gyroscope and a motion detection similar to those found on the iPhone or iPod touch.

Just a second, Assassin’s Creed, Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid, but where are the Nintendogs and New Super Mario Bros? Is there a shift towards an offer for core gamers and less for the casual? Can it be seen as a consequence of the arrival of Apple in the casual niche with its iPhone / iPad? Cheap games, very easy to access and successful. Could Apple be a great danger for a hand-held console which is hunting casual gamers? Perhaps… For the moment Nintendo wants to bring core gamers to its 3DS and gain PSP gamers too. This shift from casual gamers to more core gamers will certainly leave the field a little freer to Apple, but it would avoid a frontal attack. Why am i talking about PSP gamers? Well, I’m referring to Metal Gear Solid on 3DS or Ridge Racer which are linked to the history of Sony consoles!

Is 3D for core gamers? In a recent survey from Consumer Electronics Association, 64% of those interested in 3D video game are game enthusiasts and 35% are casual gamers! The cost will be certainly a barrier. The consumer will have to buy a 3D TV which costs now, at least $ 2,100 for a 40 “TV, $ 2,700 for a 46″ version, $ 3,400 for a 55 ” TV, $ 4,000 for 52 “versions. However, 27% of avid gamers planning to buy 3D TVs.

About the investment that the consumer will have to make, Scott Steinberg answered that « we do have that early adopter who’s just looking if they’ve made into that year investment HD set that’s ready for 3D. They’ll be the guys who want to see that Killzone experience, and I do think the gaming is at the center of that … But there will be movie fans, who are Avatar fans, who aren’t gamers. I’ve got to be convinced that the way our games look, how brilliant and immersive a shooter or racing game will be in 3D, that gamers are going to come to the technology.”For Andrew House, Microsoft UK boss, speaking to Eurogamer, the price of current entry is too high for consumers. Moreover, making 3-D games is likely to be more expensive for publishers already facing rising development costs… Surely 3D is a very long term issue and it is not easy to know how it will affect the business.

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Konami Digital Entertainment a wholly owned subsidiary of Konami Corporation (NYSE: KNM), is a leading, global developer, publisher and manufacturer of electronic entertainment properties, specializing in the home video game market.

Guerrilla Games is a rapidly expanding game development studio with an established reputation as one of Europe’s leading game developers. Founded in 2000 as the result of a merger between three smaller studios, Guerrilla now employs 130 developers from 20 different nationalities.

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