Proving once again that the most important observations are often the most obvious ones, Sony Group Studio Director Mick Hocking stated in a recent interview that when it comes to 3D offerings, quality content is most crucial to success. The holiday launch of its 3D monitor that allows two players to share one display without split-screen will serve as a live test of how well Sony’s strategy is paying off.
Hocking explains that because they see a “strong correlation between good-quality 3D content and [a] great response from our fan base”, Sony has been advocating only adding 3D to a game when it enhances the experience, and then only when it passes a 10-point quality check that ensures details like whether the crosshairs in a shooter line up properly.
Along with trying to prevent a game from becoming The Last Airbender, Hocking also dismisses the need for an Avatar – in other words, a “killer app” that causes everyone to jump on the 3D bandwagon. “We don’t want peaks and troughs”, he explains. “We want a consistent level of quality.”
The Vita, at least, will have to wait for its own 3D overhaul, since the player would have to hold the device very still to get the best 3D effect – which is not very practical for a system that features motion control. However, Hocking is optimistic about current 3D saturation for the PS3, listing 50 million 3D enabled PS3s in the wild and “more than 50 3D games which have had great reception so far”.
Perhaps the most interesting tidbit is Hocking’s answer to the question of why the current 3D initiative will succeed where many previous attempts to introduce 3D have failed. “What’s different about today is this is the first time we’ve been able to offer high-quality 3D: a high-quality display with high resolution, high refresh rates, high-quality software and movie experiences”, he says, stating that it is now possible to buy high quality 3D products at an affordable cost.
Thus, the main takeaways here are that Sony believes it has figured out how to do 3D properly and that it is committed to its 3D efforts. The fact that it is continuing to pursue and enhance this technology after two years is a testament to its success. However, consumers are rightly wary of 3D gimmicks, and 3D still represents a non-trivial financial investment for many. Sony will still have to prove that its idea of quality is the same as that expected by its customers.