Back when I was just a young lad, I would dream of Jetsons’-esque flying cars, Marty McFly’s hovering skateboard and 3D images leaping out of my TV at me. Sadly, cars aren’t flying, my last attempt at making a hovering skateboard left me with 5 broken ribs and a screws holding my kneecap together (kidding). However one futuristic technology (although it’s been around in one form or another since 1922) is looming on the horizon, ready to take over your home. The technology I speak of is 3D imagery. One of 3D imagery’s biggest supporters, Sony, is doing all it can at this year’s CES to make sure the technology is quickly adopted by home theater enthusiasts, casual television and movie viewers alike.
At this year’s CES in Las Vegas, 3D technology is a prominent theme and expectantly so. With 3D films having grossed nearly double that of their standard counterparts at the box office on a per screen basis, consumer electronics companies like Sony are looking to translate that same boost into the home theater industry.
Sony have stated that the PS3 will receive 3D gaming via a firmware update. More added value to an already fully feature packed home console is certainly welcomed., but that’s not all. Sony is pledging to give 3D support for Blu-Ray movies, upcoming Bravia HDTVs, and even digital cameras will sport this new technology.
Today breaking news revealed that Sony have teamed up with Imax and Discovery to launch the first all 3D broadcasting network featuring 24/7 3D programming in 2011.
Another recent announcement (announced in a global press release on December 3, 2009) shows to what length Sony will go to ensure 3D makes it into homes across the globe. The 2010 FIFA World Cup will be produced using Sony’s professional 3D cameras.
Sir Howard Stringer, Chairman, CEO and Chairman of Sony Corporation, had this to say about the groundbreaking announcement:
“The transformation or transition from traditional TV to 3D was in progress for some time. We want to be promoters of Sony (3D) and now, thanks to an agreement with FIFA, have the ability to allow the first technology of 3D can be enjoyed immediately. “
FIFA Secretary General Jérôme Valcke added:
“This propels the football fans into a whole new viewing dimension and marks the dawning of a new era in the broadcasting of sports,”
“We are proud that the FIFA World Cup can serve as a platform for advancing technology and the viewing experience, and are truly fortunate to have Sony as a partner in this endeavor.”
On the gaming front Sony have already begun demonstrating how the technology translates to PS3 games. As far back as last year’s CES, Sony had a PS3 running 3D versions of Motorstorm, Gran Turismo 5: Prologue and WipEout HD (see video below). Although the demoed games so far have been limited to racers, Sony have gone on the record saying that a firmware update could bring the experience to all upcoming and existing PS3 titles.
Another way Sony plans on bringing 3D content into living rooms is with the help of the PlayStation Network. The PlayStation Network already offers movies in HD (and SD, yuck) to consumers who own a PlayStation 3 and have registered on the PlayStation Network. Sony will likely offer 3D movies alongside the currently available HD and SD content. Sony have also recently announced that the PSN platform will be crossing over to VAIO laptops and PCs, as well as Bravia televisions and more.
Sony is quite confident in the technology, expecting up to 50% of television sets sold in the fiscal year starting April, 2012 to be 3D capable. That’s a much faster inception rate than that of HDTVs which made their way into consumer’s living rooms.
With all of this support from Sony currently, 3D should become the norm sooner rather than later. Being a PS3 owner (you better be!) puts you one step ahead of the rest of the crowd, being that you wont need to purchase a separate 3D capable source to display onto your 3D capable HDTV. After buying a new 3D capable HDTV, all you’ll need is a set of those goofy 3D glasses. Looking goofy is a small price to pay for such amazing technology being available from the comfort of you couch.
CES is in full-effect this week, with Sony’s CES Press Conference being live-streamed ( Wednesday, 4:15 PST/7:15 EST) across the internet, so expect much more exciting news on the 3D front to be unveiled. Stay connected to PlayStation LifeStyle for all your CES 2010 coverage. We’ll be watching the live stream and bringing you all the info as it happens.
WipEout HD 3D Demonstration Video