3D Technology on PS3 May Require Compromise

When looking for the next breakthrough technology for gaming, 3D gaming shows the most potential. With the ability to deliver the same immersive reality found in cinemas, 3D technology can provide an experience like no other. Knowing that Sony is at the forefront of 3D technology, many have wondered how the PS3 will be able to support it with only a firmware update. Sony has the answer.

During an interview by DigitalFoundry with Simon Benson from Sony, Simon explained how 3D will be implemented on the PS3. Simon stated the following:

“WipEout HD was originally 1080p at 60Hz: obviously a good foundation to start from. Making the 3D build of this we had to go for two 720p images. The advantage there is that that’s less than 1080p, so we’re all right there pixel-count wise: we’ve got some to spare, we’re asking less in terms of pixel processing. But we were fairly geometry bound on WipEout HD. Because it was 60Hz we could just drop to 30Hz and in actual fact, that was it. There was no more work to do. That worked. It took very little time getting the game into 3D; there were very few problems with WipEout.”

Hopefully the reduction in quality will be made up for by the 3D experience. When questioned about the benefits of 3D implementation on a game, Simon replied:

“Immersion: there’s a better sense of being part of the world, and that goes for most titles converted to 3D,” he says. “But also we found that understanding the flow of the track at distance was a very strong benefit. Often in 2D games you look into the distance and you haven’t got enough detail to see where the track is going and 3D gives you that.”

While the downgrade in resolution is a disappointment, the immersion delivered by such a technology should more than make up for it. The resolution changes will obviously require development time, so developers will need to go back to the drawing board to implement 3D support for their respective titles. Thankfully, Sony is the first of any console manufacturer to support this potential on their system, and with the latest firmware update have already integrated the support onto every updated system.