Sony 3D Launch Event: 3D Gaming Impressions

3D is coming. Not only to television, but also to gaming. Most of us are likely not yet ready for this latest wave of technology, but PSLS was on the scene at Sony’s recent 3D Launch Event at their studio in Culver City, California. We’ve got some hands-on impressions with a handful of games due to be upgraded with this third dimension soon, and you’ll only find that info here, after the jump.


The day’s events were scheduled to start at 11 AM, but with Southern California’s notorious traffic something was bound to happen. Right on cue, a nasty collision involving an officer occurred very close to the main exit to get to the Sony studio, and the I-405 was shut down for some time. Thankfully Sony delayed the event until around 11:30, and things rolled smoothly along from then on with a presentation (including Jack Tretton speaking about 3D gaming). Amongst 3D trailers for Resident Evil: Afterlife, Spider-Man, and Men In Black III, various games were also shown. The Fight: Lights Out, MLB 10: The Show, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, PAIN, Super Stardust HD, and WipEout HD Fury were showcased, in RealD 3D. The last four were available in the soundstage next door, and since not all of us will have a 3D-capable setup when the free update goes live later, live vicariously through PSLS with our take on how the games look and play in 3D.

First up, PAIN. A few select modes were available in 3D, and it only seemed to add depth to the scene. Nothing really popped out at you, mostly because a lot of the things you hit or “ooch” (bump the character with the directional pad) into do not fit within the frame. It is still a nice added effect, and PAIN’s version of bowling seemed to benefit the most from this.

Kinda hard to see the effect without the glasses...

Up next, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift. It is actually a demo and not the entire game, but what was there did impress. You really get a sense of just how far away an object is, and if you splash around in the mud or water it looks as if the streams are leaping out at you. Motion sickness or eye strain of any sort did not present itself, even at higher speeds. There was no perceivable degradation in graphical quality or framerate, either. It is the same game, only much more immersive.

Super Stardust HD followed that. This game was one of the first shooters available on the PSN, and the very first PS3 title to receive trophy support back in 2008. The game’s title screen really appears as if it stretches out into the vast infinity of space. Explosions fly out of the screen in front of you, and death (of your ship) has never looked so spectacular. This game is definitely one to show off your new 3D system with. Once again, the graphics and framerate appear just as good as in the original game.

Last but certainly not least is WipEout HD Fury. This game is a visual treat normally, but in 3D it skyrockets into a mindbending experience. You stare down the length of the track and it almost feels like you’re standing on it. Going hundreds of miles per hour. The HUD also appears to actually lift out of the screen and come in closer to you. Your eyes actually have to refocus to read the HUD at first, but after maybe a lap around any course most people’s eyes will have adjusted. This was easily one of if not the best 3D game Sony had playable at the event.

One thing to note, at least in this reporter’s experience, is that the 3D glasses were very comfortable to wear. While theater 3D glasses normally give me a weird feeling between my eyes, these stereoscopic glasses presented no sensation nor were uncomfortable after about half an hour of consistent wearing. Also each game gives you the option to enable the 3D mode or play in traditional 2D when a capable television has been detected. The future of gaming, perhaps entertainment may very well finally be in 3D due to the maturity of the technology, and this event has made a believer out of me.