Sony: 3D gives you "competitive edge"

"You can process information more quickly."

Sony has proclaimed the benefits of 3D gaming to its hardcore fans, saying it provides a "competitive edge".

During a presentation at the Develop Conference yesterday Sony Computer Entertainment Europe senior director Mick Hocking described in detail why playing PS3 exclusives Gran Turismo 5, MotorStorm: Apocalypse, Killzone 3 and LittleBigPlanet 2 in 3D is better.

"With something like a racing simulation, this gives us greater accuracy," Hocking said.

"You can judge or brake a distance to a corner that much better than you could before. You can position your car on a track with greater certainty. You can judge relative speed to the other cars or relative speed to the track better than you could before."

On upcoming arcade racer MotorStorm: Apocalypse, Hocking had this to say: "We can throw particles through the screen at you. We can make the building feel like it's going to collapse down on top of you. It helps to enhance the sense of speed and scale and excitement in the game."

He added: "You can also process information more quickly. With a game like WipEout, where you're racing very fast down a track, it's twitch control mechanics. You've got to be very precise and quick about changing the direction of the ship or you hit the wall.

"With this [3D] your brain can pick up more cues from the digital image because there's more information there, because we have depth. We find that players can play this a bit more accurately than they could before."

On Killzone 3: "We have particles flying past them. You can see projectiles coming towards you. You can judge just how far you need to throw a grenade because you can see how far away the enemies are.

"We can have things collapse on top of you, or you can be reaching down into a ditch to pull a comrade out. 3D helps bring greater immersion to these types of action experiences."

And, finally, Media Molecule's LittleBigPlanet 2, which, Hocking reminded us, has Z-depth.

"In 3D we found it was much more intuitive to judge where Sackboy was in the level. We found we could traverse the level rather than falling off the platforms quite so often."

Essentially, Sony reckons 3D will help PS3 owners be better gamers.

"For our hardcore, this could mean a competitive edge. Racing simulations, if you can get a better lap time, in shooters, if you can get more kills, this all appeals to our hardcore gamers. Anything that gives them a competitive edge is worth having."

Hocking's comments come as no surprise. Sony is putting plenty of eggs in the 3D basket, and hopes it'll convince millions to fork out their hard-earned cash on the tech that enables it.

"We think 3D is now here to stay," Hocking said.

"There are many different parts of media now supporting 3D with a vested interest in seeing the success of 3D. Not only the film studios and film creators; games, broadcasters, photography, camcorders and phones of the future. All of them will be looking at 3D.

"We are the only company that has the entire hardware and content chain of 3D within our core business."

With an installed base of 36 million PS3s, and with firmware updates that enable the console to play 3D games and Blu-ray discs in the wild, Sony is confident of success.

The Japanese company predicts that by 2014 more than 40 per cent of tellies will be sold as 3D ready.

Last week Ubisoft UK marketing boss Murray Pannell went one further by predicting that a 3D-enabled telly will be in every living room in just three years time.

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