Electronic Arts believes one day the game industry will get its Avatar – a game that proves once and for all just how successful stereoscopic 3D can be – but for now there are more important things.
For EA, they are Internet Protocol television (IPTV), and connectivity between devices.
"My personal view is the larger idea, at least for the present, would be the connected game," COO John Schappert said during an investor conference last night.
"I'm more in the camp that IPTV is a bigger idea for gaming, at least in the near term, than 3D is. It just provides a better social experience and you know that consumers playing with one another is a very positive and powerful motivator."
Streaming services are growing in the games business, with the likes of OnLive and Gaikai making early moves in the market.
David Perry's cloud-based gaming service Gaikai.com launched quietly in November last year with EA's sci-fi role-player Mass Effect 2. "BioWare simply rocks," Perry said at the time. "They've been very supportive as has Electronic Arts. The good news for them is we are getting a surprising amount of people clicking 'BUY' without even making them a special offer."
Another emergent technology that sits above 3D on the videogame priority list, for Schappert, is device connectivity.
"While there's no doubt that our industry will have its Avatar, where 3D is a defining aspect of the game ... I'm mostly interested, with all the mobile devices that are coming out, in how they're being connected to one another and how the same IP is shared over the top," he continued.
"I think that's actually a bigger driver for EA and the industry in the near term."
Two companies that are sure to disagree with Schappert are Sony, which has invested millions in 3D gaming with the PlayStation 3 and its 3D-enabled TVs, and Nintendo, which is preparing the glasses-free 3DS for launch next month.
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