3D : How to make it work - 3D gaming
It’s a similar story in the gaming world. The PS3 is the only one of the big three consoles to offer 3D gaming at present.
Including games in development, there are 108 3D titles, many of which are PSN downloads, for the console. These include heavy hitters such as Call of Duty: Black Ops, Gran Turismo 5 and Virtua Tennis 4.
However, rumours that Microsoft’s Xbox 360 was to introduce 3D firmware at E3 in June proved unfounded, and to date 3D is about the only gimmick Nintendo hasn’t attempted to add to the Wii. It’s also not going to be part of the forthcoming Wii U. That decision may have been affected by the poor early performance of the Nintendo 3DS, which took almost 13 weeks to pass a million sales in Japan – the original DS did it in four – and this month saw its price slashed by a third in all territories.
However, video-site behemoth YouTube now has a dedicated 3D section, and the massive success of such sites has always been driven by user-generated content. Could the same happen with 3D? A Currys/PC World Group spokesperson tells us that although it’s increased its range of 3D camcorders and cameras, customers don’t appear to be biting.
“In imaging, 3D has had a much slower start than TVs,” she says. “It feels like it will track a year or two behind TVs as price points remain at a premium – it’s similar to what happened with hi-def. Recent market info suggests that at the moment, 3D as a feature doesn’t feel like a trigger to buy imaging products.”
The spokesperson adds that brands are not yet investing heavily in advertising their 3D tech. “There has been and will be few, if any, abovethe- line campaigns to promote the technology outside of the specialist press,” she says.
Another area likely to remain niche is mobile phones. So far, only LG and HTC have released 3D handsets. Samsung’s UK head of project management Jim Powell says: “We are world leaders in 3D, but we haven’t seen a need for 3D on mobiles as yet for UK customers.” Motorola, RIM, Nokia, Sony Ericsson and Apple also have no plans to invest in 3D phones, so mobile-wielding citizen journalists won’t be filming – or watching – breaking news in three dimensions for the foreseeable future.
All this goes some way towards explaining why 3D content remains so sparse on YouTube. The site’s 3D channel has had only 1,614,806 views and boasts just 55,000 subscribers. There are fewer than 6,000 3D videos available in total.