Sony, Nintendo Trumpet 3D Gaming At E3

Jonathan Sutton

With 3D content scarcely to be seen at the moment, 3D gaming has been widely touted as a key factor in boosting 3D TV sales. Sony’s and Nintendo’s respective media briefings at the E3 Expo (the video game industry’s annual trade show and conference) in Los Angeles yesterday certainly underlined their commitment to 3D entertainment in stark contrast to rivals Microsoft.

Nintendo was first up on Tuesday, confidently unveiling their Nintendo 3DS portable 3D gaming handheld console. Equipped with a 3.53″ 800 x 240 resolution widescreen display on top, and a 3.02″ bottom touchscreen, the Nintendo 3DS allows users to experience 3D movies and 3D games without the need for 3D glasses, though Nintendo remained tight-lipped on the exact technology employed to achieve such a feat. Users can adjust the intensity of the 3D effect (or turn off 3D completely) via a 3D Depth Slider depending on their personal preference.

On the 3D software front, Nintendo has apparently garnered the support of third-party game developers such as Activision, Capcom, Electronic Arts, Konami, Sega and Ubisoft, with Metal Gear Solid: Snake Eater 3D, The Sims 3D and DJ Hero 3D name-dropped as some of the heavyweight titles and franchises under development.

The Nintendo 3DS will also sport 3 cameras — 2 outer and 1 inner — that let users take 3D photos which of course can be viewed directly on the 3D screen.

While Nintendo repeatedly emphasised their glasses-free approach to 3D entertainment, Sony handed out some Real-D 3D glasses to the press at the entrance to their E3 2010 press conference, which is far from surprising given that Sony also sells glasses-mandatory 3D TVs. Wearing these 3D glasses, attendees were treated to a 3D demo clip from the forthcoming PS3 exclusive Killzone 3 displayed on a giant screen. According to Guerrilla Games who developed Killzone 3, the game has been purposely designed “from the ground up” to be played on the PS3 and a 3D TV.

Kazuo Hirai, Chairman and Group CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment, boldly claimed that “What Avatar did for 3D movies, (titles like) Killzone 3 will do for 3D games.” Further Playstation 3 titles slated to be released in 3D include familiar names like Gran Turismo 5, Crysis 2 and Ghost Recon.