E3: Sony pushes 3-D future for video games

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Sony Corp. is taking Hollywood’s 3-D mania to the video game world.

At a news conference Tuesday, the first day of the video game industry’s annual E3 conference, Sony executives hyped the ability of their PlayStation 3 console to display video games in stereoscopic 3-D, the same technology that has become the hottest thing in the movie industry this year.

‘A decade from now, when we look back at 2010, it will most likely be remembered as the year that Sony brought authentic 3-D to the video game industry,’ boasted Kaz Hirai, chief executive of Sony Computer Entertainment.

The company handed out 3-D glasses to thousands of attendees at the Shrine Auditorium in downtown Los Angeles to show a demonstration of its upcoming shooter game Killzone 3 in 3-D as well as other upcoming titles that will be produced in 3-D for the PS3, including its own racing game Gran Turismo 5, Warner Bros.’ fighting title Mortal Kombat, Ubisoft’s Shaun White Snowboarding, 2K Sports’ NBA 2K ’11 and Disney Interactive Studios’ Tron: Evolution.


3-D video games are a long-term play for the industry, since they require a special type of television that just recently went on sale and is thus far in very few homes. But Sony is making a big bet on 3-D throughout the company’s line of electronic products, including televisions, cameras and movie projectors.

If successful, it could help boost the PlayStation 3 out of the third-place status among home consoles in which it has long been mired, because Microsoft is not focusing on 3-D for its Xbox 360 nor is Nintendo with its Wii. Sony has sold more than 35 million PlayStation 3’s worldwide, while Microsoft has sold more than 40 million Xbox 360’s and the Wii is at more than 70 million.

Tuesday was a big day for 3-D at E3 because Nintendo also showed off its upcoming 3DS hand-held console that displays games in 3-D that can be used without special glasses.

After its big 3-D segment, Sony also promoted its Move motion sensing controller for the PS3 -- essentially a more precise version of the controller for Nintendo’s Wii -- which will go on sale starting in September. It also demonstrated upcoming games such as LittleBigPlanet 2, which lets players create their own levels, and a subscription service to access a library of online games on the PS3 for $50 a year.

-- Ben Fritz

Top photo: Audience members wear 3-D glasses at Sony’s E3 news conference. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters. Bottom photo: Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai at Sony’s E3 news conference. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters.