3D! It’s the hot new thing that everyone’s talking about. With films like Avatar and Clash of the Titans popularizing modern 3D technology amongst the masses, attention has turned to the videogame industry to take the next step. That’s great timing because it just so happens that the biggest videogame trade show, E3, is fast approaching. The pressure is on publishers to dazzle the public with new 3D software and hardware.
We already know that Nintendo is set to unveil its 3DS at the big show in LA. Sony is said to be ready to impress with a number of 3D software titles, Gran Turismo 5 among them. Will 3D attract only long-time gamers though? SCEE CEO Andrew House is convinced that “particularly for a younger audience, that games can be an easier way for people to engage with 3D than movies.” You know House believes that 3D games can be a cash cow for Sony when he says, “This is definitely a wave of the future and one that we intend to ride.”
Not everyone is completely on the bandwagon, though. EA Sports president Peter Moore is more hesitant regarding 3D. “We are looking at 3D but there are challenges,” he says, “You’ve got to look at things differently than just porting to 3D, because 50 percent of what you are seeing you can’t even tell it’s 3D. I’m not sure it adds value to the experience.”
Moore makes a good point. It sounds like as long as developer build games from the ground up to fit a 3D engine, the results could be engaging to consumers. This is similar to what happened to a lot of games that got ported over to the Wii and its motion controls. Often when the experience wasn’t built from the ground up for Wii, the results were clumsy.
We’ll have a better idea on the future of 3D videogames when E3 kicks off on June 15. Hopefully developers will attack 3D with the same attitude as Take-Two CEO Ben Feder: “The use of 3D needs to be meaningful to the gamer and publishers will need to ask questions. Will it draw players further into my world? Will it change how they interact with the game? Will it make the title more fun and keep the player engaged? The answers need to be ‘yes’ for them to fit into our strategy of being a leader in innovation and quality.”