3D: Sony vs. Microsoft


Microsoft’s Xbox marketing boss Albert Penello made several comments on 3D, and is wrong on two points:

“We have 3D games – obviously the Avatar game came out last year – and the console fully supports 3D”

He is part right and part wrong on this. 3D games like Avatar require HDMI (see here, here, and here), so it does work on newer 360 units, but it will not work on older models without an HDMI connection, and those units can not be upgraded to be 3D ready. The 360 launched in November 2005 without HDMI, and it wasn’t until the high end elite model launched on April 29, 2007, that HDMI was an option, and it wasn’t until the Fall of 2007, when HDMI was available on the lower end 360 SKUs.

When you consider this for a moment, 360 can only support 3D on part of their user base, while PS3 can support 3D effects on every PS3, you can imagine why Sony is touting this so loudly, and why Microsoft is downplaying it and dragging their feet. Of course, Sony has the additional incentive of being in the consumer electronics business and selling more HDTVs and home theater gear.

The second place Microsoft is wrong, is that Penello implies that consumers are undecided and haven’t voted whether they care about 3D or not:

“I think that when we decide we want to jump into 3D it’ll be because the consumer’s voted. But from a technical side, there’s nothing about it we can’t do.”

This is clearly not true. As an anonymous studio chief said:

“You can make so much more money with 3-D that it essentially puts a tax on 2-D dramas, romantic comedies and other projects, since they just won’t project the same kind of box-office potential.”

Movie ticket sales data is quite clear and the guys in charge of the theaters and the movie business are fully convinced. The movie going masses from around the globe have voted with their wallets in large numbers that they want 3D and are willing to pay premiums and drive to a different movie theater to get it.

Admittedly, movie theater demand doesn’t translate perfectly to the home theater market, but it’s safe to say that there is a lot more consumer demonstrated demand for 3D than for motion control. The Wii was a huge success, but that involved many factors beyond the controller, as can be seen with the similar success of the DS.

EDIT: Toned down a little bit. Took at inference regarding other tech journalists.


Written by: Darrin - Contributing Editor


  1. #1 by Josh on June 21st, 2010

    Lol

  2. #2 by Legion213 on June 21st, 2010 [ 675 Points ]

    That’s a pretty bold statement. To say the reason “Internet gadget types and journalists” are negative towards 3D is because they are Microsoft centric.

    Not that I’m an internet journalist. I’m a tech enthusiast and I would prefer not to have 3D when watching a movie or gaming. I find it to be more distracting than anything and it doesn’t add enough to warrant an upgrade to my home theater system. If nothing else it just a nice feature if you already planning on upgrading. But a necessity or main focus point, it is not.

    You’re probably right though. The reason Microsoft is down playing it is because not all of their users will be allowed to benefit from it. But thats not to say people can’t make up their own minds. Or that just like the 3D TV’s. If people wanted it bad enough. They could go out and buy a new Xbox. In fact you would assume Microsoft would be more inclined to go head first into 3D. Because if 3D was really that important. Then people would be buying more Xbox360′s if they didn’t already have an Elite.

  3. #3 by Superbob on June 21st, 2010 [ 375 Points ]

    3D is more of a Gimmick the motion controls.

  4. #4 by Darrin on June 22nd, 2010 [ 17143 Points ]

    @Legion, Fine, I edited out the more inflammatory paragraph… I still honestly think it’s true though…

  5. #5 by Andy on June 22nd, 2010

    I agree with Superbob, 3D will die as soon as the first lawsuit is upheld against someone for hitting a pedestrian in a car and blaming poor depth perception after watching Avatar for the 19th time.

  6. #6 by Richard on June 22nd, 2010

    Wow. I can’t imagine the delusion you need to be under to believe that a pro-Microsoft agenda is behind any negative opinions of 3D. I’m all about 3D, but I haven’t and don’t expect to see even one person saying or even considering what the Xbox does or doesn’t support when it comes to their impressions of the technology.

    Also, it’s not correct to say that HDMI is required to support 3D.

  7. #7 by FreeMicrosoftPoints on June 24th, 2010

    That’s all the Wii needs to beat Microsoft and Sony.. Although I was dissapointed with the Wii and Motionplus.. I think ill stick to PC

  8. #8 by FreeMicrosoftPoints on June 24th, 2010

    I also forgot to mention Kinect and Move, surprisingly, I was more impressed by the move than the Kinect, not to mention all the sequels coming out for different systems, the most im interested in is Starcraft 2, possibly Halo Reach, and Black Ops.

  9. #9 by Smootherkuzz on June 29th, 2010

    Ntdo has the right idea when it comes to 3D Who really want to wear those stupid glasses and when Ntdo or some else improves on this then we will have a winner. For now 3D Just is not worth it.

  10. #10 by Mitch on June 29th, 2010

    There’s also the matter of them being HDMI 1.2, which has nowhere near as much as bandwidth as the PS3′s HDMI 1.3 (pseudo 1.4), they’re not gonna be able to achieve 3D on 360 to the same degree as PS3′s first party titles in the future.

    Crytek say they can but they’re using a real-time conversion and a convex 3D effect, which, if all platforms are the same, then in reality PS3 and PC would have been dumbed down, not in terms of the 3D itself, but resolution and framerate.

  11. #11 by solid snake on June 29th, 2010

    360′s 3D won’t be the same as PS3′s 3D because of the simple fact they both use different formats which means the quality bar for one format is going to take a heavy blow in quality.

  12. #12 by JonahFalcon on June 29th, 2010

    C’mon…we all know that those old 360′s with only a component output have all red-ringed long ago and the idiot M$ masses have purchased new consoles with HDMI, thus inflating M$’s console sales. So that really shouldn’t be an issue.

    The issue is that once again M$ is trying to dampen innovation in the market by denying potentially useful technology (think MP3 players, smartphones/tablets, motion control, and Blu-Ray) that a competitor is touting. Then once it takes off, they’ll jump on the bandwagon. They seem afraid to truly innovate, and are just a big, bloated copycat company.

  13. #13 by ResourcefulGuy on September 2nd, 2010

    not touching on the quality issue – there is more going on between Sony and Microsoft. Sony would like consumers to buy their new 3D television sets, as there’s money to be made. With Microsoft not being a hardware manufacturer, there’s little reason to propagate a ‘new innovation’.

    A spiffy set of goggles is not required to experience 3D. The technique with the odd-coloured goggles is sufficient to get the same experience – and it doesn’t require a 3D television. Watching a 3D movie in the cinema doesn’t require a special projector, screen or goggles either. A compliament for the marketing departments of television manufacturers and a(nother) niche hoax, if you ask me …


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