Interviews

Sony's 3D revolution

CVG chats to UK PlayStation boss Ray Maguire...

CVG would love to give you a taste of 3D gaming on PlayStation here.

You know the sort of thing; we'd throw out evocative adjectives while recounting our experiences with the tech - and, voilą, a murky picture will arrive in your brain-zone.

Problem is, it's nigh on impossible. Whether it's the peripherally-visible mania of Killzone 3 or the did-I-just-see-that protrusion of Wipeout HD, the PS3 3D 'experience' is just that; something you can only understand when you're in the driving seat.

What we can report, however, is that 3D gaming is far more subtle than you might expect. It creeps up on you - allowing you to adjust to its presence - before it makes itself known.

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Indeed, after ten minutes or so, it begins to feel like normality; as if this is the way you've always gobbled up gaming goodness through your retina.

Indeed, it's only when you take off Sony's sleek (and weighty) 3D shutter 'shades' and return to 2D Corrie, that you realise how paltry 'normal' living room entertainment has been these last 60 years.

CVG tested out the kit this morning at a special Sony 3D London showcase ahead of tomorrow's 'proper' retail launch - and on the day 3D gaming finally hit PS3.

Whilst there, we caught up with SCE UK MD Ray Maguire to get the full story on 3D's potential in the home - and where it's headed on PS3...

You said in your presentation to media today that Sony was the only company fully immersed in 3D from production all the way through to retail. What does that mean in terms of video games; are you the only company for games to offer that from the idea all the way from development to a finished product?
As far as I know, yes. We create the hardware, we create the content and we create the TVs so I don't think there's any part of the value chain we don't have.

Your rep said earlier that 'making 3D is easy but making good 3D is hard'. Does that fit with the way you're approaching it with games?
Yes. For those people who have seen Avatar in both 2D and 3D, the reason the 3D version was so good was that [James Cameron] treated it with a great deal of subtlety.

If you've ever been to Disney and seen The Muppets in 3D - where they come out at you and literally slap you around the face or throw water over you - that is about just understanding that this kind of technology is quite vibrant. They do that for comedic value, but actually that's not about telling stories.

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I think what we have now is the ability to put 3D into the kind of area where we're used to seeing in 2D. We play games in 2D which is an unnatural state. We want to make gaming a natural state by putting it into 3D and doing it with some degree of subtlety to make sure you're not over-exaggerating the 3D element.

I think that is going the be the area of greatest support for development, to understand what role it plays and use it with subtlety and finesse to make sure the experience is better and not just a big crash or bang.

We interviewed Sega boss Mike Hayes earlier this year and he said a smart thing about 3D: That ultimately the novelty will wear off for gamers and it will again come back to the software's content. Does Sony hold a similar philosophy?
I think you give the creativity to the creative people - that's what they do for a living. What we do is give them the platform - and say here's the technology, here's a platform you can use, go and explore.

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