News Article

Sony: 3D Handheld Gaming Might Not Work

Posted by Damien McFerran

Predictable sounds of negativity coming from Nintendo rival

While the rest of the world is left pondering just what Nintendo can do with the freshly-announced 3DS, Sony's John Koller has wasted no time is casting aspersions on the machine's chances.

"I think it remains to be seen where Nintendo goes with 3D on a portable," said Koller, who is employed as director of hardware and marketing at Sony Computer Entertainment America.

"Having been in the portable space for quite awhile, I think it's an interesting move but one I'd like to see where they go from a demographic standpoint. 8 and 9 year-olds playing 3D is a little bit of a stretch given where some of our research is right now," he went on to add.

This kind of trash-talking is hardly new, but Koller does have a point – as our very own Sean Aaron found when he tested the 3D capabilities of the current DSi hardware, using this kind of tech in a portable can lead to some discomfort for the player. Time will tell if Nintendo's gamble has paid off.


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User Comments (67)



edhe said:

We'll see how ill conceived a 3D handheld is when they nick the idea for their next PSP.



PopeReal said:

A lot of the negativity surrounding 3DS reminds me of when the original DS was announced..... "2 screens, how can you play using two screens??? you can't use them both at the same time!!"....

I have a feeling 3DS will own E3 this year.



Golgo said:

Idiot. In 18 months there'l be a 3D PSP with a dayglo pingpong ball glued to it.



V8_Ninja said:

He does have a point. But Nintendo usually does do a good job with making new tech plausible in the video game realm, so I wouldn't listen to this man yet. And I agree with Golgo; don't insult one company's product if you're going to directly copy it in less than two years.



Slapshot said:

He's not trash talking he clearly states that Sony has looked at the younger demographic in regards to 3d and sounds like maybe they found younger handed struggled with 3d games playability. He quite clearly states that he is very interested to see what nintendo does with this system. I'm a ds fanatic, and I myself am very skeptical of this choice in portable gaming. The video Sean Aaron put up looks neat but looks like its appeal will be very short lived. What will 3rd parties do with it? Shovelware cash cow like the Wii? Lots of reasons to be skeptical if your a multisystem gamer and not just diehard nintendo everything.



citizenerased said:

Doesn't sound all that negative to me, are you people trying to start a console war here or something?



PopeReal said:

No console wars, I am a PS3 owner. I was talking about the negativity surrounding the 3DS in general, including coming from Nintendo fans.

People really didn't understand the DS at first, it sounded like a crazy idea and people likened to the Virtual Boy. Sound familiar?

And while the DS has a large range of age when its comes to users, I understand there are probably more kids. But are people really worried that kids won't like/be able to play the 3D games? All I know is my nephews would eat that stuff up, I guess I can't speak for all kids.



skywake said:

Can people stop comparing this to the orientation demo thing on the DSi? Its more likely to be an auto-stereoscopic display which is already making its way into Japanesse phones. The two technologies aren't really comparable at all.

the result would be much closer to the experience you get in 3D movies. If you have watched any of them you will know its not perfect and it does take some getting used to. The positive thing is that, like just about every display I know that does this, there should be an option to turn the 3D effect turned off. Otherwise they wouldn't be so sure of backwards compatibility.

As for the Sony comments... I don't see them making the same comments about their firmware update to include 3D in their PS3. Nor do I see them holding back from 3D screens. I'm pretty sure that at some point they'll even release a 3D movie if they haven't already. Also like people have said already here if 3DS is a huge success you can be sure that PSP2 (if it happens) will do 3D.

side note: the real question I want answered is if the 3DS's 3D will work if the console is in "book form".



JakobG said:

Says Mr. Horrible Portable Successor.

Sure, all this 3D relates to the Virtual Boy, but making yet another pair of giant goggles that cause headaches wouldn't make any sense.
Personally, I don't really need 3D effects, but if it works properly, it'll surely be nice with headtracking and motion capturing.



JimLad said:

Yeah, I wouldn't call it trash talking. Of course he has to explain why he isn't doing it as a director of hardware.

But I totally agree with #1 they will copy it, no doubt.



Omega said:

I wonder if this 3D works for everyone. I can imagine that some people with certain eye conditions may find it difficult to view 3D. And what if one hasn't luck and is on one eye blind? Would it still work?



Sean_Aaron said:

These Sony mouthpieces need to shut the hell up, seriously. They're working for a company that couldn't determine if it was a consumer electronics company or a media company and sabotaged itself for a decade - they're still digging themselves out of their self-made hole!

Come back to me when you're not making consoles that look like oversized CD-ROM drives and hand-helds that were made to play 10-year-old console games.



moomoo said:

They were even more harsh about the Wii, and look how that turned out
Also, everyone has a DS, not just 8 and 9 year olds. High schoolers are playing Heart Gold and Soul Silver all over the place at my high school.



RonF said:

So, as I understand, his argument is that only kids will be interested in the 3DS. Considering that adults will have the iPhone/iPad/IPod Touch, I guess Sony should scrap the PSP as there is no audience for that product.



skywake said:

@Omega It won't work for everyone. People with one eye (hehe, cyclops) can't see 3D so to them this would seem stupid. These people also think 3D movies like Avatar are stupid. Its also going to be a bit harsh on people with poor, uncorrected vision causing headaches and discomfort. Clearly these people are in the minority because... well Avatar did well didn't it?

For normal people or people who have poor vision but the correct glasses. There will be some getting used to (like with the previously mentioned 3D movies) but after that... it should be fine. Assuming the hardware is decent and the game developers don't break stuffs.



Slapshot said:

@Sean.... well. Sony has been the leading front on 3d gaming and have been showing tech demos and already have a 3d digital game on the market. It's caused great amounts of skepticism across even their own media outlets. They have .stated many many times that 3d is the future of gaming. Just like reggie does defending his products against move, this is them defending their territory. Really no different. It's all funny to me. What matters is the games and all 3 companies do that very well.

@sky...lots of people have problems with 3d myself included. This isn't digital 3d though so we will see.glasses, even the right prescriptions do make it way worse compared to wearing contacts, but that still causes migraines, and avatar was amazing in 3d just the migraine it caused sucked.



CheifThunder said:

John Koller Today.
Sony"John Koller,step into my office son".



Sneaker13 said:

Sony being negative about an idea from Nintendo. Who would have thought.

I'm curious for more information and it's all about how the games will use the 3D. If it's well integrated I can see huge opporunities in games. Especially in the adventure genre.



Cia said:

Sony has been the leading front on 3d gaming"

Sony has been the leading front on copying ideas from Nintendo. That's called spinelessness.



Varoennauraa said:

Sounds like someone didn't have anything else than touchscreen for hand held in their drawing board... Sony, that's what you get when you come into class late. You have to do old homework, while everyone else is doing new s*it.



SuperPeach said:

What a jerk! I have a fifty year old aunt who plays DS, my boss plays, my mom, me, and we're all beyond 8 or 9.

I know that nintendo will find a way to make it work, and what makes you think it will use the same tech to make 3d games as the DSi? There are so many possibilities for nintendo, and I'd bet all the money in the world that they'll just copy it.



maka said:

haha... he's basically saying. We don't have a clue of how to implement 3D on an handheld, let's wait until Nintendo does it and if it works, we'll copy it



ejamer said:

Remember Koller's quote about the DSi?

"If Nintendo is really committed to reaching a broader, more diverse audience of gamers beyond the 'kids' market that they've always engaged, there isn't much new with the DSi to support that. Significant gamer demographic groups are being ignored, and there continues to be limited opportunities for games from external publishers to do well on the DSi. Compare that with the PSP platform, where we have many blockbuster franchises from our publishing partners launching this year, representing a wide variety of genres and targeting diverse demographics. Games such as Rock Band Unplugged from MTV Games, Assassin's Creed from Ubisoft, Dissidia Final Fantasy from Square Enix, and Hannah Montana from Disney demonstrate the commitment that publishers have to the PSP. From our own first-party studios, we're launching unique versions of LittleBigPlanet and MotorStorm, and we're also planning a steady stream of downloadable games -- both new titles and PSone classics -- to add to the content that PSP owners can already purchase wirelessly through PlayStation Store."

Part of his job is being a Sony fanboy, but these quotes are a little bit silly. Believe it or not, the DSi (and it's successor) are actually played by more than 8 and 9 year olds... no matter how many times he tries to label the system as being kiddie and immature.

Speaking of which, how's that Hanna Montana PSP bundle selling to the mature and distinguished Sony audience?



Machu said:

"might not work"

It might not work for Sony true, but Nintendo seem to be all over it.



LztheQuack said:

Oh please, it won't be long until the miraculous release of the PSP 3D

My research indicates that Sony has made too many mistakes this gen to be talking about other companies: PS3 launch, UMD movies, PSP Go, and some more (might include the Move soon). Seriously, release some hardware that's widely successful, and stop relying on the PS2's success alone!



Slapshot said:

@ejamer.... corbie bought one. Lol.

You guys really expect a competing company to praise another, do u see nintendo remarking about Sony.... yes. Nothing is new, its competive buisness. This company bashing here is getting as bad as ign.

Psp has many weakness, but it also does somethings better than nintendos handhelds, making it great to own both. Most notably pained classics and larger adventure games, But DS is still the ruler of All handhelds, touch screen controls and dual screens have been awesome, and caused some of the most creative gaming we've seen.



LztheQuack said:

@slapshot: At least Nintendo doesn't make a comment about Sony every time they release info about new hardware. Sony's been talking smack about Nintendo this entire generation



Spoony_Tech said:

Let us remember this is nintendo we are talking about. Not every ds game used the the touch screen. I`m sure that a lot of company`s will still make what games they want unless it will only display 3d then that might change things.
Sony might not be trash talking,but their are mocking nintendo again and if any company can pull this off we all know nintendo can.
Sony problby already has spys at nintendo headquarters!



Percentful said:

Sony's immature comment level is OVER 9000!!!1!!!!!!!one!1!
Though, he may be right. Nintendo will have to come up with something real good.



Raylax said:

Actually I've gotta say the guy's possibly making a good point on this one (and he's not attacking Nintendo, just pointing something out. Stop jumping on him). The 3D is as yet fairly untested waters on a hand held (asides a couple of mobile phones), so there's no saying that it'll definitely work. Sony's right to be cautious here, especially given their own 3D research recently.
The 3DS could completely nail 3D on a portable, but it could also sink. We'll have to wait and see.



Sylverstone said:

Typical Sony.

Well, they've denounced the 3DS.

Now for them to rip it off and claim that theirs is superior (like what they're doing for the Move).



Slapshot said:

I found the full comment on a Sony site, and the article here neglected to mention that he said the demand for 3d gaming is extremely high and Sony pledged to continue their pursuit on 3D gaming on the PS3. It's pretty clear they are very interested to see what Nintendo pulls off wit 3DS.

Also the full comment Clearly States that Sony has been testing 3D gaming on younger gamers on PS3. To unfovorable results, But ps3 games really aren't geared for that age group. Sony was actually damn respectful in what they said, not the slant it was made out to be here.



Didn't sony said the same about the DS and the Wii?

Yeah I thought that too...



jonas said:

he should shut up ,sony is going to copy this its for sure!!!!!!!!



Slapshot said:

I think when it comes down too it they all resect eachother, and yeah reggie did say he was flattered by move and he should be. Wii is absolutely ground breaking, 3DS very well may be too. The full comment shows skepicism, but that is with anything. He shouldn't have compared ps3 3d to 3DS though. If anyone can pull it off it will be Nintendo. Especially in creating great games for younger gamers. Nintendo innovation had been great since the ds with new play styles, I'm sure they got software to back the 3ds

3rd,move,natal.... its going to be a epic E3 this year.



HappyHappy said:

In a way I think he's right. 3-D gaming is cool, but I guess I don't see how this will work for a portable system. I'll just wait until E3 and hopefully seeing the 3DS in action will change my mind about this.



Cia said:

"This company bashing here is getting as bad as ign."

This is a nintendo site, so of course we defend nintendo.



kevohki said:

He's fair in saying that it might not work for a portable system because well, it just simply might not work. Nintendo has had success with innovation but they also have utterly failed with innovation before so I'll wait till E3 to see if this glasses-less 3D is anything more than another gimmick.



Mike1 said:

Another stupid Sony exec has to cut down Nintendo. It's not like they have anything else to do, they're not selling product, so they might as well talk trash about the system that is kicking their butts.



Donatello said:

Blah blah blah, more ridiculous predictions made by Sony....I love how they said 'Rumble' was so last gen, and how Motion controls were a gimmick...Sony and MS are just sheep waiting to see what Nintendo does next so they can copy and try to make it better.

I can't take Sony or MS seriously....Nintendo Innovates, while the other 2 talk smack and copy.

And Honestly Nintendo knows what they're doing, the 3D tech for the 3DS will be amazing, i can imagine playing a new Super Mario Bros game with depth to the clouds, background, enemies ect ect.



brandonbwii said:

I actually don't think the 3D thing is going to be that big of an issue/barrier. While there isn't any concrete news, the tech sounds typical Nintendo. It sounds like this new tech will be a smart way to make visuals look better while still keeping dev cost relatively low (something Sony isn't exactly known for).



Kaeobais said:

I can see what he means (and I'm thoroughly surprised that Sony didn't just go "WE'RE FU**ING AWESOME! WII IS A TOY!" and actually had some creative criticism), but honestly, if anyone can pull this off, it's Nintendo, and they won't just pull it off, they'll make it the best damn thing we've ever seen.



Burning_Spear said:

Another thing he's forgetting is that it's not a necessity that every game has to feature 3D technology. The Wii has motion control, but few games use it ... or use it well.



Linkuini said:

Trash talk? Compared to the usual stuff, this is practically a friendly greeting!



Kaeobais said:

Very true, Burning Spear. I expect beyond-excellent games from the big N, but whether 3rd party devs can do the same is unknown.



Donatello said:


"if anyone can pull this off, it's Nintendo, and they won't just pull it off, they'll make it the best damn thing we've ever seen"




StarDust4Ever said:

I think 3D on the consumer front is a great idea. However, there are two options: One of them has been around from the 70s, which included the red-cyan, red-blue, green-magenta or some other combination of primary colors. If the content is in black and white, it works fine. But if they try to keep it in color AND use the color filters, it really screws up the effect. I think I would have enjoyed the Coraline 3D feature better if it the colors had been desaturated a little. For example, anything greenish would appear light in one eye and dark in the other. Since our brain relies on contrast and not color to focus, green and/or magenta items in the film didn't focus properly. The other option is to use polarized lenses to divide the light, which requires special equipment (either multi-thousand dollar projectors with expensive silk screens, or a bulky headset) and a much higher frame rate. Also, the LCD headset technology is not compatible with LCD displays because the light coming off the LCD is already polarized, and CRTs have "afterglow". So you would either need a plasma or LED TV. LED TVs are starting to drop rapidly in price and don't have the contrast problems that LCDs do. 120Hz would be the barebones minimum requirement as far as framerate, preferably higher (like 144 or something) to reduce flicker, and you'd need to use two HDMI cables if you expected to watch it in 1080p. Then you'll need to have some type of infrared signaling device (similar tech to that of the wimmote sensor) that would tell a sensor inside the headset when to switch the left/right fields on/off. And since every HDTV has a different propagation delay/framerate, the IR signalling device would have to be built in to the television set, not connected to the player with a dongle. Otherwise it would be an extremely cumbersome procedure to calibrate the emitter. Furthermore, to accommodate people who wear glasses, they would need to be designed like bulky goggles. And how many people have ever been to a big party with a large group of people crowded into a small living room to watch a movie on the small screen? I hope you've got like 20 or so spare sets of 3D goggles handy. Even if it's just you and let's say it's just you and maybe a significant other. Suppose you want to grab the Snuggie and cozy up on the couch lying sideways. If your eyes sockets are more than 15 degrees or so off the horizontal plane, they will either refuse to focus properly or give you a splitting headache from the strain and fatigue.

Yeah. 3D works great in theaters and at tech demos and conventions. But bringing it into the middle-class home (where consumer technology firms like Sony get the majority of their money) is something consumer tech has been trying to do for like 30 years...

Despite everything else I've said, it seems that 3D will still be a lot easier and cheaper to implement on a portable than on a set top console. Still though, do people learn from their mistakes? Nintendo might as well label the 3DS as a "Virtual Boy 2"



Nintendoftw said:

I think tis guy's just mad because he lost the handheld war already. And PROMISED to PSP would stay alive for atleast 10 years. Good luck PSP fans, with your next gen system coming in 2015! While we get our's early which will undoubtably kill the PSP since it takes EVERYTHING from it, graphics media, etc.

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