When a PS3 is hooked up via an HDMI port it opens up the ability for players to see two different images while playing the same game. The technology that enables this uses what's known as quad speed frame sequential display technology - now becoming known simply as SimulView technology - and in simple terms it works by combining the proprietary Sony glasses with the TV to send the separate images to the different players. It's basically using the inherent technology that makes 3D TVs display 3D images and transforming that technology to show two side by side 2D images.
The glasses have special buttons on top - situated on the front of the right earpiece - that when pressed make both lenses of one players glasses display images for the left eye, and both lenses of the other players glasses display images for the right eye, thus giving each player the ability to see their own 60 frames per second feed of images all the time. This way they both see different images on the same display, letting them play the same games in true split screen mode side by side by connection to a PS3, cable TV box, or 3D gaming PC.
Sound is delivered by an integrated sub woofer which acts to give enhanced low frequency audio. This gives noticeable power to bass sound effects, which will give some huge sounds to games that include explosions and motor engine noise. Sound can also be delivered via a headphone jack or by using the PS3 wireless headset.
Connection to any other device needs to be via an HDMI connector cable. This lets you connect up to any HD game console, TV, or PC.
Why A 24 Inch Screen?
For anyone who's been following the progress of 3D TV technology over the last year or so, the 24 inch display size might be surprising. On first impressions it does seem on the small side given much of the focus on 3D TV has been on building and selling bigger screen models to increase the immersive feeling that's a major part of watching 3D images.
But Sony are aiming this innovation at gamers who are used to smaller screens, they might be playing in bedrooms and other small spaces where standard larger 3D TVs are way too big. In fact 24 inches might be seen as a perfect size for you to use as a PC monitor doubling up for gaming with a Playstation connected.
It does remain to be seen whether the 24 inch display is effective, and if the Playstation 3D TV is successful in the early stages of sales then we can expect to see bigger screens developed in future.
How Much Does The PS 3D TV Cost?
The display bundle was originally released at roughly $500 for US based gamers, but has quickly dropped (on Amazon at least) to $399. At this price the PS 3D TV seems competitive. Note though that extra pairs of Sony glasses will cost between around $50 - $70 on top. European gamers are going to need to find a little extra, with initial pricing set at €500 or £500 (but with 2 pairs of 3D glasses included). UK online games store Game.co.uk began listing the display in early October at £449.99 with Amazon following at under £410, though no details of the bundle are shown on the page so it's not clear what you're getting for the money. And we probably won't see a European release now until around March 2012.
Australian PS3 fans won't fare much better, with a figure of $700 AUD confirmed when the first models go on sale in early November ($850 in New Zealand), and pricing in Japan has been set at ¥44980 Yen.
These prices do compare well with most standard 3D TVs (though not particularly favourably with various 3D monitors) and Sony have probably fixed them to sit mid-way between the price of a Playstation gaming console and the lower priced models of those standard 3D TVs for a reason. When you consider that the extras that come with the TV - the games, the glasses, and the HDMI connector - are valued at $150 in total, you can begin to appreciate the competitive nature of the pricing.
It's worth noting though - and this is a good example of the less attractive UK pricing - that LG's 32LW450U 32 inch LCD passive glasses 3D TV model has been getting great reviews. And it's priced at just about £500 at Amazon in the UK. For UK and European gamers that puts the price in perspective. At this price for a Playstation 3D monitor it all looks wrong. Sony have a great opportunity to build a market where new buyers of a Playstation games console will want a 3D TV with it too. In order to take advantage of that potential market it would seem they're going to need to drop the price for the PS 3D TV bundle to around the £300 to £350 range and bring it closer to the US equivalent.
How Good Are The Playstation 3D Display's 3D Imaging And Simulview Dual Gaming Feature?
There's no debating that the Simulview Dual gaming is likely to be the main draw for Sony's 3D display. You can get good quality 3D monitors for the same price or lower if you just want to play 3D games, but until the other manufacturers catch up this is the only way you'll get both in the same package.
We've already mentioned the stunning depth quality of the display's 3D imaging. It is truly immersive and I can't say much more than that. It's what 3D gaming on a TV is all about. So I'll focus here on the quality of the dual player gaming.
The SimulView feature is what many gamers have been waiting for, and you won't be disappointed. Each player really does get their own unique view, with ghosting of images kept to a minimum. In fact the only time you're likely to get any obvious ghosting will be when one player is looking at a bright image, and the other at a darker one.
MotorStorm Apocalypse is the bundled game, and for many gamers will be the first time they've ever played without a traditional half split screen. Suffice to say that for a first experience of Simulview Motostrorm Apocalypse is perfect. Clearly that's why Sony chose it to be part of the bundle. Play this once and you'll never want to go back.
What Games Are Available?
It all sounds good, doesn't it? But there are some drawbacks. The major one is that the dual player mode will only work with 3D games that have been specially created to take advantage of it. Clearly that means that all existing games will be incompatible from this perspective, though of course you'll be able to play them as a single player in 3D. Current games would need an update to make them compatible.
Sony initially stated that the Playstation 3D TV would ship with Resistance 3. You can read a great review of Resistance 3 on website PlaystationLifestyle.net. That was added to soon after by Motorstorm Apocalypse. Now you can add Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 3, and Super Stardust HD to the list.
Sony have stated intention to make further games available, either by new game developments or by applying software updates to existing games.
With the current lack of 3D content affecting the mass acceptance of 3D TVs in general, we can anticipate that Sony will not allow failure due to lack of games. So it'll be no surprise to hear that they are already suggesting they will have around 100 fully compatible 3D games released by the end of the year. Sony's target does appear to be quality rather than quantity though, and this strategy does seem a sound one given that poor experiences in 3D - either from movies, TV content, or games - do have a profound off putting effect on many people that try the 3D experience. You can find a full list of available PS3 3D games here.
There's little doubt that we'll see many more titles in the near future, with Sony appearing keen to investigate upgrades for other existing games so they can also be played in Simulview mode. It's worth noting that the display is compatible with any type of PC game as long as the PC connection is made via HDMI.
Will The Playstation 3D TV Be Successful?
Most major manufacturers, and Sony in particular of course, believe that 3D games will drive the adoption of 3D TVs even higher, and this looks to be the first real effort from a major games manufacturer to try and prove that point on a big screen. For an experienced gamer the Playstation 3D TV could become one of the all time must have gaming gadgets. There are already over 100 PS3 3D games in circulation and if the Playstation 3D TV is successful it will be no surprise to see that number increase substantially, either in standalone 3D format or with the enhanced dual 3D gaming capability. It's no secret that high availability of different games titles will be critical, as that's exactly one of the problems that's plagued the early days of the Nintendo 3DS.
At the US price of around 500 USD the PS 3DTV option may just encourage anyone who's been sitting on the fence about buying a 3D TV to jump in with both feet, though the pricing in Europe and the UK - at €500 and £500 respectively - does not seem so attractive. Even so, the potential for the future is outstanding. Imagine when 3D games get to be paired with motion-sensing controls or head tracking technology, we could be facing whole new ways of gaming. Players could manipulate 3D environments with a wave of their hand. Game play and even player level creation could become far more intuitive than ever before. Should the Playstation 3D TV be as successful as seems likely, it could open up the doorway to even more new and innovative gaming experiences.
But the big question is - will it be successful?
By the New Year 2012, you could be the proud owner of a new Sony PlayStation 3D television. All the advance news suggests this remarkable piece of machinery will bring gamers to the edges of their seats, blowing them away with incredible graphics and truly immersing them into the interactive world of gaming. Families will be offered high definition television and an option of watching films in 3D (via the PS3 or a suitably connected Blu Ray of course), and friends can huddle round and experience the fun too. So what are the cons? There has got to be a catch to this new hardware from Sony. Well, that’s my job to research and discover if the Sony PlayStation 3D TV will be a complete flop or an incredible investment. A loser or a winner? Read on.........
Why is the screen so small?
Winner: The first model launched will feature a 24” screen. This is because Sony wants its users to feel that they are part of the game, film, documentary or drama. Gamers have been used to smaller screens, and can be found huddled in bedrooms and games rooms. It’s intimate, its real. This is by no means a tiny screen, and there have been talks that Sony will launch a larger size of screen later on, if you can hold on that long.
Is 3D TV all hype anyway?
Winner: Unbelievably the use of 3D in films and television has going for decades, in fact Alfred Hitchcock produced “Dial M For Murder” in 3D, but cinemas didn’t have the facilities to show films in that dimension so used normal 2D. Television serials were being produced in 3D by 2009 and this is when 3D TV first hit the global market. As you can imagine sets were incredibly expensive but the prices have lowered over the past few years. 3D television gives an astounding picture which, as well as high definition, is all about the experience, it feels real, it changes the way we view television. Sports make you feel like you’re on the pitch, animals lure you to their nests and dens, explosions hit you in the face- minus the pain - and games immerse you so much that dirt and blood flies all over the place. So no 3D isn’t all hype, you have to experience it to see what everyone is talking about.
Can me and my friend’s game at the same time?
Winner: Yes, due to the multi gaming feature, gamers can hook up through an HDMI port and don a pair of the Sony 3D Glasses. With one touch of a button on the glasses, you are transported into a world of incredible vision. Images and animation is so sharp you may blink a lot and cower behind a cushion. However, this is the best part, there is no split screen, there is no losing which character you are, there is no keeping up with what is going on. There is one screen, one big 3D screen, and your character, or vehicle or monster will stand out only to you. This is because they system recognises your player status, and when you switch on the 3D glasses, you see everything on screen, but as player 1 or 2, your character stands out over the other players. You can follow the action much easier because the PlayStation 3D TV sends separate images to each player. Amazing stuff eh?!
Is this fancy television going to cost me an arm and a leg?
Winner: Honestly? No. Sony wanted to create a product which was affordable. The price has been announced as $500 for US buyers for a bundle which includes the monitor itself, an HDMI cable, at least one pair of glasses, and a game thrown in. Pricing doesn't look so great for UK and European gamers, at €500 and £500 respectively. But that is likely to include 2 pairs of glasses.
If you look at other comparable 3D HD Televisions at the same size and quality, the prices start at around £549 upwards. So the PS 3D TV appears to be a bargain. But remember it's a monitor, not actually a fully fledged 3D TV. You'll need a cable TV box to watch 3D TV channel content, though games and movies via Blu Ray will be no problem. If you do use cable of satellite services, certain channels are available in HD and 3D, some are free, some come at an extra charge, depending on your television provider.
As you can see in pricing above, outside of the US Sony face some challenges unless the pricing changes.
What about the rest of the hardware like the 3D Glasses- are they expensive?
Winner: The 3D glasses produced for the multi-function gaming system will cost around £40- £45. Sony will be selling a PS 3D TV bundle which will include at least one pair of 3D Glasses, the HDMI port and games, so when you consider the pricing, you realise that actually it’s a good deal.
Is the PS 3D TV compatible with the rest of my hardware?
Winner: Although billed as a 3D TV, this is actually a monitor, you will be able to hook up your PlayStation to play games and watch blu ray and DVD’s, but to connect your terrestrial TV you will need a box such as Freeview, Virgin or Sky. Then you’re ready to go. It can be a nightmare to connect everything together, but as long as you have the right connector leads you can connect all manner of makes successfully to the new PlayStation 3D TV.
Are 3D Glasses A Problem?
3D glasses have been a problem affecting the mass acceptance of 3D TV as an entertainment medium.
There's no doubt about that.
As far as 3D TV goes, it's widely believed that the technology won't really take off until without glasses models are widely available - at a commercially sensible price and with the ability to deliver consistent high quality 3D imaging.
But is this a problem for Sony's Playstation 3D display?
Sony don't believe so. They believe that in a gaming environment they're not such a big deal - mainly because gamers in general are comfortable with the use of additional, peripheral devices plus gamers tend to be more focussed on the on-screen events than when just watching TV. They tend to have all attention locked on to the screen, without the need to keep taking glasses off to look elsewhere.
In addition the PS 3D Display's glasses are designed to be noticeably lighter than other existing types of active shutter 3D glasses. They have improved ability to handle and reduce crosstalk in 3D images. Crosstalk is a common problem with 3D and refers to the ghosting effect you sometimes see, especially with fast moving images. The new glasses also feature an integrated rechargeable battery that can be charged by connecting to a micro USB which is included with the set.
Another plus is that they're universal. They'll work with other manufacturers 3D TVs including Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Toshiba, and Samsung - as well as other Sony models of course.
Sony may be right with their belief that glasses won't put too many people off but there still seem to be an abnormally high number of negative comments seen about 3D gaming on various forums, with many of those focussed on the glasses.
One thing's for sure. 3D glasses are definitely need to take advantage of the PS 3D display's dual gaming feature. Although the future might see without glasses 3D TV's that handle 3d gaming very well, it's the glasses that enable the solution for no split screen gaming. To give that solution any other way would involve development of brand new - as yet unrecognised - technology.
Not Convinced? Here Are 5 Good Reasons To Buy A Playstation 3D TV.
We all know that playing video games is one of the most enjoyable activities that you can do by yourself, either with friends in real time at home or or even with complete strangers online. Now we are in an era where HD has become the standard with 3D entertainment heading the same way. There's a wide choice of 3D TVs on the market right now but the big talk is all about Sony's new branded Playstation 3D TV.
So why would you choose the Playstation 3D TV over a fully fledged 3D TV or a 3D monitor? Here are 5 reasons why you should think about buying the model.
1. The price is right. At $499.99 in the US the bundle includes the 3D TV, the PS3 game: Resistance 3 or Motorstorm Apocalypse, the glasses, and an HDMI cable.
2. The Playstation 3D TV is fully 1080p and the 3D TV is only 24 inches; that is pretty amazing clarity for a smaller, but good size, screen. The screen also has a Contrast Ratio of 5000:1 for even more clarity and crisp images and movements, again great for gaming. Many people are okay with 1400:1 Contrast Ratio, imagine 5000:1 and it also comes with one pair of 3D glasses, most 3D televisions do not come with any 3D glasses.
3. The Playstation 3D TV has an LCD display with Edge LED Lighting. This is going to ensure that images are the brightness and have the correct contrast as they should be presented. Also, this will ensure that your TV color displays the color black, completely black and the color white, completely white. Less power consumption than plasma too.
4. Here is the cream topping of the PS 3D TV's capabilities - it has a dual view gaming capability. This means that, in prior television sets to maximize the frames per second while playing video games co-op (cooperative) 2-player or 4-player, the resolution would be set lower for all players equally. So even though you are playing split-screen you will see a lower image quality. This new technology will allow for dual players to all enjoy full HD 1080p without splitting the screen. If both players use 3D glasses both will see their own 24 inch 1080p screen, take off the 3D glasses and you will notice that the screen is split in half, but with them on, it returns to a full 24 inch HD 1080p screen.
5. And finally the fifth reason you should consider buying the Playstation 3D TV is that if you are an avid PS3 fan then you will miss out if you do not have the television that was created just for the system. Sony have ensured that the images are delivered with the optimum visual quality to make sure it works well with the wide Sony range of PS3 games.
On the other hand, it's also worth taking a look at the reasons NOT to buy the PS 3D TV when it's available. And this really boils down to two main reasons. The first is the overall dislike of anything 3D that seems to be prevalent in many gamers. The second is the size. It's a sure bet that if this was set to arrive as a 32 inch, there might well be 5 times the number of gamers interested.
Release Dates Around The World.
Release dates were a well kept secret for a long time, but the US and Canada saw an official release on November 18th 2011. Release in Europe has been delayed into 2012. No precise date is known but it's expected to be around March.
Clearly the November 18th target release was intended to get the Playstation 3D TV in stores ready for black Friday, the biggest online shopping day of the year which fell on November 25th this year.
Where Can I Get More Info On Sony's New PS 3D TV?
The official press release on the new Sony Playstation 3D TV gives more details, or you can bookmark this page of 3D TVGuide.org and check back regularly for more updates as they break. This page should give you everything you'll need to know about release dates around the world, and further developments in game availability.
One of the great ways to get more info on any subject is via online forums. They're one of the best ways to share info and learn from others who are all interested in the same thing. The Neogaf forum has a very popular multi-page thread on the PS 3D TV which carries a lot of good information and views, plus here are a few extra Playstation 3D TV gamer forum threads which contain some great comments and discussion....
Alternatives to the Playstation 3D TV
If you don't believe that Sony's Playstation Display provides value, then it's worth taking a look at this site which lists some value priced alternative 3D TVs.
Alternatively in the near future Sony are scheduled to launch the new Vaio L Series All-In-One 3D PC. From around October 2011 users will be able to buy the PC to watch 3D video images through all the normal methods and play 3D games by connection to a TV or a PS3 via an HDMI connection - using the same 3D glasses as the Sony Bravia range of 3D TVs. The LED backlit display of the Vaio PC comes in the same 24 inch size as the Playstation 3D monitor, and features multi touch operation via the touch sensitive bezel giving access to functions without the need for use of a mouse.
Sony's new 3D PC also features a built in high quality HD web camera and lets you create, edit, and store up to 50GB of data on any blu ray disc. 2D content can be converted to 3D at the touch of a button.
And if those alternatives don't impress you the you might want to give some thought to LG's attempts to build on the outstanding success during 2011 of their passive glasses Cinema 3D TV range. LG announced at the 2011 IFA show that they'll release their own version of a dual play 3D TV, immediately rivalling the Playstation 3D TV's main feature. The feature apparently works on LG's new LW980 range and plans are to ship dual player glasses with the sets.
What's So Good About 3D Gaming?
Playstation 3D games are just one type of content that you can watch on a PS 3D TV. The others are of course movies (via a Blu Ray or the PS3 itself), TV programmes via 3D TV channels, or self made content such as home videos or 3D photos.
Out of these it's 3D games that have always been believed would be the catalyst for bigger growth in the popularity of 3D television. So it's easy to see why the Playstation 3D display bundle looks set to become an integral part of the three dimensional entertainment scene.
Sony have been focussing on 3D game development for some time. They're making huge progress in ensuring that gamers get great experiences, especially in the games where depth of field is an important part of the gameplay. A great example of this is in racing games where giving the 3D effect is trying to reproduce the real driving experience. You want to be able to believe that distances are real - distances to other cars, to corners, to obstacles.
It's this perception of reality - arguably demonstrated better in a 3D environment than a 2D one - that adds to the enjoyment. Responses are improved because of the natural feeling of depth and distances. Speed becomes more 'real'.
Sony use a series of technical checks to make sure that all their games give a high quality result, and reduce or eliminate the potential for eye strain and headaches for users. It's this sort of attention to detail that's going to place - and keep - the Playstation 3D TV at the top of every gamers wish list.
What Is Sony's Playstation 3D TV?
Sony's record breaking Playstation games console is about to see a jump in popularity with the November 13th arrival of the Playstation 3D TV. Sony used the platform of the Electronic Entertainment Expo in June 2011 to announce that they will bring the unique model to market alongside their existing range of 3D TVs in an attempt to take the 3D games market by storm.
Sony have developed breakthrough technology which delivers a high quality, compact size display that not only promises high class 3D gaming but also allows two players to see individual different game images on the same screen by simply pressing a button, revolutionising the existing split screen method and opening up new potential in the ways that competitive games are played.
The release of Sony's 3D display firmly places 3D gaming as the one source of 3D content that has true potential to build a strong future for 3D TV. Already some popular games have shown they work well in 3D - Gran Turismo 5 and Killzone 3 both spring to mind.
Watching images in 3D naturally increases the feeling of immersion, which of course is one of the key attractions of gaming in general - to take you out of this world and into another where you're in control and slap bang in the middle of the action. With video games attempting to deliver a true 3D experience unsuccessfully for many years, and the Nintendo 3DS not quite delivering everything it promised, it very much looks as if it Sony will ensure that their new Playstation 3D TV takes the pole position in the race for the best new 3D entertainment device of 2011.
And with availability imminent we're starting to get chances to find out exactly how good the Playstation 3D TV really is....
What Do You Get In A Playstation 3D TV Bundle?
First off, we need to make it clear that although the PS 3D TV is billed as a 3D TV, the model is actually a 3D monitor or display. Essentially this means that you'll be able to play 3D games and watch 3D Blu Ray discs via your Playstation, but you'll only be able to watch 3D TV channels via an add on cable TV box of some type. The Simulview dual player option delivers true split screen gaming, but not in 3D. For 3D viewing, you'll need to be in single player mode.
Of course, you can watch movies and play games in normal 2D mode too, while the three HD input connections will let you connect to a cable TV box, PC, laptop - as well as the PS3.
First up - the looks. Sony's 3D Display is immediately recognisable by its rounded shape, in fact very similar to Sony's handheld PSP console. Dimensions are approximately 14 x 25 x 1.70 inches and there's a separate stand for mounting.
The Playstation 3D TV screen size is a compact 24 inches and comes as part of a bundle that includes various essential accessories such as active shutter 3D glasses, HDMI connector cables to hook up the PS3 to the TV, USB charging cable and standard power lead, and in some regions a 3D game which now looks to be Motorstorm Apocalypse after first indications suggested would be Resistance 3 (see games below for clarification of which games might be bundled in different regions). No doubt elements of bundles will change over time, and it'll be no surprise to see either different or extra games included in the months following initial release.
At $400 (for US gamers) the bundle price looks good. If you take a pair of glasses as costing around $70, a game at $40, and the HDMI cable at $15 or so that leaves the display costing about $275. Now it's easier to see the value.
The glasses operate on a rechargeable lithium ion battery that according to Sony needs a full 45 minute charge to give up to 30 hours playing time, but just a few minutes charge is expected to provide a few full hours use. Other features delivered by the LCD panel include a 5000 to 1 contrast ratio, a headset port, two HDMI ports, one component port, and two built in forward facing speakers. All combined with an ultra thin display operating at a refresh rate of 240Hz, and which delivers 3D images at a speed of 60 frames per second to each eye. The 4ms response time ensures a good gaming experience, with games like Killzone 3 working particularly well to give a great sense of depth to images.
The picture quality delivered by the full HD 1080p TV is strong and impressive. It delivers images with vibrant, sharp colours. The suitably wide viewing angle of 176 degrees means players should be able to sit next to each other exactly as they do now to enjoy multiplayer games and yet still get the full effect. The display itself can be tilted backwards at up to a 10 degree angle.
But even though the images are great, there are one or two problems. The first is caused by the screen. It's so glossy in appearance that it does reflect a lot of light. This makes the display best watched in low light conditions.
The second is (amazingly) no remote control. You'll need to use a PS console remote, or else use the operating buttons situated at the rear of the unit. If you already have a Sony 3D TV you can use the remote from that to operate the 3D display too, though most of us are unlikely to be in that position. Not that there's a great deal you can so with a remote anyway - adjustments can be made to colour saturation, brightness, contrast, picture sharpness, and backlighting. Clearly once you've achieved your preferential settings you're not likely to need to change then regularly, though obviously a remote would be useful for powering on and off.
The only deal seen so far was the early option for getting 2 games for the price of 1. Amazon and other sellers such as Gamestop and the Sony Store themselves were offering the double game option for pre-orders placed before the end of September.
I'll be adding details of any new offers that do appear here. Check back regularly for updates.
For details of availability in other regions outside the US please check out the pricing and availability page, but as a summary here's what's known so far......
UK online games store Game.co.uk have a preorder offer priced at £449.99, though no bundle details are shown on the page - it's possible that this is £50 under the originally reported UK pricing because they're selling without either games or glasses (or both). Be careful with this one until more details have become known.
Playstation 3D Display Unboxing/Review
Like any new product, we never really know how good it is until it’s launched. From the research I’ve carried out, general reactions and excitement about the launch of the PlayStation 3D TV are generally positive. It’s well priced and the starting package includes everything you need to get you started, barring the Playstation console itself of course. Its sole purpose isn’t just for gaming, the technology used in creating a stunning picture and 3D graphics is state of the art, and families, friends, foes can all enjoy what looks to be a fantastic product. I’m going to put my neck on the line and say I would invest in one, even though I’m not a gamer or a television fanatic, purely based on the price and the fact it is made by Sony. You can’t really go wrong.
In my opinion the PlayStation 3D TV is going to be an epic win. Aside from everything I’ve mentioned about pricing, the functions, and the quality, it’s creating a social element, bringing people together to engage with entertainment and experience something which is best in its class. It’s made by Sony, one of the world’s leading brands in entertainment and equipment. You just know this is going to be an incredibly popular product. What makes it unique is the dual gaming feature and the price. Throw in 3D gaming as well and you have a combination that's a winner.
There is nothing else like Sony's new gaming TV on the market. It's just possible that the Playstation 3D TV sets a new standard for game immersion.