3D PS3 gaming coming via firmware update in 2010

[UPDATE] Japanese electronics giant says all consoles will benefit from stereoscopic depth-of-field technology after downloadable patch.

Sony hasn't treated its aims at fully entering the stereoscopic 3D landscape with much secrecy. At the 2009 Consumer Electronics Show, Sony showed off Polyphony Digital and Evolution's MotorStorm with full depth of field using the emerging 3D display technology. Representatives of the Japanese electronics giant also said in September at a German tech conference that Sony would begin manufacturing a PlayStation 3-compatible 3D Bravia HDTV by the end of 2010.

This would pop out of the screen with 3D glasses.

What's more, Sony reps said that it also plans to integrate the stereoscopic 3D technology directly into the PS3 beginning in 2011 or 2012. Now, Sony has thrown its full corporate weight behind its intent to integrate stereoscopic 3D into the PS3 as part of a presentation given to media and investors today.

As part of a slide titled "5 Key Advantages of PlayStation 3,"Sony said all PS3 units would eventually be given a 3D display mode as part of a future firmware update. The company also said that it will release a line of 3D games that make use of the technology. However, it did not indicate when the firmware update or the 3D-compatible games would come to market.

[UPDATE] Sony's entrance into the stereoscopic 3D market will come sometime next year. Speaking alongside the aforementioned presentation, Sony Computer Entertainment CEO Kaz Hirai confirmed that the PlayStation group will begin enacting its 3D strategy in 2010.

"Next year, in tandem with the Sony 3D TV product launch, PS3 also plans to launch 3D game titles--not just first party, but we are actively supporting third-party software developers 3D game development," Hirai said. "Finally, I'd like to announce here today that all PS3 sold since the 2006 launch will support 3D through firmware update."

"HDMi enables high-quality output of 3D video, and the cell processor's SPU performs video decoding which allow us to support new codecs through a software update," Hirai continued. "As a result, through a network software update, our customers will be able to instantly enjoy 3D games without replacing their existing PS3 consoles."

Aside from new games, Sony has previously indicated that the 3D tech could also work with existing software. At the aforementioned German exhibition, Sony set up the prototype unit with a PS3 showing off existing games, like WipeOut HD, being played in 3D. Company reps said the technology on display was built into the HDTV itself, meaning it would work with preexisting PS3 games and consoles.

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