'Poor quality' 3D movies hurting games - Sony Europe exec

Develop 2011: Group studio manager Mick Hocking talks about his company's learnings over the first year of 3D gaming.

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Who was there: Sony Europe group studio manager Mick Hocking oversees the company's four UK-based studios--Evolution, Soho, Liverpool, and BigBig--as well as the Worldwide Studios' stereoscopic 3D team.

Wipeout HD was among Sony's early 3D titles.

What they said: Sony has been a big proponent of 3D gaming, and after a year of supporting the technology and three firmware updates to the PlayStation 3, the console now boasts more than 50 compatible games. According to research, 42 percent of consumers are interested in gaming in 3D, but one of Hocking's primary concerns is now around "poor quality" 3D having a negative effect on consumers.

Citing poorly produced movies (although tactfully neglecting to name any examples), Hocking seemed concerned about the lasting impact substandard 3D could have on the market. He laid out some rules for games developers looking to make games in 3D, saying they needed to "embrace and exploit the benefits of 3D," and he gave case studies from high-profile internal studios by way of example.

Resident Evil: Afterlife highly touted its use of the same 3D technology as Avatar.

Early 3D titles such as Wipeout HD employed a technique known as reprojection to render a 3D image, which was fast to implement and produced little extra processing but produced some 3D artefacts which were apparent to a keen eye. Later games, such as Killzone 3, were able to have 3D rendering techniques implemented at the start of their development, allowing developers to apply much more advanced dual-rendering techniques.

However, Killzone 3 developer Guerrilla still found that its first-person shooter required some fundamental tweaks to work in 3D--specifically in the crosshair, which needed to be drawn at a midpoint between the player and the target in order to preserve the 3D effect, and the gun, which needed to be blurred out to stop the player focusing on it. MotorStorm: Apocalypse had its own problems--the series' trademark shaky-cam had to be turned down to stop motion sickness in 3D, while all frame tearing had to be eradicated, because it made the game unplayable in 3D.

Though it sounds like a lot of work for developers to get 3D working in their games, Hocking claims that it costs only 2 percent or less of the overall development budget. He also claims that this investment will result in good-quality 3D in games--the sort that he thinks will drive further adoption of the technology in the future.

Quote: "By 2015, almost 40 percent of all TVs will be 3D." --Hocking.

Takeaway: There is a difference between good 3D and bad 3D, according to Hocking. Implementing good 3D into games represents a small fraction of the overall development budget, and over the next few years, 3DTV production is going to increase dramatically.

Discussion

197 comments
firedragons5253
firedragons5253

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

neosantana
neosantana

@Parrot_Of_Adun exactly, just give Sony time. They already announced a $500 3D TV at E3, and that's gonna shift the market drastically.

MagicOneUp
MagicOneUp

what he is saying is 'buy our TV's".... another way 'Sony' want to gouge your wallet

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@neosantana Well that's one of the few problems with playing PC games actually. If your sitting at a desk looking at a monitor, you're likely sitting close enough to cause minor problems (granted, over the course of like... a decade).

neosantana
neosantana

@Parrot_Of_Adun Who views TVs that close anyways? If you sit close enough to cause eye damage, you can't even see the screen properly!

battlefrontphil
battlefrontphil

That 2% probably represents several million which could have been used to improve game-play instead of adding eye-candy that fewer than half the community is interested in. I bet that 42% is actually a high estimate too. -_-

theKSMM
theKSMM

This is a classic chicken-and-egg problem. AAA games already cost millions of dollars and years to make. Extending that time or cost by 2% isn't really trivial, especially when the payoff in terms of sales may not even net the 2% increase that was spent.

aman579
aman579

i don't mind 3D. I don't get any pains of sort by watching 3D and you can get used to the glasses too. But since i don't have a 3D TV and probably won't for a pretty long time(like most people), who cares?

jaymim101
jaymim101

New technology always has problems for which the media latches on to to generate spin. Users/sales are then end-all decider in any technology. Will 3-d be a fad only time will tell.

warhawk-geeby
warhawk-geeby

People don't want 3D.. that's all it is. Don't really think it's a matter of bad movies. I'd much rather just play a normal 2D game any day of the week, can't be doing with it all. It's a shame because I know how hard companies are pushing 3D, but it's an old tech trying to be re-invented.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@neosantana Oh, I know. But all kinds of TVs, when viewed too closely, can cause a vision problem (that I can't remember the name of), which new active shutter 3D glasses tend to act against by adjusting your gaze slightly. None of it should be a problem anyway, as people shouldn't be sitting so close that it would matter.

neosantana
neosantana

@Parrot_Of_Adun actually, HD and 3D TVs are much safer for the eyes than the old 4:3 tube TVs, even try it, if you look closely at a tube, it hurts instantly. things have changed in the past 30 years, 3D isn't the blue and red paper glasses anymore. But people don't seem to get it.

neosantana
neosantana

The release of Jackass in 3D, renders Sony's argument VALID. (Don't get me wrong, I'm the biggest fan of Jackass, but it was really piontles to use 3D)

neosantana
neosantana

@Jamyskis To be perfectly honest, I have a Move (Well, it's my brothers') I don't play with it much, it was fun for the first 3 hours, then I was really bored. But I'm starting to notice that Sony are using this as part of a puzzle, every few months, they release new things that support each other. So, I'm giving the companies some time, just to showw us what they got. 3D on a portable is an idiotic gimmick, 3D console gaming.... I'm on the fence. Remember, Blu-Ray was considered a gimmick up to last year, now everyone wants it.

gameking5000
gameking5000

@monson21502 3D is a good technology. I have a 3D TV and I do occasionally play games that have the 3D feature. Killzone 3, Gran Turismo 5 and Wipeout HD. 3D is a good technology and when incorporated into the development from the beginning that it is great. 3D technology will develop and it is the future.

auntbessie
auntbessie

3D don't float my boat in the slightest, it was gimmicky back when I was a kid and although technically superior now it still does nothing for me. Plus, there's no way I'm sitting in my living room looking like Ray Charles, my eye sight's bad enough as it is without wearing sunglasses indoors.

auntbessie
auntbessie

3D don't float my boat in the slightest, it was gimmicky back when I was a kid and although technically superior now it still does nothing for me. Plus, there's no way I'm sitting in my living room looking like Ray Charles, my eye sight's bad enough as it is without wearing sunglasses indoors.

benboz
benboz

I hate watching 3D movies because I hate wearing annoying glasses. I like the 3DS because you don't need glasses.

demonic_85
demonic_85

That's because they're making new films just so they can make use of the 3D. They did it not only for Resident Evil, but also Saw and Pirates of the Caribbean. I still believe 3D is just a gimmick since the movie industry cant come up with any original ideas for a good movie and the ones they do come up with are poorly executed.

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@parrot_of_adu The glasses dont mess your eyes up, but its the actual 3D itself, being able to see some things in the distance and things up close actually send negative energy to your brain waves, which are beyond use to seeing life and such without 3D glasses causes those headaches that everyone keeps talking about.

Peng33
Peng33

Personally, I had 3 HDTVs already (a 65" DLP, a 46" high-end Samsung, and a 32" Sony XBR), but am a big fan of plasmas, and had never owned one. So I killed two birds with one stone last year, and put a 50" Panasonic GT25 (a 3D TV) on layaway at my place of employ. Not only did I get a midlevel/lower high-end plasma that puts my other TVs to shame, but I have the ability to play 3D games and watch 3D Blu-Rays. I'm not a fan of most 3D movies. Mostly, in my 12 or so 3D Blu-Ray collection, I have nature docs, plus 2 3D music video EPs from the band Genki Rockets (Tetsuya Mizuguchi's band...he's the one who made Lumines, Meteos, Rez, and Child of Eden) that I imported from Japan because they are not available here. Now THOSE are my showcases for 3D. I also have 7 3D games on my PS3's HDD, and another 5 disc-based Three Dee games. Really, though, the game that made me decide to go with 3D is not even out yet...it's the Ico/SotC Collection. The Last Guardian most likely will also be in three dee, and I'm guessing that Child of Eden will also be in 3D when it finally comes out on the Pee Ess Three. Between Super Stardust, Motorstorm Apocalypse, and De Blob 2, as well as the 3D Blu-Rays, and the gorgeous image quality that comes with a good plasma, I've more than justified my purchase.

monson21502
monson21502

classic sony.. try to milk a fad that was over before they released it... then they like to blame others for their stupidty:P

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@Killingspree303 The term "high definition" has been used whenever there was a leap in resolution for TVs for the past 70 years. They're probably just going to start calling some new thing "HD" like a decade from now, and pretend no one's ever used the phrase before.

Flint247
Flint247

The 3DS will be my only 3D source for a while, until things go down in price.

Zloth2
Zloth2

@SkamArtist - the benifit? The same benifit as anti-aliasing. The same benifit as HD resolution. The same benifit as using polygons instead of the old sprite graphics. The same benifit as having 32 bit color instead of 32 colors. It looks FAR better! Assuming the system is set up correctly, mountains that are miles away look like they are miles away. Something that's half way between you and the screen looks like it's half way between you and the screen, too, though that effect gets messed up if it gets cut off by the edge of the screen. Unfortunately, a lot of 3D out there is pretty weak. Instead of the mountain looking like it's miles away, it looks like it's maybe a foot inside the screen. You can tell it's further away than other things but not by much.

meathead86
meathead86

i like 3D it looks great i only go to the movies to see 3D now cause 2D sucks i cant wate to have an 3D tv to play games on i want a big tv though

4quarters
4quarters

just got Samsung 51" 3d for $749. FPS such as Killzone are hard to play because of constant eradict motion, but slower games look and feel much more natural so far. A lot of people are coming over just to watch the games which is fun. Movies are spectacular, with very good spacial distance between frames. For PS3 I'll rate movies A- and games C+, can't wait for Uncharted 3, 3d trailer is jawdropping

Zloth2
Zloth2

Errr, what the hell is he talking about? You need to blur the gun in order to keep players from focusing on it!? Only newbies that are still in awe of the whole 3D thing, and they will get over it pretty quick. Another problem in this area is advertising. The only place you can really advertise a 3D game is right before a 3D movie or on a 3D TV channel. Gamespot can't show you 3D. Magazines certainly can't show you 3D. Gametrailers could show you 3D if you had 3D Vision and if they would switch to Silverlight but that doesn't seem likely.

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

@Philly1UPer There's no evidence that suggests 3D glasses harm your vision. Actually, at close distance, it's been theorized they may blunt the vision harming effects of staring at a screen (given how it directs your eyes).

parrot_of_adun
parrot_of_adun

3D isn't quite what Sony is making it out to be, but they're right about this part. It seems like only mediocre films bother with 3D, and even then, the majority opt for post-conversion, which looks horrible.

monson21502
monson21502

sony 3D isnt really ready to be in games.. plus the good 3dtvs are still too pricey... but nice try though:)

liam82517
liam82517

@Philly1UPer Yes, but too close to the screen is like 1 foot away. Average user is between 6 and 10 feet away so the eyes are fine.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Philly1UPer yeah you might be right not really sure though

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

@shadowhunter0 TV actually does destroy your vision, but that will only happen if your sitting to close to a screen for a certain amount of time.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Philly1UPer that is what people thought the tv was going to do rot out your brain and make you blind

Philly1UPer
Philly1UPer

Really see no need to destroy my eyes to game.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@majere613 yea like tetris in 3d I heard that there was a patch to make a tetris game on the ps3 in 3d I agree stuff like that is pointless

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Sepewrath and that was a problem with hdtvs when it first came out and also I remember people calling it a gimmick has well now look at it once the cost of it come down and the tech gets better then people will stop calling it a gimmick and buy one it is only a matter of time that 3d will become standard in one form or anther

majere613
majere613

Interesting. It's an odd choice to illustrate the article with RE:Afterlife which not only did pretty well at the box office, but also featured very good 3D. I'm not that bothered about 3D myself, but it's entirely true that a bad conversion (Clash of the Titans, anyone?) is a horror to behold. As for what 3D can add to games, the simple answer is depth perception. The majority of FPS games at the moment can't feature precision jumping because you can't accurately see the distances involved, so a game like Mirror's Edge would definitely benefit from well executed 3D. It should also make perceiving moving objects in the distance easier. At the moment, however, I'd say 90% of 3D software and movies are pointless shovelware.

shadowhunter0
shadowhunter0

@Evenios yeah on movies it isn't really that great unless done very will like avatar in games that do it right they some much better in 3d. @everyone that is complaining about the headaches that goes away the more you use it hell the first 3d movie that I saw was avatar and I didn't got a headache on my 3dtv I only got a small headache until I got used to it which only took a couple of days

Sepewrath
Sepewrath

@shadowhunter0 Of course the price will go down eventually, but that is the current problem, the cost incurred for a family to get a 3DTV, is high and most probably just don't see it as worth it. Don't forget on top of the TV, everybody needs a pair of glasses too.

jadaski1
jadaski1

3D may be a gimmick, but so was/is motion controls. I don't see motion controls dying out, and I wouldn't be surprised if we're stuck with 3D. At least there are no 3D only games.

Evenios
Evenios

the problem with 3d movies is there too gimmicy the 3d is used mostly to throw crap at you which i hate. It gives 3d a cheap feel and shows it as a gimmic rather then something to immerse you really. 3d in games can be much better as instead of having crap thrown at you.. it can be use to give the entire game world a real sence of depth this can be seen even in pc games using anaglyph mode. use it on world of warcraft and it really gives you a real sence of depth. 3d movies i think overall kind of hurt the whole image of what 3d can be. not as a way to throw crap in your face so to speak but a way to make the world it takes place in "come alive".

peanut-butter
peanut-butter

We already have 3D in real life. I don't want it in the games I play.

jammitin
jammitin

"By 2015, almost 40 percent of all TVs will be 3D." --Hocking. Get out of here with this crap. It's great news that 3D if finally dying in theaters. So soon we won't have to worry about theaters only showing crappy 3D with overpriced tickets and gimmick glasses anymore. I hope that effect finally kills it for games too. I can handle motion sensing over 3D crap....I think.

chibi-acer
chibi-acer

"He laid out some rules for games developers looking to make games in 3D, saying they needed to 'embrace and exploit the benefits of 3D'" If by exploit they mean gimmick, I'll pass. The only reason I would want to play a game in 3D is for realism, not tricked out effects.

vchadl
vchadl

This guy must be a "manager" because he's clueless...I can point to 100 comments on the board that make more sense that what this guy is saying.

Ozosil
Ozosil

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