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Why PS3 3D is made for hardcore gamers

Insight: SCEE's Mick Hocking makes the case for revolution...

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So what does 3D bring to gaming in general? Well, there are three main areas where 3D changes gaming. It gives you a greater sense of immersion and realism. You're viewing the game now in the way that you normally view the real world.

It increases the clarity of visual information - something you'll notice is that things like menus now float on the top of the screen and the game is within the screen.

It also, of course, improves your depth perception - and for a number of games that's absolutely crucial.

So if you look at racing games, for instance, they're all about delivering a sense of excitement, of speed, of a dramatic racing situation. 3D racing greatly enhances the sense of speed and depth within the game.

For years in 2D we've been trying to make racing games feel quick - and we've used tricks with cameras to do so. In 3D, the sense of speed is greatly enhanced - you really feel like you're going fast. It's very similar to the experience you get in the real world.

There's also the sense of scale. In a lot of games - things like God Of War - you have 50 foot high bosses that you need to go and fight. We now deliver a huge sense of scale and great impact in those [situations] with the use of 3D.

For some titles, like the simulation racing games, accuracy is what it's really all about. In 3D now, you can judge the distance to the corner far more accurately - you can judge where to brake, just like you can in the real world.

What we find is people find these games much more intuitive and improve their racing lines - because it's exactly the same [feeling] as you'd experience in the real world.

You also find with 3D games that you can process the information more quickly - again, because your brain is operating in the way it does in the normal world. It's taking a lot of cues about relative speed.

A game like Wipeout is all about very fast, twitching control of a ship - seeing where the track goes next as it twists and turns - and in 3D that's easier to do.

Of course, timing and judgement is crucial in sports games. MLB [baseball] is one of the 3D games we have coming out this year. Before you really learned to hit the ball purely with timing. Now you can see the ball approach in 3D - you get an idea of its speed and its depth and its proximity to the bat.

If you hit it up into the sky in 2D, you watch it and wonder where it's going to land. In 3D you can tell how far the ball is away. It makes sports games much more fun to play as well.

In action games and first person shooters, we try and deliver a sense of immersion - we want to bring you into the core of the action. You'll find 3D is really, really good for this. You can now tell how far to throw a grenade, or how far it is across a trench.


Your accuracy in terms of your aiming is enhanced, because you can see the depth of the scene - how far enemies are away from you. And in terms of the battle itself, we can throw particles past you, bits of shrapnel, we can have things exploding and falling down on top of you. It really brings you into the scene.

Even things like platform games - where it may not be obvious why 3D would benefit you - it has an impact.

In LittleBigPlanet, Sackboy can go slightly 'into' the screen on his platform. We've found in 3D that people can judge where he is [on a platform] much more easily.

Sometimes in 2D when you go to the back of a platform you can fall off and be left wondering why. In 3D you now exactly where he is and you can traverse the level more easily.

What all this means to hardcore gamers - our core PS3 fans - is it's great for accuracy, and that more of these cues from the game mean better scores.

That really helps with winning that next Trophy or getting a higher score than your mates - which is exactly what PS3's hardcore fans are all about.

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