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Why PS3 3D is made for hardcore gamers

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

Mick Hocking is a pretty important man in Sony towers.

As well as being a senior director of SCEE, he runs three major Sony development studios in the UK.

Oh, and he's the company's worldwide studios boss for 3D games.

Basically, when he talks about 3D, it's wise to listen... which is exactly what we did today, when Mr Hocking gave a presentation of what we can expect from PS3's 3D powers at an exclusive London event.

Below are the very words he used - and if you're a hardcore gamer, it's pretty difficult not to get very, very excited about what's coming down the line...

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This year is obviously a very big year for us. There's the launch of Sony 3DTV, and also, crucially, the upgrade of the PlayStation3 to support 3D games.

Now, in June this year we did the 3D Firmware update. Every PlayStation 3 that's connected online now has a new version of this Firmware.

At the last count we've got 35.8 million PlayStation 3s out there - that means there's an instant market of around 36 million 3D-ready PlayStation 3 consoles. The upgrade basically makes every PlayStation 3 HDMI 1.4 compatible - that's the standard that governs 3D displays.

What this means is that there is no setup at all required. If you have a PlayStation 3 and you buy a 3DTV, you simply connect via your HDMI cable and your PlayStation 3 will automatically recognise that you've got a 3D display attached.

It knows the size of the screen as well, which is very important for actually rendering 3D correctly and giving you the right sense of depth.

And in our games you'll see the menu to play the game in 3D automatically. You don't have to press any buttons or go through any menus - it's all completely automatic and seamless, which is jolly good.

We've launched four titles in June to support the 3D ready PS3 - and these are also bundled with our 3D Bravia TVs for free. If you've already purchased them [in 2D] from our PSN store, they're also free to download - or you can go along and buy them if you don't have them yet.

There's Wipeout, Motorstorm, Super Stardust and PAIN - which involves throwing a character into scenery and hurting them as much as possible. All these are full games except for Motorstorm, which is a demo.

In September this year, we're launching another Firmware upgrade - and this one is going to upgrade the PS3 to support Blu-ray movies in 3D. Again, you won't have to do anything - just connect your PS3. For the film market that's a very significant event.

Then later in the year - we're not going to date it yet - the PS3 is going to support 3D photos. Of course the popularity of 3D isn't just going to come from movies and games. There's 3D cameras on the market, there's 3D camcorders coming on the market in the next 12 months as well, and 3D broadcasts.

Crucially for us, PlayStation 3 will be able to store all types of 3D content. And we can do this through properly upgrading the Firmware on the platform.

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So you'll see 3D games in the next 12 months, you'll see Blu-ray movies in 3D, and as soon as the broadcasts start through our PlayTV services, you're going to watch 3D content [via that].

YouTube will be supporting 3D content over the next 12 months as well - and you'll be able to watch that on the PlayStation 3. And as you start taking 3D pictures of your family or 3D camcorder movies, you can play those back on PS3, too.

It's a great purchase proposition and future proof.

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