Sony's official guidelines for 3D gaming on PS3 limit the displayed image to a resolution of 720p, a Sony representative confirmed at the Develop conference this week.
Even games that run natively at 1080p resolution, like Super Stardust HD, are downscaled in 3D mode to two 720p images (one for each eye), Sony's Simon Benson explained during a demo of the technology at the conference. While the PS3 is capable of displaying a 1080p 3D image -- indeed, it will support 3D Blu-Ray movies at that resolution later this year -- Benson said upping the resolution comes at the expense of the silky-smooth 60 frames per second available at 720p (Blu-Ray movies run at 24 frames per second). Benson said that a "more cinematic game" might be well-suited for the lower frame rate and higher resolution, but that Sony's current guidelines for 3D games wouldn't allow for such a setting.
The effects of this policy are probably unnoticeable to most gamers. Benson said that, in 3D, even trained computer graphics artists could barely tell the difference between the resolutions. Still, for all you pixel counters out there who obsess over "full HD 1080p," here's another bit of technical trivia for you to argue over.