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Understanding Sony's lessened focus on 3D at this year's E3


During last year's Sony E3 press conference, the company spent quite a bit of time talking 3D. Several titles were on the horizon with 3D support, including main entries in series like Uncharted and Killzone. Since then, the company toned down its approach to 3D integration.

Sony Senior VP of Product Development and Worldwide Studios Scott Rohde doesn't see the change as so stark. "It's just not necessarily the focus and newsworthy. Last year it was," he told Joystiq during an interview this week. Due to an internal initiative within Sony last year, 3D became a main talking point of its E3 showing – that's simply no longer the case, Rohde said. "A couple years back, even three years ago, because PlayStation is a big pillar in the overall Sony structure, Sony and Kaz [Hirai] came to us and said, 'Hey, we know that you guys can make a big impact by showing a lot of things on 3D.' So we're sort of the fire starter, if you will," Rohde said.

Now that the fire's been started, however, it doesn't look like PlayStation has to keep it going. Beyond God of War: Ascension, Sports Champions 2, and LittleBigPlanet Karting, no other 3D titles have been announced for the PlayStation 3. Rohde chalks that up to Sony's internal development studios having autonomy, despite company-wide initiatives last year. "If it's going to enhance an experience, then absolutely. But if it's not core to the experience, then it's not gonna be a focus," he said.

But if that's the case, and internal studios aren't embracing 3D on their own, it stands to reason that 3D wasn't the success story Sony hoped for. As you might imagine, Rohde doesn't agree. "I don't look at it that way, because it enhances some games better than it does others," he said. Rohde compared it to 3D in film. "I'll show up and I'll watch some in 3D or some not. Honestly, for me, it almost depends on when movie times are. If it's a convenient movie time, I'll go see the 3D one, right? But it's kind of the same thing – the same thing is kind of occurring with games as well."

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