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3D gaming gets its closeup

Publishers mixed on expectations for format

Between the Nintendo 3DS, Nvidia’s efforts to push 3D on the PC and Sony’s recently announced PlayStation 3-branded 3D display, stereoscopic 3D video- games are finally stepping into the spotlight.

But even as more and more games utilize the technology, there’s a debate among game- makers on how much of a draw it will be for consumers.

“3D gaming is on the verge of completely taking off,” says Jack Tretton, president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment America. “I think it’s a very similar analogy to HD. … Content will drive adoption.”

Gamers, Tretton notes, are typically early adopters of new technology. They played a big role in the adoption of high definition graphics and Blu-ray and Sony is betting they’ll advance 3D acceptance as well.

Some developers, though, remain unconvinced. Ubisoft was one of the front-runners of 3D gaming, publishing “James Cameron’s Avatar” using the tech. It is adding 3D to some upcoming titles as well, but that won’t be the feature the company promotes the heaviest.

“I think it s a good addition to gaming, but I don’t think it’s a complete revolution,” says Yves Guillemot, CEO of Ubisoft. “We have to learn how to take advantage of depth with 3D so we can have a different way to do things.”

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