V Tested: Sony PlayStation 3D Display

The videogame industry has had as tough of a time getting players to slip on a pair of 3D glasses as the rest of the electronics biz. But Sony’s Play-Station division may have come up with a winning way to convert its target audience: its own 3D TV.

Easily one of the most innovative evolutions in gaming in years, the main selling point of Sony’s sleak, slim display is its ability to let players control their characters full-screen while competing against another person in the same room, instead of having to split the same TV screen.

For gamers, this kind of sharing has always been an annoyance. Not only has it limited the visual real estate each player gets, it’s also prevented them from making their onscreen maneuvers secretive in any way during head-to-head competition.

The display’s SimulView technology, which only works when wearing Sony’s PlayStation 3D glasses, eliminates those headaches entirely — and effectively so.

Tests were conducted using Sony’s “MotorStorm: Apocalypse,” but the 3D technology also works with such tentpole titles as “Killzone 3,” “Resistance 3″ and “Call of Duty: Black Ops,” while “Batman: Arkham City” and “Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception” also show off nicely on the 3D screen with crisp colors generated by its full 1080p HD resolution; sound booms through its built-in speakers and subwoofer.

For non-gamers, the screen pairs up easily with a cable TV box and PC. Sony’s fairly lightweight PlayStation 3D glasses are also compatible with 3D TVs that require active-shutter eyewear.

Design-wise, the PlayStation 3D screen resembles the design language evident in the PSP and upcoming Vita portable devices, making it fit in well with the PlayStation line of devices.

If there’s a drawback, it’s in the size of the 24-inch screen that’s too small to replace flatscreens in living rooms, but perfect for a den, bedroom or office. There’s also no remote. Keep it in a darker room, though, as its surface is shiny and reflective.

The smaller size was chosen to create a new market for Sony’s TV biz and not cannibalize sales of its larger screens, which have struggled against manufacturers of cheaper sets.

PlayStation is bundling the 3D screen with a pair of PlayStation 3D Glasses, “MotorStorm: Apocalypse” and a six-inch HDMI cable. A second pair of 3D glasses cost $70.

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