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Sony: 3D and motion control "a no brainer"

Industrial practices can be used to create content for PlayStation 3D, says Sony's stereoscopic team

Motion control technologies and stereoscopic 3D are set to combine for brand new gameplaying experiences, according to Sony Europe's senior development manager Simon Benson.

Sony is already pumping a lot of resources into 3D gaming, with titles such as LittleBigPlanet, Motorstorm: Pacific Rift, Killzone 2 and Gran Tursimo 5 already being retro fitted with 3D technology. And with the launch of its motion control system due later this year, combining the two technologies is an obvious direction for future videogames.

"The idea of stereoscopic 3D marrying up with the motion controller is a bit of a no-brainer and you can certainly see applications there that open up plenty of opportunities for gameplay," Benson told Eurogamer's Digital Foundry blog. "There are a lot of other things we can achieve too. We're just at the tip of the iceberg with what 3D is going to enable. Once the technology's out there, it'll be interesting to see the things that follow.

According to Benson 3D can also help games designers in the creation of content, making tasks easier than traditional methods.

"Building something with stereoscopic vision... you're putting the thing together in front of you," he said. "Traditionally you have to rely a lot more on grids and revolving cameras to help people understand where they've actually put something.

"In the same way, when we're making 3D models for games, making a building or something... our artists need to spin it around, manipulate it on-screen to know how to build it properly. When you've got stereoscopic vision, that becomes far easier - you just see it before you. You can see how big something is relative to something else. It's not a little thing really close, or a big thing far away. I can understand where it is spatially because I can perceive that with stereoscopic vision. It helps the creation process."

Before joining Sony, Benson worked for British Aerospace and has been working with stereoscopic 3D for 12 years. He added that lessons and practises from industrial design can be incorporated into videogame creation as they have already been proven effective in other areas.

"A lot of cars these days - they don't bother going to all the trouble of making a clay model... they do it in 3D and they all wear 3D glasses to view it that way. It's far more efficient. It's already been proven to be a good creation mechanic."

Ian Bickerstaff, senior programmer at Sony Europe added: "Anything that's out there in the simulation or visualisation industry that's sort of cool and you can imagine the public liking, then you can imagine that rippling through at some point in the future."

"In car design there are immersive walls and there are these things called 'caves' where you have a 3D image on the walls of a cube around you," he continued. "It's typically 120Hz shutter glasses with a head-tracking system and a 120Hz projection screen that you can move around and it's constantly adjusting the image based on your viewing position.

"From a viewing point of view you don't notice that you're in a cube at all. It's constantly recalculating the perspective. So that's been done for many, many years now and it's something we've been familiar with in the simulation industry. It's almost bread and butter really. We can't comment on future R&D but you could imagine the way it could go."

The full feature on Sony's ongoing PlayStation 3D work, including hands-on impressions, can be read here.

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Matt Martin avatar
Matt Martin: Matt Martin joined GamesIndustry in 2006 and was made editor of the site in 2008. With over ten years experience in journalism, he has written for multiple trade, consumer, contract and business-to-business publications in the games, retail and technology sectors.
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