Chatting to Gamespot last week at Gamescom, SCEE senior group studio director Mick Hocking elaborated upon the reasoning behind the lack of 3D on the Playstation Vita, suggesting that with all of the other technology bundled into the console - particularly SIXAXIS control - there were concerns over delivering a quality experience.
At the time we were looking at Vita, there were several issues. One was the quality of the glasses-free 3D screens. It can work very well on small screens, but to get the best effect, you need to keep your head very, very still. Now with a handheld gaming device and Vita having Sixaxis motion control in it, there may be gameplay where you're moving the Vita around. And if you're doing that and having glasses-free 3D, the two things don't sit very well together. We wanted to offer a really, really high-resolution OLED screen, and the best way to do that was in 2D. At least for the first one. - Mick Hocking
When challenged on 3D's failures in the past, and asked what makes Sony so sure it will succeed this time around, Hocking's answer was simple: that once again it comes down to quality, and that for the first time consumers are able to receive high-quality 3D at a reasonable price.
'What's different about today,' Hocking continued, 'is this is the first time we've been able to offer high-quality 3D: a high-quality display with high resolution, high refresh rates, high-quality software and movie experiences. Previously, you could have high quality at huge expense, or you could have low-cost items, but it was difficult to achieve any kind of quality. So this is the first time the technology's really allowed us to do high-quality 3D.'
Interestingly, he notes towards the end that '[3D will] just be another way to enjoy gaming experiences. I don't think it's going to replace 2D, but it'll be another way to enjoy certain types of games.' Rather than looking to supplant 2D, it's clear that Sony want the choice to be there at least. It means that those of us who couldn't care less about 3D can get on with our lives, those who do can get a high-quality experience and Sony will probably sell more Bravia TVs. So everybody wins, right? [Gamespot]