Even though the specifications for the new PSP, codenamed NGP, have been impressive so far, it is relatively odd that Sony opted out of 3D-functionality. Considering the fact that the consumer electronics company has been one of the most consistent proponents for 3D expansion. Is this a sign of bad faith or will Sony add functionality for 3D titles at a later date?
In an interview with Eurogamer, Andrew House of Sony Europe stated the following regarding the company’s decision:
We view 3D as having the greatest potential, in the near term, in what I would call a dedicated entertainment environment. That’s in the home, around the television, and where it’s a shared experience. I think that’s really important. In the development process, we had studied the possibility of introducing stereoscopic 3D feature to NGP, but decided not to install it.
Echoing the sentiments of Mr. House, the leader of Sony Worldwide Studios, Shuhei Yoshida, spoke to Kotaku about the decision with a bit more ambiguity and hope for the future, pointing out Nintendo’s newest handheld in the process:
We evaluated the 3DS screens that are available and the costs. There are lots of trade-offs. This [the NGP] is what we want to do. The portable is a totally different beast. It’s still emerging and in a transitional stage. We are developing a platform to last a long time.
If there is any takeaway, it is that Sony is more concerned with perfecting certain aspects of their portable device as opposed to trying to create an umbrella handheld. The graphical capabilities of the device would have been nerfed considering the fact that the use of 3D would require more processing power. Not only this, but adding a 3D screen akin to what we’ve seen on Nintendo’s 3DS would add cost to the device. Theoretically, Sony could roll out a firmware update allowing compatibility that requires 3D glasses, but this is not likely to happen during the initial launch phase.
Nevertheless, it is interesting that Sony is presenting its handset in such a way, allowing Nintendo to occupy the portable 3D niche. While the spectacular hardware will certainly help it sell, it will ultimately come down to developer support. Will they opt into 3D-enabled games or go for a graphical extravaganza? Only time will tell.
What do you, mobile gamers, believe? Do you think that Sony’s decision was correct – taking away 3D functionality to ensure the device excels in other areas – or a choice that will ultimately hurt the device’s popularity? Let us know in the comments below.