Thursday, 26 August 2010

id Software's Todd Hollenshead Sceptical of 3D Gaming Penetration

id Software head Todd Hollenshead has expressed his reservations about 3D gaming, stating that early 3D adopters aren't driving the technology as much as they think they are, for a few reasons.

The first point addressed is that there's a rap that 3D is "nerdy", leaning back to the 80s, when 3D was a fad for perceived nerds, and also pointing to the fact that you still need glasses to get the most out of 3D. Most notably, Mr. Hollenshead points out the fact that 3D televisions are "fucking expensive", and that the prohibitive price point isn't helping adaptation.
"You may have one or two that are like, oh, we're going to fly the banner of this and we're going to make our name on this one thing. But to have really meaningful differences is going to require some more time. The price is going to have to come down and you're going to have to have more widespread adoption."
Sony's throwing all their weight behind 3D via their Bravia line of televisions is certainly going to speed up adaptation, but consumers only jump on board something en masse when it's affordable. This has been the case in the video game industry for years; the $250 (upon release) Wii is the #1 games console in the world, and even Sony's PlayStation 3 didn't enjoy wider penetration until their slim model came out at a more attractive price point. Over time, the costs are going to come down as the technology improves and is more cheaply producible, but until that time, 3D gaming is going to be an expensive luxury for a select few, especially in a down economy.

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