â??3D adds just 2% on time and budgetâ?? â?? Sony

â??3D adds just 2% on time and budgetâ?? â?? Sony

By Rob Crossley

November 23rd 2010 at 1:31PM

And the tech can demand as little as 3ms of GPU time, says SCEEâ??s Mick Hocking

As Sony prepares to launch an extensive library of 3D games to market, a senior director at the firm insists that applying the tech can leave a tiny dent on budgets and project times.

In fact, SCEE’s Mick Hocking told Develop that converting games to 3D – if the right techniques are used – can add little more than two per cent on costs and time.

“This is about bang for buck,” he said.

“The analysis we’ve got for the games we’re doing internally – and we’re adding 3D to a lot of our games – is that the average investment for adding 3D can be as low as two per cent in time and budget; if you think about how profound 3D can make a game, I think that’s more than worth it.”

In an interview with Develop, it was put to Hocking that two per-cent on triple-A budgets can still be a significant figure on smaller and cheaper indie projects.

“Games that are simpler tend to be easier to convert to 3D,” he responded.

“So it still works out as quite cheap. The likes of Killzone 3 and Motorstorm are pushing the system as hard as they can go and both of them were converted within a matter of weeks.

“It obviously depends on your particular game and the method that you choose for conversion but done right, great 3D can be added for a very low investment.”

On the issue of how much processing power will be guzzled by stereoscopic 3D technology, Hocking said the results were varied and have yet to show a trend.

“It all depends how a game is converted, if a technique like reprojection is used then is can be as low as 3ms of GPU time,” he said.

“But it all depends how a game converts to 3D. If a game draws two entire frames with split-screen then its developers will find it easier to convert. There are also a lot of new techniques that can drive processor usage down.

“We’ve seen the whole range, really,” he added.

“Games that have implemented it with little impact at all, and more complex games like Motorstorm which is 720p at 30hz and pushes the PS3 to its limits, which was converted in a few weeks.”

Elsewhere in his interview with Develop, Hocking revealed that over 50 game projects – both internal and external – are currently being converted to 3D on PS3.

He said this new drive for 3D is being aided by Sony’s own proactive approach in helping studios apply the young technology.