Hirai unimpressed by 3D handheld displays

Hirai unimpressed by 3D handheld displays
Michael French

By Michael French

June 20th 2010 at 1:09AM

'It's a bit of a challenge to maintain that 3D experience,' says Sony games boss of handheld stereoscopic content

Sony is actively encouraging developers to make stereoscopic games for PS3 - but it's not interested in handheld 3D content, unlike rival Nintendo.

In an interview with the FT, SCE boss Kaz Hirai has talked down the innovation of 3D handheld displays, despite the fact Nintendo impressed the games industry with the reveal of its 3DS portable at E3 last week.

Nintendo president Satoru Iwata unveiled his company's 3D device in Los Angeles, saying it was the first time a commercial product has offered 3D content to the mainstream. 3DS doesn't need glasses - unlike 3D content on TVs, something Sony is actively pushing across the entire corporation, from its movies business to its hardware and games ones.

That latter strategy is "coming together really well" for Sony according to Hirai - but the firm doesn't think its suits handhelds.

In fact Hirai says that there are severe usability issues with 3D handheld displays at the moment.

He said: "We want to make sure we get it right as opposed to being there first and - with portables - there's still a lot of tweaking that needs to happen from a research and development perspective.

"We've looked at a lot of the current technologies available and all of them have an issue of perception where you have to hold the console in exactly the right place to get the 3D effect and it's a bit of a challenge to maintain that 3D experience."

3DS was detailed just hours before a Sony press conference that failed to offer any major detail, software aside, on what might lay ahead for the PSP, Sony's handheld games device. It is widely thought the firm is working on a PSP2, but it has yet to officially confirm the device's development.