With the market for 3D gaming and 3D HDTVs struggling to make ends meet, EA has decided to funnel its investments in 3D into social and online gaming instead, says EA boss John Riccitiello at an annual EA stockholder meeting:
We see really high returns in these markets and very poor returns focusing on 3D, so we are allocating our resources toward new innovations. Frankly we have not seen a big uptake for 3D gaming. We have not seen a big uptake in 3DTVs in the home, at least not yet. We are not here trying to drive a market. We are here to react to what consumers are looking for.
I don't think EA should sell themselves short on being innovators in the industry, but they are a business and if the consumers don't desire 3D, then it behooves them to follow. With the cost of 3D-enabled TVs and the necessary glasses, most consumers just don't see the appeal of needing 3D at home. I mean, if I really want to see 3D in full effect, I would just go see a 3D movie at an IMAX theater.
Sony might be cringing at EA's statement, but the time for 3DTVs will come eventually and they're primed and ready to pounce. It's just a matter of how long they are willing to wait, but not before Sony's 3D gaming chief Mick Hocking had some words to say at the Develop conference in Brighton:
[W]e're trying to encourage everyone to learn about 3D properly and come and talk to us so we'll support them when they convert the games But only deliver the best quality 3D. As we've seen in some other industries, if you make great quality 3D, in film you could say Avatar – it's the most successful film of all time, it's the highest grossing film of all time – but since then that hasn't been followed up with the same degree of success.