Uh oh, support for 3D just took another bullet in the chest. EA's CEO John Riccitiello said that consumer's aren't interested in 3D gaming. This comes hot off the heels of a huge price cut for the Nintendo 3DS and Panasonic claiming that Hollywood's greed was ruining 3D movies.
It would appear 3D is on life support, as the majority of consumers just don't see the value or need for the extra dimension. As hard as Sony is pushing 3D gaming as one of its major advantages over the Xbox 360, the fact remains that getting the entire rig together is still very expensive.
You need to buy a 3D TV, you need the glasses, you need the games that support 3D, etc.
We could go on and on about the cons of 3D gaming: the screen becomes dimmer, the glasses are heavy, the viewing angles aren't so great, etc, but we think we've made our point.
Speaking at an EA shareholders meeting, Riccitiello remarked:
"Frankly, we have not seen a big uptake for 3D gaming," he said. "We haven't seen a big uptake for 3D televisions in the home, at least not yet. And we're not here trying to drive the market, we're here to react to what consumers are looking for."
"Right now we're seeing better growth focusing on a different technology innovation...online and social," he said. "We've seen really high returns here, and very poor returns focusing on 3D. So our allocation of resources have been toward the new innovations that are growing more rapidly."
It's nothing personal. EA is doing what businesses do: follow the money and for it, 3D isn't where the profits lie. Building social games and rich online features is where the gold is at.
Are you already an early adopter sitting in the 3D camp? Well, that might be reason for concern. When the world's largest third-party video game publisher says it's not pushing hard on 3D gaming, it might be foreboding the format's fate.
As we've said countless times before: a new format is nothing without content. If Nintendo and Sony want 3D support (glasses-free or not), it'll need EA along for the ride. Neither can sell 3D alone. We fear 3D gaming might be dead before it even had a real chance to take off.