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PS3 has enjoyed 3D Blu-ray playback since 2010, but PS4 launched without it

Sony Corp.'s (TYO:6758PlayStation 4 (PS4) at long last will be receiving a patch to allow it to playback 3D Blu-ray movies.  The patch will end months of growing grumblings about Sony's failure to support the technology it once coveted.
Graphically and architecturally speaking, the PS4 was a major leap over the PlayStation 3 (PS3).  Moving away from the PS3's powerful, but unusual CELL processor-based design towards a more standardized, PC-like console Sony was able to cut its costs so much that it reportedly turned a profit from day one.  What's more, amidst Microsoft Corp.'s (MSFT) various public relations hiccups, Sony's console has emerged as the clear sales leader, outselling Microsoft's Xbox One nearly 3-to-2.
But for all the ways that the PS4 was a step forward for Sony, in at least one way it was a step back from the PS3: 3D Blu-ray support.  Sony was responsible for developing the Blu-ray standard, which it first teased at in 2000 before a commercial release in 2006.
The PS3 was not only the first console to feature Blu-ray playback -- it was one of the first Blu-ray players, period.  And while the PS3 lost the sales race to Nintendo Comp., Ltd.'s (TYO:7974) Wii and Microsoft's Xbox 360, the PS3 did achieve one crucial victory -- boosting Blu-ray to a win over HD DVD, a rival format that Microsoft had backed with an extension to the Xbox 360.

HD-DVD for XBOX 360
Sony's PS3 helped Blu-ray to kill the Xbox 360-backed HD DVD.

Unsurprisingly, Sony looked to make the PS3 one of the first testbeds for its new 3D Blu-ray movie technology, rolling out PS3 v3.50 firmware in Sept. 2010 to support the new format.  The PS3 remains the most owned Blu-ray 3D (and general Blu-ray) player in existence today according to the Blu-ray Association.  Over 80 million 3D-movie-capable PS3 consoles have been sold to date.
With the launch of the PS4, Sony bafflingly left off 3D Blu-ray playback support.  In Feb. 2013, Sony's PlayStation Executive Shuhei Yoshida in an interview with IGN explained:

3D was a big thing a couple of years ago — we made it a big thing because it was lead by the consumer electronics side of Sony and we liked what we could do on PS3 using 3D stereoscopic.  But now the consumer electronics side of Sony, or all of the companies have shifted focus from 3D TV to something else, so if they're not talking about it, why would we?

PlayStation 3D glasses

In the same interview he explained the new focus was on so-called "ultra HD" (UHD) video, aka "4K video" (3,840 x 2,160 pixels), stating:

The PS4 supports 4K output, but only for photos and videos — not games.  PS4 games do not work on 4K.

Sony's attention was also stolen away by its new virtual reality glasses technology, called Morpheus.


But at long last the 8-9 million PS4 owners in the wild today will be able to soon enjoy 3D Blu-ray video.  Sony EU just tweeted that the PS4 firmware update v1.75 will finally bring the feature to Sony's next gen console: It's still not Sony's primary focus compared to virtual reality and 4K video.  But it's clear Sony is altogether abandoning 3D video technology, either as the format continues along its slow global growth path.

Source: Sony EU

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By valkator on 7/24/2014 6:31:26 PM , Rating: 5
I didn't know people still cared about 3d.

RE: Meh
By theplaidfad on 7/24/2014 6:35:12 PM , Rating: 4
I know when I'm about to buy a new movie and I see that it's in 3D, I opt for the 3D version.

RE: Meh
By Flunk on 7/25/2014 9:42:40 AM , Rating: 4
Really? I always try to avoid it like the plague. I find it flickery and annoying.

RE: Meh
By SublimeSimplicity on 7/25/2014 10:02:19 AM , Rating: 2
Glasses-less 3D will be here in about a year. 4K displays and cheap processing power allows this to be a reality in consumer electronics.

Disney has stopped offering 3D versions of their movies and I truly believe it's because they see this tech coming and seeing it as an opportunity to sell another copy of all their movies.

RE: Meh
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2014 10:10:58 AM , Rating: 3
Wrong. They've stopped doing that because nobody really WANTS 3D. It's forced on you when you buy a new TV, but nobody goes out and actually purchases 3D content in any large number.

3D has failed yet again. As it does every time that stupid fad keeps rearing it's nausea-inducing head.

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/25/2014 10:20:37 AM , Rating: 2
"3D has failed yet again. As it does every time that stupid fad keeps rearing it's nausea-inducing head."

+1... I hope we can put an end to it once and for all and stop playing "whack a mole" with it.

RE: Meh
By TheDoc9 on 7/25/2014 12:15:50 PM , Rating: 2
3d actually adds a lot to some movies, Prometheus is a great example. It's literally a different movie in 3d.

However, I will say it does still give me a headache so I seldom use it :(

I've noticed that two projector systems are the only way to view it without issue.

RE: Meh
By cwolf78 on 7/25/2014 10:24:02 AM , Rating: 2
Wow what a biased response. True, when I bought my TV I didn't care if it had 3D or not. But I've been completely blown away by the quality of 3D movies on it.

3D has NOT failed!! Why are so many new movies still released in 3D? In fact, more than ever are actually shot in 3D and not post-converted. Even Netflix has a decent selection of 3D titles now. Glasses-free 3D is going to be on a lot of the UHD sets (albeit at 1080p initially). I don't know where you get your info from, but I sure don't see 3D going away any time soon.

RE: Meh
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2014 10:51:48 AM , Rating: 2
"Consider the box office. Although studios released 19 more 3D movies in 2011 than the year before, 3D box office revenue fell by 18 percent in the United States, or about $400 million, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. Last month, 3D attendance hit a record low for the opening weekend of Pixar’s Brave, with just 32 percent of revenues coming from 3D, says the Hollywood Reporter. While The Avengers fared better, with a little over half of sales coming from 3D tickets, it’s not even close to the 83 percent 3D revenue that Avatar enjoyed in December 2009. The days where you absolutely had to see a hit movie in 3D are over.

The 3D TV situation isn’t much better. Sales of 3D televisions are on the rise in the United States according to The NPD Group, but only 14 percent of consumers who might buy a TV in the next six months say 3D is a “must-have” feature. Most people just think of it as future-proofing — something that might be nice to have. Even Samsung, the world’s largest TV maker, admits that 3D TV hasn’t lived up to the hype, and the company is now exalting web-connected smart TVs as its next big source of growth.

It’s easy to guess why 3D is struggling in movies and television sets: People don’t want to be burdened with 3D glasses, or worry about eye strain, and pay a premium for the privilege."

Do your research, no matter what metric you pick, 3D has failed across the entire spectrum.

And yeah yeah I know, some amazing technology is right around the corner that's going to change this and finally get 3D "right".

I've been hearing that for 20 years!

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/25/2014 11:08:04 AM , Rating: 2
"And yeah yeah I know, some amazing technology is right around the corner that's going to change this and finally get 3D "right". I've been hearing that for 20 years"

Exactly, although its been alot longer than 20. As long as we are looking at a flat screen with an image somehow split into 2 to create depth then it's going to suck. There is no technical way around that barrier. Until its actual holograms, it's going to be crappy quality catering to people that are more enamored by the depth and less paying attention to the fact that the whole thing looks like crap.

RE: Meh
By Reclaimer77 on 7/25/2014 2:22:16 PM , Rating: 2
That is why my next set is going to be Vizio. They are the only ones offering a high-end model with full array LED back-light while also NOT forcing 3D onto the consumer.

This allows them to blow everyone else away on price, while their competitions failing TV business is predicated upon trying to convince consumers 3D is worth a ridiculous premium.

Yet another sign consumer-grade 3D is dead in the water, AGAIN. The leading TV manufacturer has killed all 3D support in order to focus on 4K. What more needs to be said?

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/25/2014 11:04:16 AM , Rating: 2
"3D has NOT failed!! Why are so many new movies still released in 3D?"

This is just the latest push by the studios to try and get it to catch on. It's still not going to. Maybe a bit in theaters, but definitely not on home TV's. We have had it since the 1950's (that's 60 years BTW). In general it has a cool factor for a while, like about 1 movie, and then it bugs peoples eyes. It looks like crap, it requires glasses, and it takes away from the overall enjoyment of the movie. It will probably always be around showing on a few screens in the theaters while the bulk is in 2D...

I am just glad we finally got past the wasted efforts of the past 5+ years with 3D TV's and are finally moving on to 4K - which will actually improve picture quality rather than reduce it with the 1/2 assed 3d tricks that we have today.

RE: Meh
By cwolf78 on 7/25/2014 10:15:42 AM , Rating: 2
"Disney has stopped offering 3D versions of their movies"

Really? Who told you that? I just picked Frozen in 3D, but I had to order it from That's just because Disney has a temporary exclusivity agreement with Apple in North America for the 3D version on iTunes.

RE: Meh
By cwolf78 on 7/25/2014 10:08:42 AM , Rating: 2
Looks very clear and vivid with no flickering on my passive 55" LG set. Looks better than the theater with less eye strain. For some reason at the theater 3D almost looks muddy or distorted.

RE: Meh
By soccerballtux on 7/25/2014 1:49:32 PM , Rating: 2
the biggest problem is when they make use of depth-of-field. The brain's default mechanism for dealing with this is to attempt an eye-refocus. You use this in 2d to draw in the viewer. In 3d, your brain tries to refocus, to no avail, it's already in 3d and changing your focal point won't help if there's DOF being applied.

I noticed this in Godzilla last night, I think. Might have just been the heavier motion scenes.

RE: Meh
By The Von Matrices on 7/25/2014 2:54:30 PM , Rating: 2
You're absolutely right. The best reviewed 3D movies use deep focus. The cinematographic trick of shallow focus to put attention upon one subject is not the natural way we see. Naturally whatever your eyes are pointed at is in focus because your eyes automatically focus upon it; you don't notice that everything else in your field of view is out of focus because you aren't looking there. I equate shallow focus to the effect of putting film grain effect on digitally shot films; there's no technical reason to do it.

As one other person said, sporting events look great in 3D. But it's not because of the content, it's because the cameras shoot with a small aperture. Play a video game in 3D. It's heaps better compared to a film because the entire scene is in focus no matter where you look.

I feel that the 3D TV manufacturers get the blame for 3D being "bad" when in reality the content is the issue.

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/24/2014 6:48:05 PM , Rating: 2
Most people don't. It's cool once in a while, but more of a nuisance than a benefit day to day. All the 3D TV phase did was delay 4K by several years. grrrrr

RE: Meh
By M'n'M on 7/24/2014 10:16:03 PM , Rating: 1
It's cool once in a while, but more of a nuisance than a benefit day to day.

A nuisance ... how ?

I see 4k or UHD as an enabler of 3D. Nobody liked the shutter type implementation, if just due to cost of glasses. And the passive type halved the horizontal resolution. Given 1080 HD is already more than most people need on most size TVs, 4k should remove really any reason not to get passive 3D ... given it adds < $100 to the cost (negligible compared to the added cost of 4k).

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/25/2014 8:03:53 AM , Rating: 4
My point was the tech has been around since the 1950's and still hasn't really caught on. People just don't want it. it's a cool factor thing and nice to try out once in a while, but day to day, most people don't want to wear the glasses to watch 1/2 assed 3D movies at home.

RE: Meh
By M'n'M on 7/25/2014 1:58:40 PM , Rating: 3
it's a cool factor thing and nice to try out once in a while, but day to day, most people don't want to wear the glasses to watch 1/2 assed 3D movies at home.

I'll agree with that. In-laws wanted one mostly for the kids and grandkids. LGs passive system was perfect for that.

I am surprised pr0n hasn't sold more 3D sets. Ms Rodriguez, not exactly Pam Anderson-sized, looked yummy in 3D (Avatar). That's what 3D needs ... boobs !

RE: Meh
By atechfan on 7/25/2014 10:42:09 AM , Rating: 3
How did 3D delay 4k? 4k panels were prohibitively expensive not long ago. 3D had nothing at all to do with that. The same panels used to display 2D content also work with 3D. It is a rather simple process to add. 3D doesn't even add significantly to the price. TVs already have the CPU power to do 3D as a side effect of other image processing added. All that is also needed is a high refresh rate, which is also a desirable trait in any case.

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/25/2014 7:46:16 PM , Rating: 2
Is that a serious question? You don't understand manufacturing, with regards to supply and demand. OEMs were putting off higher res and concentrating on 3D. Had they been working toward higher res it would have become available sooner and cheaper.

RE: Meh
By M'n'M on 7/26/2014 12:52:29 AM , Rating: 2
You don't understand manufacturing, with regards to supply and demand.

I'm going to disagree slightly. Manufacturing produces what it's directed to. It's Corporate that decides which tech gets the $$s, in expectation of profit. To that end was 4k still too far off from "cheap" manufacturing vs 3D to be profitable ? I think so.

Moreover how sale-able would 4k (or UHD) have been a few years ago ? I'd argue that most TV sizes being sold then wouldn't benefit from the increased resolution. Heck, I'm not sure I'd see a distinct improvement at even 70". And recall that one of the stated reasons Blu-ray has been a flop when compared to DVD is that most people are happy w/widescreen 480 DVD up-rezzed to full HD. Resolution wasn't really making a difference to most people. Especially given the $$ difference, DVD vs Blu-ray.

So I'm not at all sure that Corporate had it wrong a few years ago.

Besides ... have you seen boobs in 3D ?

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/26/2014 8:26:47 AM , Rating: 2
Bah... You guys have it backwards. It's pretty well known that manufacturers were putting off the transition to higher res hoping that 3D would catch on because it was cheaper to make... It still didn't catch on and still wont. And yes, I have seen boobs in 3D - its called real life and they are glorious. I don't want a watered down 1/2 assed 3D tv version. If I am going to watch it on screen, I would rather see it in super high res than 3D. :P

RE: Meh
By someguy123 on 7/26/2014 11:56:33 AM , Rating: 2
That makes no sense at all (and isn't true). Most manufacturers moved to active shutter because of the fact that there was too many visible artifacts with passive 3D at low resolutions. Higher resolutions were EXACTLY what they were aiming for, even at the cost of contrast and pixel response. Many 4K TVs have passive systems for this very reason. If anything, 3D is one of the main reasons for the 4K push (on the manufacturer's side) for the purposes of avoiding bulky active shutter glasses and resolving more detail. Avatar was the main reason for adoption of 4k digital projectors in movie theaters because 1080p projection looked horrible, especially in 3D.

Personally I care more about contrast, color quality, pixel response and refresh rates for home TVs, and from seeing the shift to 4K I'd say the focus on 4K is holding back image quality and fluidity in general. Sooner or later we'll get the best of both worlds, but I doubt it'll be sooner.

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/26/2014 3:04:23 PM , Rating: 2
We must have been reading very different news articles on very different planets for the past decade. Whatever though I'm just glad 4k is here and starting to get cheap. 3D is more irritating than it is useful. 50 years of it and they're still trying to shove it down our throats and people just arent swallowing.

RE: Meh
By someguy123 on 7/26/2014 7:06:15 PM , Rating: 2
What idiotic news article would claim that 3D was "holding back" resolution when resolution was one of the biggest problems with 3D?

There's absolutely no logic in what you're posting. It would be like someone claiming 4K is holding back 8K adoption. Manufacturers that benefit MOST from 4K are ones that have already developed passive 3D screens, which is basically everyone. There was also no manufacturing "loss" involved with 3D for years because of the shift to active shutter, which doesn't require anything from the factories manufacturing televisions. By your logic samsung is holding back cellphone technology by producing refrigerators.

RE: Meh
By retrospooty on 7/26/2014 10:55:47 PM , Rating: 2
Dood, take a pill. I recall reading several articles maybe 4 or 5 years back quoting various industry insiders on how tv manufacturers were concentrating on 3D and holding off 4k on purpose to maximise profits and sell a cheaper to make tech. I am not saying 4k wouldnt make 3d better, it wasnt about getting better image quality to customers it was about profit. Whatever, its over.

RE: Meh
By Mitch101 on 7/24/2014 9:33:52 PM , Rating: 2
It certainly doesnt work for all content but X-Games, Football, and some movies where it adds an additional element of immersion it does work.

I would hope that Sharknado 3 will be in 3D just for the horrible factor to be even more comical.

The movie "Into the Storm" not going expecting an emmy nomination but for the possible feeling and 3D that might make this kind of fun.
I wouldnt bother seeing it if it wasn't in 3D.

RE: Meh
By joos2000 on 7/25/2014 9:27:05 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure there are at least two or three consumers out there who are very happy about this.

By saarek on 7/25/2014 4:47:37 AM , Rating: 2
There is no way that 3D is going to make any meaningful impact until the need for wearing glasses is removed.

From what I understand this is possible, albeit experimental and too expensive at the moment.

Once they get there you can expect the market to lift off.

By atechfan on 7/25/2014 5:52:47 AM , Rating: 2
I can see the hate for active glasses, since they are so expensive, require batteries, and generally ship with just 2 with a set, but why would passive glasses be a problem? The LG passive sets usually come with 8 pairs of glasses, and if the get lost or broken, any cheap polarized #D glasses will work. Hell, just pocket the ones from the movie theater if you refuse to buy some.

The failure of 3D TV has way more to do with two other factors. Some people just don't like 3d at all, whether it is because they don't care for the look, or because it causes headaches or some other effect. The other factor is the almost complete lack of content for 3D TV, other than 3D movies on Blueray.

By Silver2k7 on 7/25/2014 7:12:12 AM , Rating: 2
Its not the price of the glasses so much as that you have to wear the glasses to see the 3d effect.

For people that wear glasses everyday its even more bothersome since then you have to war 2 pairs of glasses at the same time.

Also after about half a movie my eyes usually start to get tired/strained when watching 3D cinema.

Maybe this strain on the eyes can be somewhat fixed with new technology such as HFR and 4K and perhaps brighter 3D movies.

By Silver2k7 on 7/25/2014 7:13:57 AM , Rating: 2
But it would be preferable if there could be 3D in the cinema without the glasses.. thought how to do that and make it work properly for people not sitting exactly in the middle.. that might be a hard nut to crack.

By atechfan on 7/25/2014 7:52:33 AM , Rating: 2
I have yet to see a glasses-free 3D system that gave convincing 3D effects. My wife wears glasses, yet she doesn't find the 3D glasses much hassle to wear over them. Of course, watching a 3D movie isn't something we do all the time. You can get prescription eyewear with the polarization for 3D built in, but I imagine only hardcore 3D fans would take that option.

By VoodooChicken on 7/25/2014 5:20:09 PM , Rating: 2
There's also clip-ons that my wife uses on her glasses.

By inighthawki on 7/25/2014 4:00:53 PM , Rating: 2
For people that wear glasses everyday its even more bothersome since then you have to war 2 pairs of glasses at the same time.

People who do not wear glasses tend to overlook this pretty important factor.

By marvdmartian on 7/28/2014 8:16:42 AM , Rating: 2
Like I keep saying, let me know when you come out with a 3D, life sized, holographic projection in at least 1080p quality. Until then, I'm NOT upgrading!

Revise history much?
By danjw1 on 7/25/2014 8:47:44 AM , Rating: 2
"the PS3 did achieve one crucial victory -- boosting Blu-ray to a win over HD DVD"

Actually, Sony bought off the studios to get them over to Blu-ray. At the time more HD-DVDs had been sold then Blu-rays.

RE: Revise history much?
By FITCamaro on 7/25/2014 8:59:34 AM , Rating: 2
Bigger impact was that Sony owns a major studio themselves. With the Sony Pictures library never going to go HD-DVD, that right there was a huge card in the pocket of Blu-ray. Ultimately the PS3 did help Sony win the format war. It added the best Blu-ray player on the market pretty much into the home of every Playstation gamer out there. HD-DVD you had to still go buy either a player or an ugly addon drive to the 360.

RE: Revise history much?
By inighthawki on 7/25/2014 11:41:50 AM , Rating: 2
It helped that the PS3 could not only play Blu-Ray on top of the gaming functionality, but that at launch it was cheaper than most standalone blu ray players.

By macmuchmore on 7/25/2014 12:01:26 PM , Rating: 2
I have a PS3. I will not upgrade to the PS4 until it matches the PS3 functionality as a media player. It at least needs to support DLNA and Plex before I will buy one.

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