Sony are slowly ramping up for 3D gaming on the PS3, but until now we haven’t know exactly how titles will be prepared for the stereoscopic experience. Digital Foundry have been talking to the Sony team responsible for the system, and unsurprisingly it’s all pretty complex. Existing 2D titles – such as Wipeout – are either being retrofitted for 3D by basically halving the current visual content (in Wipeout’s case, going roughly from 2D 1080p 60fps to 3D 720p 30fps) or by artificially adding in depth data using the same system as Sony Pictures do for some of their 3D feature films.
Neither is perfect. Wipeout 3D loses some gameplay speed because of the extra processing the console has to perform, not to mention the drop in frames, while adding in artificial depth information does allow the title to keep its original resolution but can lead to stretched textures in areas where there are large degrees of parallax, e.g. at the backdrop.
The end result is generally a more immersive environment, but it’s an expensive and time-consuming process for studios to undertake. Digital Foundry reckon most developers will go for the artificial depth data route, but of course how many do that will be dependent on the uptake of 3D-capable HDTVs later on this year.