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Playstation 3D TV Bundle for Fall 2011 – Why This Could Change Everything

3D television has been out for some time now. How well is it doing? Well, let’s put it this way. How many of your friends have purchased a 3D TV so far?

Of course, most people are holding off. Why?

  • Most people just spent a ton of money on a huge LCD (or plasma or LED) TV that’s the centerpiece of their living room, and are in no rush to spend another couple of thousands of dollars to replace it.
  • There just isn’t much content out there. Yes, my cable company lets me subscribe to a package to watch sports in 3D–if I subscribe to their top tier package for over $1000/year.
  • The technology is awkward for multiple people viewing. To get a good picture, everyone in the family need to squeeze into a tiny section in the middle of the living room sofa. Oh, and make sure everyone has their 3D glasses at another seventy bucks a pop.
  • The technology is early. Just today, they announced that several manufacturers are getting together to decide on standards for 3D glasses. It may be a few years before they all agree on something!

Sony has been releasing Playstation games with 3D capability for some time now. By all accounts, gameplay in 3D is phenomenal. Imagine facing down a fastball in The Fight: Lights Out or reaching in to beat up bullies in The Fight: Lights Out. But unless you have a lot of disposable income you don’t know what to do with (and who does these days), chances are you’ve though to yourself that you’ll live with the 2D version for now until 3D becomes a lot more affordable.

I’m really bullish on the concept of 3D TV. But it’s never going to achieve critical mass if no one can afford it. This is why I love an idea Sony has come up with for Christmas 2011.

This fall, Sony will be selling a 24 inch 3D LED TV Bundle for Playstation for $499.99 (Amazon lists the release date as December 31 2011 as of this writing , but the actual release date will be around 11/26/11, plenty of time for Christmas if you pre-order). While that’s still pricey, it’s definitely more affordable than larger TVs for people who want a “taste” of 3D gameplay (and television–you’ll be able to watch 3D Blu-Ray movies right from your PS3, as well as any 3D channels your cable package might have).

The package will come with:

  • One pair of 3D glasses (retail value $70)
  • One HDMI cable (retail value $10)
  • A copy of Motorstorm:Apolcalypse (retail value $60).

Originally Sony promised they would bundle the superior Resistance 3, but they have since reversed this (Can anyone say  “OtherOS”? Oh Sony…Sony…Sony…) FLASH! Amazon has just announced that they WILL be bundling Resistance 3 in for customers who pre-order the bundle, following a similar move by GameStop. So place that order today!

But still, this package is a deal and a half. In short, with all the stuff you get in the bundle, your cost for the TV ends up being about $350 and change. And this is no second-rate TV; it features an LED display, with high contrast (5000:1), wide viewing angle (176 degree), high response time (4ms GTG average). And of course, it supports both 2D and 3D viewing. Something unique to the Playstation and this TV will be “SimulView”, where two players playing on the same TV and wearing glasses can view separate (2D) screens (instead of putting up with tiny split screens).

I imagine that Sony’s margins are paper-thin on this one, but that they’re gambling that once you experience 3D, you’ll want to spend money on things like more games, movies, and bigger TVs. It’s sort of the strategy they used by bundling the Blu-Ray disc player into the Playstation–it cost them a lot more, but their prize at the end of the day was Blu-Ray’s victory in the format wars over HD-DVD. While they couldn’t afford to bundle a TV with every PS3, perhaps making 3D affordable to the masses will have an effect on adoption.

As for the size of the TV, I frankly welcome it. I already have my big LCD TV in the living room,which I’m perfectly happy with. But having another TV in a smaller room like the bedroom or even the home gym (in my case these are both the same :P) would not be a bad thing.

I figure this is a cheap way to get into the world of 3D gaming AND TV shows. If I like it, maybe I’ll invest in buying a lot more games and Blu-Ray discs, and eventually a large screen 3D TV. Otherwise, hey, I got a great TV I can use when others in my household want to use the big TV and I want to watch my own show or play a few 3D games from time to time. In either case, I can predict this is going to be a HOT seller during Christmas, so be sure to get on the pre-order list at Amazon. Again, ignore Amazon’s messages that the release date is December 31, 2011. Also, remember that if the price increases (or decreases) between now and then, you’ll be guaranteed the lower price.

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