EA: Proper 3D games are still three years off

While hardware manufacturers are touting stereoscopic 3D as the latest must-have check-box for gamers, games developers are seemingly indifferent to the 3D revolution at the moment. In fact, EA's CEO John Riccitiello reckons that it's going to be a good three years before 3D becomes a standard gaming feature.

In a revealing interview with Industry Gamers, Riccitiello explained that there's a big difference between converting a game to run in 3D mode, and properly developing it to take full advantage of the extra dimension.

"It doesn’t take that much to separate, you know, two and a half inches and sort of redraw the entire frame and have it run through any of the various polarisation, or the primary blinking system, between the right and left eye," said Riccitiello.

However, he pointed out that "it’s quite a different thing to author it in such a way that the Z-dimension, the third dimension, is really well done."

Not only do games need to be properly developed to take advantage of 3D, but enough gamers also need to have the appropriate hardware in order to make 3D game development worthwhile.

"Right now there’s like twelve people in America with 3D television sets," chuckled Riccitiello, adding; "the first thing you need for a large installed base is 3D televisions and 3D PCs."

According to Riccitiello, this is extremely unlikely to happen soon, saying, "I don’t think it’s [3D] going to be a big story this year for games."

He said the first big waves of 3D hardware and games starting to hit in 2011 and 2012, but reckons that it'll be worth the wait. "I was playing a title we’ve got for fiscal 2012 in 3D yesterday up in Vancouver," said Riccitiello, describing it as, "definitely unbelievably cool."

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