Sony expects gamers to pay an extra $500 to play 3D games at home

Sony announced that it will release a 24-inch 3D-enabled television and include a number of other goodies in an effort to promote 3D gaming at home — however, the new TV will cost an extra $500 on top of the actual PlayStation 3 console.

Sony made the announcement at its press conference today at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, Calif. The bundle includes a pair of 3D glasses — which cost $69.99 when purchased on their own — a 3D-enabled television and an HDMI cable. The bundle will also include Resistance 3, one of the titles debuted at E3 this year that the company expects will be critical for making 3D gaming more popular in living rooms and dorm rooms everywhere.

Resistance 3 will have a new feature for 3D televisions that will get rid of split-screen gaming and make two players see two different screens when looking at the same television if they are wearing the Sony’s 3D glasses. That will remove a lot of headaches that split-screen gaming brings on board — mainly having only half of a screen to play a game on.

Sony is throwing a lot of weight behind 3D gaming and is making a lot of its most popular or highly anticipated titles, like Killzone 3 and Resistance 3, 3D-enabled. It’s part of a 3D craze that started in theaters and was popularized by James Cameron’s Avatar, a film that grossed several billion dollars in theaters, before being relevant to gamers. Nintendo’s latest handheld gaming device, the Nintendo 3DS, has 3D gaming as a core part of its design — so it doesn’t seem like it’s just a gimmick anymore.

Still, that would bring the full price of playing a PlayStation 3 on a 3D-enabled television with this package — and with two players — up to around $900. That’s a hefty price tag that many casual gamers might not want to pay to play a video game, even if it’s in 3D. It could defeat the purpose of the package, which Sony executive Kaz Hirai said is to make 3D gaming more accessible and more popular among mainstream gamers.

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