PS3 3D Display: Is it Worth Your Time?

by Joshua Williams

On November 13, 2011 Sony released their 24” 3D display bundled with Motorstorm Apocalypse and an hdmi cable for $499.99. As eager as I was to take advantage of this bundle, it was the combination of the display size and price that held me back. Clearly Sony’s target was the dorm room college bound gamer with the compact size and Simulview technology but if that was really the case then why only one pair of glasses? Why limit the target audience to such a small percentage of consumers? Whatever the case, Sony’s missteps have resulted in a gradual price decrease that just recently reached the $200 sweet spot.

At $200 it was easy to look past the smaller screen size, the lack of remote control and even the reports of the failure rate. So once the $200 price was verified, I took it upon myself to liberate one of these displays from my local GameStop. It was worth a try but GameStop would not provide any form of additional protection so I’m stuck with the default 90 day protection. As we continue I’ll break down what I think of the 3D display and a brief rundown of the games I’ve tried out.

Out of the Box

Right out of the box the assembly is self-explanatory. Once setup you might want to adjust the settings and brightness because the 3D glasses are tinted when in use. Also, not having a remote isn’t entirely bad after the initial setting adjustments. There are on-screen prompts to be your guide so if you’re at all familiar with electronics then you’ll be fine. If that doesn’t work for you then I hear most universal remotes and the Sony remote control is compatible.

The Display in Action

While bigger is usually better, the thing we have to take into consideration is the immersion factor that the 3D provides. In all the games and 3D content I’ve experienced, I find that I’m being drawn into the screen as opposed to just staring. In 3D there is so much more to see and appreciate that old games (with 3D support) become new again.

In 2D I will say it is perfectly capable of meeting your needs but if you have a larger display you’re better off enjoying 2D games on the bigger screen. The audio also leaves a little to be desired, this is remedied with a surround sound system but your standards may differ.

3D hasn’t really caught on so it’s typically absent from most reviews. Back when I was considering spending more for this display I was trying but not getting a lot of information about the 3D experience. The following is a glimpse of what you can expect from the 3D titles I have on hand.

Motorstorm Apocalypse

This being the packaged title you should definitely expect them to have gotten the 3D right. Indeed they have. The racing is really exhilarating being able to look forward and have a real sense of distance adds to the value. It’s easier to appreciate jumps and drops and when things get in your way, they’re really in your way!

The cut-scenes are kind of cheesy but they do the trick in tying the action together. I’ve taken a little time to play in 2D but it’s really hard to enjoy once you’ve experienced the 3D. The biggest drawback would have to be when another (larger) vehicle is directly behind the player.

Ico and Shadow of the Colossus

These two titles benefit in the same way with the addition of the third dimension. The art style, sense of distance and scale are all highlights when revisiting this experience. With the popularity of these titles it’s a no-brainer that the gameplay is intact but the 3D adds moments when you just find yourself enjoying the view from varied perspectives.

Shadow of the Colossus can be appreciated that much more with being the more recent entry. The Colossi or Colossus’ are larger than ever and it’s a sweet touch having birds and the elements coming at you while in combat.

Killzone 3

I was especially eager to have a FPS experience in 3D. Killzone 3 does a decent job on its own merits and 3D adds to the total package. FPSs are all about staring down the barrels of different weapons and in 3D you actually get to do just that. The fact that Killzone 3 was built from the ground up with 3D in mind is clear from the opening FMV all the way to the menu system and gameplay.

The experience continues to impress as you become intimate with the sniper and pilot a mech as you just forget the size of your display. With all I’ve seen so far it makes me that much more eager to try out more FPSs in 3D.

Uncharted 3

Uncharted 3 is equally if not more so impressive than Killzone 3. It was already made known that Uncharted was designed with 3D at heart and the more I think of it, this is indeed the benchmark 3D title.  Even the trophy enthusiast that has already completed several playthroughs, playing in 3D feels like playing for the first time. Honestly, the production value can only be truly appreciated with a 3D display. You owe it to yourself to play this in 3D if you feel just to see how it was meant to be experienced.

Wipeout HD/Fury

An older PSN title gets new life after a 3D upgrade.  Anyone familiar with Wipeout knows that it’s an enjoyable yet difficult experience. The good news is that in 3D it seems like it’s a lot easier to pilot your craft or maybe it just seems that way. Whatever it is, it looks really good with the upgrade, definitely worth dusting off your digital copy.


Another PSN title that got a 3D facelift is the Move enabled Tumble. I’m not sure if too many people know about this game but I encourage you to check it out, 3D or not if you have Move for your PS3. With 3D you are able to appreciate reaching into the display and interacting with the game.


If given the option to watch the latest action movie in 3D or standard for the same price, most of us would opt for the 3D experience. The same can probably be said for anyone that owns a 3D display. I’m sure there could be a title out there that does it all wrong and actually takes away from the fun but I’m yet to run into that problem.

Simulview is a major feature with this display but it’s a feature that I’m yet to try out. From what I’ve heard, it works but I haven’t gone the extra mile just yet for a second pair of specs. At less than $200 dollars this is a bargain that keeps on giving. As the Olympics approach I look forward to making use of my side by side setup as I enjoy some games while gaming. My advice is that you keep an eye out for similar and even better deals on this display and hold on to any 3D titles you may think you’ve had enough of. Feel free to chime in on titles you feel make good use of 3D as well.

Final Score:


Where should you Buy it?

The PS3 3D Display standard retail price is $200. However there are two great deals on the internet which can be found at Amazon, who have some of their suppliers selling it for $168 plus shipping, or at GameStop, who are selling it for $179.99 including shipping costs.

GameStop, Inc.       

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