OCT. 5, 2010 • Using a process similar to Nintendo’s 3DS handheld, Toshiba will release 3D TVs this December in Japan that do not require glasses. The sets are small, coming in 12-inch and 20-inch models, but Toshiba says it is working on a 56-inch version of the technology that utilizes a perpendicular lenticular sheet over the screen to generate the 3D image. Unfortunately, users must sit close to the screens for maximum effect. The 12-inch set will retail for ¥120,000 ($1,468).
Impact: Despite 3D being the lead story coming out of CES this year excitement over the technology has waned. One of the major deterrents is the requirement for glasses, not to mention the incremental cost and lack of cross brand compatibility. Toshiba’s efforts are on the right track to hurdle the single greatest reservation consumers have about 3D televisions: the invasive glasses. These new models are likely too small in screen size, and too expensive, to be huge sellers. It will take some time before larger screens work with the technology at reasonable distances and viewing angles at a price point mainstream gamers can accept. Yet their arrival is a good sign the consumer electronics industry admits there is an adoption problem with first-generation 3D TVs. Overall we anticipate 3D to have negligible overall impact on the video game industry in the near future.