Despite the push on PlayStation 3, stereoscopic 3D — which traditionally uses 3D glasses to filter offset images to each of the viewer's eyes — is "not a focus" for the PlayStation 4, Sony Worldwide Studios president Shuhei Yoshida told a panel of journalists last week, adding that 3D "was a big thing a couple years ago."
"We made [3D] a big thing, because it was led by [the] consumer electronics side of Sony," Yoshida said. "Now the consumer electronics side of Sony, and all the companies have shifted focus from 3D TVs to something else. So, they're not talking about it. Why are we?"
But that doesn't mean that 3D was an unwelcome feature on PlayStation 3 or that it won't be on PlayStation 4. "We liked what we can do on the PS3 with stereoscopic 3D," Yoshida said. "So if we can do it, let's do it."
Though 3D isn't a "focus" for the company's new console, it is supported and, thanks to the increased graphical capabilities of the PS4, should outperform the PS3. " But [the PlayStation 4] does do better because the basic capabilities are higher. More games will run at 1080p 60 frames, so it's [an] easier and better experience when you watch on a 3D TV."
"Vertical integration" has long been the name of the game at Sony, meaning that the company's various business units were used to leverage each other. When Sony needed to sell 3D televisions, the PlayStation 3 was there to help realize that goal. The PlayStation 3 was famously used to accelerate the adoption of the Blu-ray optical disc format, whose presence in the PS3 helped it defeat would-be alternative HD DVD. The PS4, at least at this stage, seems more acutely focused on gaming than vertical integration with Sony's consumer electronics arm.
At this year's Consumer Electronics Show, Sony promoted a new line of 4K televisions, which output roughly 4,000 vertical lines of resolution, leading to an approximately 400% increase in pixels compared to 1080p. While that is a focus for the consumer electronics side of the company, 4K isn't a focus for the PlayStation 4 which will support the high resolution for "personal content" like photos and home videos but not for games.