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Analysis: Price Premium On 3DTVs Coming Down Fast

TVs equipped to display stereoscopic 3D images, used in many console games, are quickly coming down in relative price, and could be only $150 more than comparable 2D TVs by November, according to a new report.
The high cost of TVs equipped to show content in stereoscopic 3D has so far limited the potential audience for 3D console games. But a new report suggests the price for such TVs is coming down fast, and may be just $150 more than comparable 2D TVs by the holiday season. A price study by analysis firm Retrevo finds the cost of a 47" to 50" 3DTV currently averages roughly $400 more than a similar TV without 3D, down from a $900 premium this time a year ago. At this rate of decline, 3DTVs could be only $150 to $200 more than their standard HDTV counterparts by November, when the holiday shopping season is set to pick up. Steroscopic 3D support has been a focus for many game makers of late, with Sony in particular stressing the PS3's ability to render 3D scenes on compatible televisions. Ubisoft marketing head Murray Pannel said last year he thinks 3DTV technology could "be installed in everyone's living room in three year's time," and said the company is positioning itself to be ready for that transition. But Microsoft Game Studios corporate VP Phil Spencer said last October he felt stereoscopic 3D wasn't yet ready for the mass market, saying "it’s hard for me to see this as really being accessible.‭" A recent study of British TV owners predicted that less than half of the 11 million homes equipped with a 3DTV in 2016 will actually use the feature, which requires bulky, battery-powered glasses to experience. At last year's GDC Online, Interpret's Michael Cai presented survey data showing 69 percent of consumers considered 3DTV's cost-prohibitive, with 46 percent saying the glasses would prevent them from using the technology.

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