Much discussion has surrounded the issue of the target market for 3D gaming -- do gamers really want it? Yes, says a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association, finding that not only do hardcore early adopters want to play in 3D, but casual fans do, too.
However, the CEA's study says more proof is needed to hook consumers in the form of demonstrations and education on the value proposition.
3D's not just for gamers, either, says the CEA. 64 percent of the respondents who expressed interest in 3D are gamers, but over a third -- 35 percent -- identified as casual gaming.
These respondents all expect 3D gaming to be part of an integrated multimedia experience, news that should please Microsoft and Sony. The majority of those polled want to use their devices for 3D movies and internet connectivity, although almost half, at 45 percent, want to download games and content directly to their device. Backward compatibility with 2D content was also a common desire, according to the CEA.
"The introduction of 3D into the gaming arena has the potential to reinvigorate the gaming market by adding greater realism and fostering a more social gaming experience," says senior research analyst Ben Arnold, CEA’s senior research analyst. "As interest grows and consumers become more comfortable with the technology, 3D is poised to become the preferred format for many gamers."
31 percent of those identified as avid gamers currently plan to purchase 3D-capable game consoles, 27 percent will buy a 3D-ready TV, and a fourth will purchase "a portable 3D gaming device," presumably the Nintendo 3DS. Only seven percent of casual gamers plan to buy a 3D game console in the next year. The CEA's research asserts that these numbers could rise if more in-store and advertising demos were shown.