Here's another reason I think we'll see an iMac 3D sooner rather than later: interest in 3D gaming is strongest among early adopters and gaming enthusiasts, but a new study from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) shows that interest in 3D gaming extends to the casual video game player as well.
The "3D Gaming: Entertainment’s Next Dimension" study of online U.S. adults also found that more consumer demonstrations and education are needed before adoption can take off. Interest in a 3D gaming experience is not limited to the devoted gamer. While two-thirds (64%) of those interested in 3D gaming say they are video game enthusiasts, more than a third (35%) that showed interest are casual gamers.
No matter what their gaming level, consumers interested in 3D gaming expect 3D gaming devices coming to the market to serve as multi-media players. Most consumers expect to use their 3D gaming device to watch 3D movies (58%) and connect to the Internet (51%). Nearly half (45%) want to download games and content directly to their gaming device. Consumers also want their gaming device to have backward-compatibility with 2D content.
“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 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.”
The study also found that, like other technologies, seeing is believing when it comes to 3D gaming. A third of consumers interested in 3D gaming (32%) have seen an in-store 3D gaming display and a quarter have watched a gaming demonstration. A sizable number (21%) of interested consumers reported playing a 3D video game in the past year as well.
Avid gamers, many of whom are early tech adopters, are also more likely to purchase 3D devices in the near term. Thirty-one percent say they plan to buy a 3D-capable game console within the next year. Twenty-seven percent will buy a 3D-capable display and a quarter (24%) will purchase a portable 3D gaming device. Only 7% of casual gamers say they expect to purchase a 3D game console in the next 12 months.
“Like with 3DTV, HDTV and other innovative technologies, consumers will need to experience a 3D video game to truly appreciate the experience,” says Arnold. “Manufacturers, retailers and game publishers will have to partner to offer more demonstrations and consumer education so prospective buyers can experience gameplay and other features of a 3D gaming device.”
The study found some concerns about 3D technology among casual and avid gamers. Cost of games (69%), devices (66%) and accessories (61%) were cited as the main obstacles to adoption for casual gamers. For avid gamers, concerns about the health of their vision (33%), compatibility with the 2D content they already own (35%) and the availability of their favorite games in 3D (39%) were among the concerns.