While Microsoft has taken a rather hardline stance on establishing the Xbox One as a multimedia box for movies, games and every other type of media content under the sun, Sony has, for the most part, taken an altogether more opposite approach with the PS4 — which is something signified by the company’s gaming-focused ‘#4ThePlayers’ promotional campaign.
However, imbued by rentable and purchasable titles from studios like the PS4 maker’s own Sony Pictures and apps like Netflix that their new console launched with, the PS4’s movie watching potential has been quietly bubbling under the surface like the understated flavouring on a big bag of movie theatre popcorn.
Sony does appear to have had a slight change of heart though, with this year’s E3 presentation noting exclusive PSN TV shows such as Powers as well as the YouTube app that will soon come to PS4 bringing with it both movies and TV shows posted to the video uploading site via official, handycam or DVR-recorded means. They’re now even going one step further by announcing that support for 3D Blu-Ray will be the standout feature of the next PS4 firmware update.
Announced by the official PlayStation Twitter account, that 3D Blu-Ray support is set to become available with the PS4’s 1.75 update that launches next week, following update 1.74 that was released yesterday bringing with it a set of hardly headline worthy stability updates. Teased by EU PSBlog Manager Fred Dutton earlier this week, the 3D Blu-Ray support isn’t quite the big feature that people were prepared to get excited about but it’s still incredibly important for Sony nonetheless.
This is mostly down to the PS4’s ongoing sales battle with the Xbox One. While Sony’s machine does beat Microsoft’s in terms of sales figures, the Xbox One recently got 3D Blu-Ray support of its own, further helping it establish its multimedia approach that was so polarising back when the console was announced in May of last year. Furthermore, it also means that the two companies are relatively even in the Blu-Ray feud they’ve had going on since the PS3’s launch as Sony advocated for their own Blu-Ray technology whilst Microsoft released the Xbox 360 HD-DVD drive before that was discontinued and HD-DVDs were shuttled off to the glue factory along with floppy disks and UMDs.
Gaming politics aside, though, now that the consoles will be on level, 3D-supporting par, it would be interesting to see how Sony and Microsoft push to take this further than 3D movies. Could this be a worthy incentive for developers to put together multi-platform games with ‘3D visuals’ as a back of the box feature rather than a hopeful gimmick? Or will the lack of even the tiniest uptick in 3D TV sales force the feature out of our minds, save for the times we want to rewatch Avatar? The answers to those are anyone’s guess, but at least from next week and onwards the technology will be there.