Although Electronic Arts CEO John Riccitiello believes 3D gaming "is a truly wonderful thing," he doesn't think that it will make a real impact on the industry until 2011 or 2012.
"I think before you see a revolution, you have to have an army," Riccitiello told Industry Gamers in a recent interview. "And right now, there's like 12 people in America with 3D television sets. And they're not exactly an army."
Riccitiello, who recently had the chance to play a 3D game EA has slated for release in its 2012 fiscal year, said the game, thanks to the 3D, is "unbelievably cool." But with 3D gaming garnering so much attention in the run up to E3, he's concerned "that some game companies will put out poorly authored 3D content" this year to capitalize on the craze. And poor 3D content, Riccitiello contends, causes "a new kind of headache that you haven't ever experienced."
The biggest hurdle facing 3D gaming right now, according to Riccitiello, is the aforementioned lack of 3D technology in the wild. But with Sony and Samsung doubling down on the technology, the EA CEO believes that consumers will start adopting 3D television sets "in large numbers" over the next few years. When that happens, game developers will finally have the technology in consumer homes that they need to capitalize on 3D gaming.
"I think that over time, probably in the course of 2011, 2012, the strongest publishers will author some great content," Riccitiello told Industry Gamers. "The installed base will be there, and there will be a good positive growth spurt. I just don't think it will be this year."
Whether or not Riccitiello's predictions come true remains to be seen. But at least one company, Nintendo, isn't willing to wait. The hardware company plans to unveil details on its recently announced 3DS hand held at E3. The device will allow gamers to play 3D titles from the hand held.
Riccitiello couldn't comment much on the 3DS, but did say that "it's cool."