Over the course of several CES shows and major press announcements, we have been eagerly following the PlayStation 3's future evolution into a console capable not only of 3D games, but 3D Blu-ray content. We know that the PS3 is in the official 3D Blu-ray spec, but what has been unclear to this point is when, and how, we'll get that 3D content at home.
In a recent interview, SCEA's Director of Hardware Marketing John Koller gave a few more concrete details. To nobody's surprise, 3D capability is being timed to the release of new 3D Sony Bravia televisions. That target date is summer 2010, and Koller says that a firmware update will be released then to turn all existing PS3s into 3D-capable consoles.
Koller also notes, however, that "all PS3 units that exist in homes and markets will be able to play 3D stereoscopic games as well as 3D BD movies through separate firmware upgrades--something that other platforms are unable to do." A second firmware update will handle 3D Blu-ray, although the precise details on the PS3's 3D Blu-ray capabilities are still sketchy.
Other companies, most notably Panasonic, claim HDMI 1.4 is needed for 3D Blu-ray playback at full resolution. The PS3 only has HDMI 1.3 currently, though a Sony representative at CES 2010 told CNET that 1080p to each eye will be possible via a firmware update. (See our 3D TV FAQ for more details.) We await these answers as much as you do.
Update (10 a.m. PT): This post was updated to clarify some of the details in the third and fourth paragraphs.