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Interview: Ubisoft On 3DS As 'Revelation' For In-Home 3D
Interview: Ubisoft On 3DS As 'Revelation' For In-Home 3D
March 28, 2011 | By Leigh Alexander

Ubisoft is the third-party publisher with the most launch titles for Nintendo's brand-new 3DS, with four on shelves already and two more on the way -- six in the first three weeks.

"We have a very good relationship with Nintendo; they're a very creative company and we like to think that we are too," Ubisoft SVP of sales and marketing Tony Key tells Gamasutra. Ubisoft also strongly supported the launch of the Wii, and enjoyed a long stint as the platform's top third-party.

"We also were the number one third-party publisher overall for the DS, and we're the number one publisher for Kinect right now, too," Key points out. A key component of the publisher's strategy has been supporting tech innovations.

"Our studios love working with new technology, and Nintendo does such a good job of bringing new ideas through hardware," Key says. "We've always been on the same page that way."

Key won't specify just how much prep time Ubisoft had with prototype hardware: "We've been working on 3DS games for a while; the fact that we have more games than everyone else probably suggests we've had it longer than anyone else," he says.

The company also seems to believe the 3DS launch will have bigger implications for the future of 3D in the entertainment marketplace overall. "This piece of hardware is a breakthrough for 3D gaming in general -- 3D without the glasses in a machine that's going to sell millions of units," Key suggests.

3D gaming initiatives have long been important to Ubisoft; they developed the unique "Player Projection Technology" addition to Kinect that allows users to project their own images into games like Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, and last year's game based on James Cameron's Avatar was 3D-enabled with glasses.

"Most of our next-gen games are supporting 3D technology going forward, and this 3DS is just another example," says Key. "This introduces millions of consumers to 3D gaming like nothing ever has before. A lot of people have 3D TVs, but they don't even have the glasses yet. 3D-enabled TVs are being sold now, if you're going to buy a big new TV now, you might say, 'sure i'll get it with the 3D', because someday people might want to use that."

"The result is most consumers have never really had an in-home 3D experience. [The 3DS is] going to expose people to 3D and show them what they're missing in a lot of ways," Key adds.

"It will open their eyes to it, but what will really drive adoption is that plus content and the content needs to come," he says. "As the content catches up with the technology, people are going to want it more and more. The 3DS changes the landscape; it's going to be a revelation for so many people."

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Phil Nolan
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I just hope we don't start seeing a million "poke your eye out" effects in games. It's bad enough when movies do it.

Eric Geer
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Though the way the 3DS works..its not so much poke your eye out..but rather adding depth to the game--which I really like. Definitely not a fan of the poke your eye out effect.

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So first Nintendo gave us a "revolution" and now a "revelation" I just can't wait to see one in action. I hear that all of the Best Buy's have the Kiosk. I live so far from my local one and haven't been there in a long while. I was kinda hoping that they would have them at Walmart because it is closer to my living area.

My guess is that Ubi is betting that the inclusion of the 3DS in the living household will lead to bigger buy-in purchases of things that can produce 3D content, i.e. 3D TV's, Blu Ray devices, IMAX movie tickets. I however think that it will not play that much in the factor of such purchases of 'other' devices. The biggest problem in the procurement of those devices are expense. I don't know if other companies will "follow" Nintendo into this 3D without glasses space either, but it would be foolish not to try sooner than later.