PS3’s 3D Capped At 720p?

News emerging from Develop just now is that the PlayStation 3’s visuals will be capped at 720p when running any 3D games – we’ve long since suspected this but it’s interesting to have it confirmed as that puts an end to things like native 1080p 3D versions of Wipeout HD.

Early adopters to the brand new technology won’t be missing too much, though – the number of games that run at the ‘full HD’ resolution of 1080p are few and far between – what worries me more is whether developers who are working on 3D versions of their upcoming games will foresake 1080p entirely just for the sake of it.


Regardless, word from the conference suggests the games Sony does have up and running in 3D, including the likes of Gran Turismo 5, are stunning.  Our man Raen is down at the show, trading business cards, ignoring the guys from Relentless and eating free food.

Anyone interested in reading more about how the PS3 outputs 3D for its games should read our full report.



  1. What conference is this?

  2. Just as well, this console generation isn’t really capable of 1080p anyway outside of some PSN titles

    • It is capable, but there a limiting factors… sometimes the developers are fine with 720p and don’t think about optimizing it, or developers want a game that runs at 720p and 60fps instead of 1080p and 30fps. Or the most common thing is that the developers cram so much details in that the graphics can’t be higher cause the RSX would be overheating to give a decent framerate. uncharted 2 is a good example for this (but it does look great in 720p anyway).

      But back to topic. That the PS3 3D games won’t support 1080p is old news. Since E3 it was pretty obvious that HDMI 1.3 and the graphicscard of the PS3 limits 3D-games to 720p.
      But what i don’t understand is how the PS3 will be able to play 3D blu-rays. cause they will need support for [email protected] playback…

      • No, Blu-ray 3D is 1080p24 (1080p48 counting both channels) which the PS3 can handle, not 1080p60.

      • ok… i forgot about the old: ’24 frames is enough for you’ cinema rule. which i think is VERY dated… i hope this will change sometime. i hate it when long cameraviews are stuttering over the screen.

      • More recent TVs will quite likely have a option that ‘smooths’ the motion of the 24Hz cinema mode.

    • Yep, I have to agree with cc.

      I remember before the PS3 release, Sony talking about how superior the PS3 was going to be with its 1080P games.

      Well 3 years on and only a tiny percentage of games actually run in 1080P, most are only 30 Hz.

      I challenge anyone to name 10 PS3 games that run in 1080P 60hz native.

  3. 3D will come into its own by the next generation of consoles, just like how console online gaming spluttered during PS2/XBOX than become much better for 360/PS3

    • i agree. the above article isnt surprising anyway considering 99% of ps3 titles cant do 1080p without 3d anyway. and take into account hdmi 1.3 … 1080p 3d for ps3 doesnt even come into question.

  4. I can’t remember which was the last game I bought that ran at 1080p, it’s a rare event.
    Will Blu-ray 3D movies be 1080p?

    • Yep.

    • Its generally the 2D games, many of which populate both online stores. However WipEout HD was a 1080p success and apparently Polyphony Digital have somehow got GT5 running at 1080p (AFAIK)

    • I remember playing GT5 Prologue at 1080p and Wipeout HD… a few PSN games… and burnout paradise that ran at 1080i, so ‘no real’ full hd.

      • Rrrrrrrrridge Racer is 1080p. Smooth as butter but not that good really if I’m being honest.

  5. Isn’t this a hardware limitation, though?
    The PS3’s 3D output is capped at 24Hz/eye when doing 1080p, but can handle 720p at 60Hz/eye no problem. And when was the last time you heard of a game running at 24FpS?

    Simply, it’s not a big deal because the PS3 can’t hack it, and even if it could output 1080p at 30Hz per eye, only a small teensy tiny handful of games would be able to even vaguely approach that.

    • now that i think about all this… the PS3 puts out a datastream of a maximum [email protected]… why do i need a TV that supports 120Hz if the picture is just half of that anyway?

      • Why might a 120Hz TV be better than an otherwise identical 60Hz?

        a) The TV can interpolate pixel positions between ‘real’ frames to produce intermediate frames for smoother on-screen motion. Early LCDs and Plasmas were known for their juddering motion.

        b) If you’re playing back 1080p24 video you will get better playback as 120 can be divided by 24 and give a whole number, 5. This means each of the 24 ‘film’ frames is displayed for 5 ‘TV’ frames. On a 60Hz TV each ‘film’ frame is not displayed for the same number of ‘TV’ frames (i.e., a different amount of time).

        c) Other reasons I can’t remember right now.

      • Well, if you’re running in 3D, you can show each frame twice for each eye, which reduces the flickering (which can cause headaches).

    • @teflon 1080p48 for 3D Blu-ray

  6. come on, they have to leave something for next generation, right? 720p should be fine until then. i’m sure i won’t be complaining when I finally have the money to buy a 3d tv

  7. ‘ignoring the guys from Relentless’

    why? Brighton-developers ftw

  8. My TV is only 720p/1080i so when I finally upgrade to a 3D one, I doubt I’ll notice anyway

    • Mines the same. I like the 1080i in films and the XMB, but for games I’m not bothered. You don’t miss what you didn’t have.

  9. So is there any point to buying a 3DHD TV then if it will only be 720p for gaming?

    • The vast majority of your gaming is at 720p anyway, so the point of buying a 3D TV would be to have 3D. And the 3D TV will likely be Full HD (1080p) for 2D still so you wouldn’t lose anything.

      • My TV only outputs 720p/1080i. Is there a noticeable difference between that and full HD? Is it worth the upgrade. It’s only a 26″ tv so not sure how much I’m missing.

      • You may find that while your TV will accept 720p or 1080i the resolution of the LCD panel possibly only supports 720p (probably actually 1366 x 768) and scales to that resolution. Unless you sit really close you will probably not see much difference between 720/1080 on a 26″ screen.

        P.S. How’d you get on with L4D2?

      • For BD movies there is a noticable difference, however, as Watchful wrote, the majority of games are 720p so if it’s only for games then I wouldn’t bother if I were you. I would wait for a 3DTV.

      • Think I’ll just stick with my 720p/1080i tv just now. Have to wait until my kids eyes are old enough for 3d before getting one of those and can’t justify the outlay for the meagre amount of blurays I watch. Hi Watchful, thanks for L4D2 and it just showed me how pitiful I am at those games and how much my oldest son can whip my ass at computer games nowadays. God, I feel old.

      • My tv is the same – 26″ 720p/1080i. At that size, 720p isn’t really any different from 1080p. I’d only upgrade if it was over 32″.

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