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. Does it really matter though? I’ve tried out several games in 1080p on a 52″ screen including GTA4 and KZ2 and they looked exactly the same as 720p on the same screen.

    • (Even though KZ2 dosen’t say 1080p on the box, when I tried it it worked in 1080p instead of going SD like other games.)

    • Those games are 720p and not 1080p AFAIK.

      • GTA4 is actually 600-640p I don’t if the console upscales this to 720p output but I know natively its one of those sub-hd games

      • That might be true but the point is that you won’t see any difference on a 1080p tv if the game is 720p (or around that). However, you would be able to see a difference if the game was capable of 1080p.

      • Actually goiung from a HDReady TV to an FHD TV, GTA IV looked worse.

    • Your TV naturally upscales stuff anyway.

      So if its receiving native 720p and you have a 1080i TV it will upscale to 1080i and you have you have a 1080p TV it can upscale from 720p/1080i, of course upscaling isn’t the same as having 1080p as the source

      I can’t tell the difference no matter what I set things to and that go’s for my Sky+HD box which is capable of outputting at 720p or 1080i

      • Are you sure? because when I tried some games, MS:PR for example, it was in Standard Definition and not 1080p.

      • When I turned off 720p of course.

      • Pacific Rift isn’t 1080p, is it? With you switching off 720p your TV will then look downwards to the next resolution.

        cc – I don’t think the TV upscales at all, does it? The PS3 does all the upscaling (if it can on DVDs, etc). The TV will switch over to 720p or 1080p depending on what signal it receives, which the HDMI will output according to the source.

        I thought the PS3 just upscales to the resolution upwards, as such. Oh, now you have me thinking! Will check in a minute. :-)

      • Your TV will always have to scale a video mode up or down to match the panel’s native resolution if the two don’t match. Otherwise, for example, your SD channels would only display in a small rectangle in the middle of your Full HD TV’s screen.

      • I don’t know for 100% of TV models but its fair to assume that most do some sort of manipulation to the image they are receiving and output it at their resolution.

        This processing/manipulation/upscaling is obviously not as good as having the real full fat thing coming from the source whether that’s a PS3 or DVD player or whatever.

        Also this is why not all HDTVs are the same… if you buy a cheap supermarket 1080p TV it is unlikely to have the latest chipsets and best algorithms for processing the the image (along with plenty of other reasons)

        If no processing/manipulation/upscaling happened then the standard 576p TV broadcast over the airwaves would only fill half your TV screen.

        A quote from somewhere:
        “TV will actually scale whatever source it is fed to fit the screen. The quality of the scaling mechanism of an HDTV differs greatly from manufacturer to manufacturer and model to model, producing widely differing results in terms of picture quality.”

        the better the source, the less pulling/stretching of pixels needs to occur so the better the image

      • upscaling is the same as having 1080p
        at the risk of sounding rude, which isnt my intention
        it isnt im afraid, nowhere near true representation of full hd

        hold on maybe i have ocd lol

  2. It doesn’t bother me too, much the games look brilliant in 720p3D, what would be good (but not totally ideal) is if developers could outpis at 1080p48, and let the TV fill in the extra gaps, all 3DTV’s have some form of motion filling, bringing it past 60fps anyway (depending on the model).
    It would be worse if the PS3 wasn’t capable of outputting Full 3D BD’s, although now I don’t use my PS3 as a BDP anymore.
    As I said I’m fine with 720p, next gen however, I want Full3D games, which I’m sure they’ll sort out.

  3. “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”
    very good point, worried myself
    i could be wrong but gt5 is in a 3d ver & a seperate 1080p version.
    will be interesting to see what happens in future projects, but i fear the quote may come to pass

    • GT5 will be 720p in 3D, and 1080p 2D on the same disc.

      • oh :)
        then lets hope thats the way it stays for all developers

      • And thanks to Housemarque revisiting Super Stardust HD for 3D, the 2D single player mode went from an upscaled 1280x1080p60 to 1920x1080p60. And looks fabulous for it. In 720p mode it now benefits from more anti-aliasing.

        As devs push to optimise their game engines to pump out enough pixels for 3D, some of those optimisations will inevitably help the 2D versions.

      • i wonder is/will it be the same for blu-ray movies

      • that is…
        720p in 3D, and 1080p 2D on the same disc.

      • Nope, the films will be 1080p for both eyes in 3D and 1080p for 2D viewing.

      • And it is on the same disc.

  4. i didnt read through all of the comments, but if you choose to not play, say, Killzone 3 in 3D, will the 2D version support 1080p/i?

  5. i doubt i will noticed the difference in 3D

  6. these articles bring out the nerds. thats it

    • very contructive

      • constructive, before you call me illiterate aswell as a nerd
        its called passion & interest btw

      • I’ve followed the topic with interest as I have little to no understanding of this aspect of our hobby but I still laughed at Barbies comment, don’t take yourself too seriously.

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