Sony said Friday it has signed a deal with FIFA, the international football governing body, to record up to 25 World Cup games in 3-D - a technology that gives viewers an illusion of depth on the screen.
FIFA is to produce the world?s first FIFA World Cup in 3D. Up to 25 of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa matches will be produced using Sony?s 3D professional cameras.
"Global sporting events such as the FIFA World Cup are very important drivers of new technology, particularly in the TV market," explained Tom Morrod, Senior Analyst, TV Technology at Screen Digest. "The news that the FIFA World Cup will be filmed in 3D for the first time will certainly increase the uptake rate of 3D TVs in the home and develop the installed base earlier than would otherwise have been the case. As a result of this news, and an increasingly bullish industry outlook on 3D, Screen Digest has increased its forecast, and now estimates that 13.6m 3D TV sets will be installed in Europe by 2013."
"3D will undoubtedly transform the way we enjoy content in the living room," said Fujio Nishida, President of Sony Europe. "At Sony, the 3D entertainment experience will not only focus on the 3D TV alone, but from 2010 will also encompass a range of 3D compatible products such as Blu-ray Disc players, VAIO notebook computers and PlayStation 3. During June and July 2010 we will provide our European consumers with the most compelling 3D content to enjoy and experience first-hand, for example at the FIFA International Fan Fests."
Sony plans to focus on 3-D products
and services the following years, in an effort to become a leader in the next generation 3D TV and gaming businesses, according to Sony Chief Executive Howard Stringer. The company plans to focus on developing content and hardware for the 3D television, games and Blu-ray disc player market. 3-D products are expected to launch in the fiscal year through March 2011.
For now, 3-D video of the World Cup in South Africa won't be shown in TV broadcast for homes, according to Sony. They will be shown at Sony booths at FIFA events in Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio de Janeiro, Rome and Sydney in June and July. Highlights will be shown in Sony showrooms, and a video version will be sold through Sony Pictures.
During the 2010 FIFA World Cup, FIFA will host the "International FIFA Fan Fest" public viewing events in 7 cities around the world (Berlin, London, Mexico City, Paris, Rio De Janeiro, Rome, and Sydney). At Sony?s commercial displays located within the "Fan Fest," people will be able to enjoy and experience promotional highlight trailers of the FIFA World Cup in 3D.
In anticipation of the Official 3D Film, viewers will be able to watch promotional trailers for the film of the World Cup in 3D at retail outlets (including Sony stores) that sell Sony products around the world.
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment also plans to produce and distribute the Official 3D Film on the Blu-ray Disc and other formats. Notice that the 3D specification of BD is under consideration by the BDA (Blu-ray Disc Association).