Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

Dec
02

Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

sony playstation 3d display front 570x378 Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

Sony’s persistent mission to capture a larger 3D audience continues with the recent release of the Playstation 3D Display, but don’t let the name mislead you. Sony’s new 24” display is compatible with your Xbox 360 or PC, and serves up a few unique features worthy of your attention.

inputs 300x118 Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

Inputs are limited to 1 Component and 2 HDMI ports

In fact, “display” is an important word to consider before purchasing. Sony is marketing the hardware as more of a secondary TV than a desktop monitor, and indeed it treads the line between both. It offers a barebones array of inputs by modern standards, outfitted with one component input, two HDMI ports, and a headphone jack. In our office environment it’s a perfect fit, with PC and PS3 connected via HDMI and Xbox 360 connected through component cables – though it warrants mention that there are no VGA or DVI options. It may present restrictions in a living room setup, however, as it lacks a digital tuner and a traditional cable input.

The designers at Sony are known for producing sleek, sexy hardware, and the Playstation 3D Display is no exception. It’s probably no accident that its rounded edges and general form factor will immediately remind you of a PSP, and the build quality is fantastic; its first impression on you will produce a wide smile.

Setup is a breeze, with a wide, sturdy stand that locks into place and provides 10 degrees of rotation for finding that sweet 3D spot. Speaking of 3D, the only barriers to diving in are a 30 minute wait for the included 3D glasses to fully charge, and a quick tweak to your XMB display settings. Sony has included an HDMI cable (something a default PS3 doesn’t even ship with) and a copy of the thrilling Motorstorm Apocalypse, so it’s a complete 3D-ready package out of the box.

The 24” 240 Hz LCD display itself is stunning at 1920×1080, with true 1080p output. The color balance is exceptional, and the picture is so crisp and lifelike that all of our current flatscreen and laptop monitors look dully and dingy by comparison. Viewing is less ideal near sunlight or in brightly list rooms due to the glossy screen, but it has officially become our main viewing preference for both work and play.

Of course, a large percentage of what you’re paying for is the 3D experience, and we tested Sony’s display with a variety of products, including the Motorstorm Apocalypse pack-in, Uncharted 3, Gran Turismo 5, Killzone 3, and Tekken Hybrid, as well as various 3D films. As a product designed to further evangelize 3D, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the results were mostly excellent; subpar experiences should be chalked up to the software programmers and not to this display. We were least underwhelmed with Gran Turismo 5, as it exhibited a bit of ghosting and the 3D effect seemed artificial. The included Motorstorm Apocalypse is plenty entertaining, especially with the destruction spitting out of the screen. But if Sony wants to preach the gospel of 3D, they should have included Uncharted 3 in the box; it is a stunner in the 3D realm and a showcase for how to properly experience a 3D game – the effect is non-intrusive, and done in such a way that the technology takes a back seat to immersion.

simul view big Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

A visual representation of how SimulView works

Sadly, Uncharted 3 lacks support for SimulView, one of the display’s distinguishing features. In a nutshell, SimulView allows 2 players who are wearing 3D glasses to enjoy a full-screen experience while playing in split-screen mode, but only a handful of PS3 titles utilize it (GT5, Killzone 3, Motorstorm). This wouldn’t be so disappointing if SimulView didn’t work like magic. Certainly no one wants to share half of a 24” screen, but it’s a killer feature for students in college dorms, or people using this in their primary play space. Here’s to hoping Sony continues to support this option in their first-party games.

3d glasses 300x154 Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

The included 3D glasses are universal, and should work with most other 3D televisions

When 3D works best, it’s unobtrusive and augments your viewing experience. In that best-case scenario, the only thing serving as a reminder is Sony’s included 3D glasses (MSRP $69.99). On the plus side, they’re mostly universal and work with a slew of other 3D-compatible televisions. On the negative side, they aren’t adjustable and folks with larger heads may feel some discomfort. Their sturdiness also means that earbuds are preferable to full-sized headphones.

Speaking of sound, Sony boasts the inclusion of a subwoofer, but its impact is negligible and doesn’t add a significant amount of bass. At lower levels the volume is crisp and sounds are crystal clear, but it distorts quickly at higher volumes. The overall audio quality is certainly acceptable and better than most monitors, but when consumers hear “subwoofer” they’re probably inclined to think of the exceptional Bravia subwoofer, not the underwhelming one present here.

The following may seem nitpicky, but this unit should ship with a discrete remote control. The menu buttons are on the back right side of the display, and while we appreciate that they’re not visible, it’s also difficult to manage switching inputs and various settings without memorizing where the buttons are. Onscreen cues are visible when they’re activated, but at a $499 price-point, we expect convenience and ease of use.

All told, Sony’s Playstation 3D Display is an outstanding piece of tech, versatile enough for a variety of uses and certainly dazzling enough to make a positive impression. Its price point, however, (currently $499) demands adoption only by a niche audience – 3D enthusiasts – but that audience shouldn’t hesitate to pick it up if they want a small form-factor 3D solution, and a stunning monitor.

  • Release Date: November 2011
  • Genre: 3D, Displays, Hardware, Tech
  • Platform: PC, PlayStation 3, TV, Xbox 360
  • Developer: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • Publisher: Sony Computer Entertainment
  • ESRB Rating: T
  • MSRP: $399.99

Our Score: 4/5

81 f0yWDOL. AA1500  570x323 Hardware Review: Playstation 3D Display

*Review statement: A review unit was provided to VGW by Sony.

About Jason Evangelho

Jason is VGW’s founder, publisher, and longtime podcaster, writer, and “solopreneur” who is driven by the classic Jello Biafra quote “Don’t hate the media. Become the media.” You can hear him ranting alongside the VGW Collective in the site’s official podcast, “Unlimited Ammo.”

18 Comments

  • Imperator
    Dec 3, 2011 @ 2:30 am

    Did you experience severe black bleeding with your unit.  At times (especially in pc games) the black will leave very noticeable trails when moving to other parts of the screen.  This is minimized by cycling the 3d modes. 

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      Dec 3, 2011 @ 11:19 am

      That didn’t happen in our experience, and we tested out a few PC games during our review, but thanks for the tip. If any of our readers experience this we’ll point them to your comment.

      Reply
  • Imperator
    Dec 3, 2011 @ 2:30 am

    Did you experience severe black bleeding with your unit.  At times (especially in pc games) the black will leave very noticeable trails when moving to other parts of the screen.  This is minimized by cycling the 3d modes. 

    Reply
    • Anonymous
      Dec 3, 2011 @ 11:19 am

      That didn’t happen in our experience, and we tested out a few PC games during our review, but thanks for the tip. If any of our readers experience this we’ll point them to your comment.

      Reply
  • Curious
    Dec 8, 2011 @ 18:44 pm

    You didn’t notice any ghosting in uncharted 3? If not, what settings did you use?

    Reply
  • Curious
    Dec 8, 2011 @ 18:44 pm

    You didn’t notice any ghosting in uncharted 3? If not, what settings did you use?

    Reply
  • Bwinsky
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    Has anybody tried hooking up the monitor to a cablebox and viewing 3d there? It works well with the side by side format, but I can not seem to get the monitor to go into 3d mode with over/under or top/bottom content. I took the monitor back and got another one and it did not go into 3d mode for top/ bottom either.

    Reply
    • Dec 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am

      Are you talking about SimulView? Do you have your cablebox hooked up to your display via HDMI?

      Reply
  • Bwinsky
    Dec 11, 2011 @ 9:31 am

    Has anybody tried hooking up the monitor to a cablebox and viewing 3d there? It works well with the side by side format, but I can not seem to get the monitor to go into 3d mode with over/under or top/bottom content. I took the monitor back and got another one and it did not go into 3d mode for top/ bottom either.

    Reply
    • Dec 11, 2011 @ 9:38 am

      Are you talking about SimulView? Do you have your cablebox hooked up to your display via HDMI?

      Reply
  • Slash
    Dec 15, 2011 @ 15:50 pm

    Can you turn off the 3d and play regular games like MW3 and watch regular tv?

    Reply
    • Dec 15, 2011 @ 16:14 pm

      You definitely can, Slash. 3D is activated automatically based on your game settings. If there is no 3D signal, it automatically defaults to regular viewing…or there is a 3D button on the back of the unit. Really simple to switch back and forth. 

      Reply
  • Marlin
    Feb 4, 2012 @ 21:09 pm

    Can you use an xbox 360 with hdmi?

    Reply
    • Jason Evangelho
      Feb 4, 2012 @ 21:46 pm

      Indeed you can, it was part of my testing.

      Reply
      • Raphael Lucena
        Mar 9, 2012 @ 22:20 pm

        I have been trying to do that and my Sony display can only see the 360 in component, not in HDMI… Help me please!

        Reply
        • Mar 10, 2012 @ 6:27 am

          Try a different HDMI port, or make sure the correct input (HDMI 1, HDMI 2) is selected on your display? Ours was instantly recognized via HDMI. You might also connect it via component and then go into your 360 dash system settings, and make sure it’s set to allow 720p and HD? Just guessing here. I’m sure a quick call to sony tech support would solve the problem, they’re good people over there.

          Reply
          • Raphael Lucena
            Mar 10, 2012 @ 6:38 am

            I tried everything, but unfortunately it seems that when you connect via HDMI, the 360 kicks in a different set of options for it, so if you have 1080i component, it might be different under HDMI.

  • joshua
    Mar 1, 2012 @ 9:56 am

    do it have close cap setting?

    Reply

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