Sony 'predicts 2012 for 3D TV push'
By Andrew Laughlin, Technology Reporter
Sony has predicted that an "explosion" in demand for 3D home entertainment products will not happen until 2012, despite growing interest in the technology.
The firm is currently preparing to showcase its new 3D-ready TVs, Blu-ray players and other products at the Consumer Electronics Show, which gets under way in Las Vegas on January 7.
However, Sony Electronics chief marketing officer Mike Fasulo told Business Week: "We don't expect to see an explosion of 3D in the home until the 2012 time frame."
Following the success of James Cameron's film Avatar, which has generated over $640m (£396m) worldwide since its release last month, companies are now scrambling to capitalise on the emerging 3D entertainment market.
Last month, Sony's electronics rival LG set the ambitious target of selling 400,000 3D-ready TV sets around the world in 2010, rising to 3.4 million in 2011.
Despite his downbeat prediction, Fasulo stressed that Sony remains "uniquely positioned" to capitalise on the 3D entertainment market as it develops over the next few years.
Sony has predicted that 50% of its total TV shipments will be 3D-ready models by the financial year ending March 2013. It also intends to add 3D capabilities to the PlayStation 3 console and other consumer products in its range.
The firm, which recently unveiled a prototype single-lens 3D camera, has further agreed a rights deal with FIFA to capture 25 games from the 2010 World Cup using 3D techniques.
Other electronics giants, including JVC, Panasonic, Philips, Samsung and Sharp, are also expected to showcase new 3D technology at CES.
Speaking to The Independent, Corel executive vice president of products Joe Roberts said that 2010 is "poised to be a pivotal year for 3D entertainment".
He added: "Hollywood is ramping up production of 3D content, while hardware manufacturers are working to bring new 3D display technologies to market."
According to analysis firm DisplaySearch, the 3D TV market will be worth $1.1 billion in 2010, but then grow significantly to reach $15.8 billion by 2015.
UK sales of 3D-ready TV sets could be buoyed by the forthcoming launch of Sky's first dedicated 3D TV channel, which will carry selected sports and entertainment content.