Sony signs 3D video deal for 2010 World Cup

Sony signs 3D video deal for 2010 World Cup

Tokyo: The 2010 World Cup is going 3D. Sony Corp. on Friday said that it has signed a deal with FIFA, the international football governing body, to record up to 25 World Cup games in 3D, a technology that gives viewers an illusion of depth on the screen.

The Japanese electronics and entertainment company is one of several electronics makers planning or working on 3D technology for TVs and movies. Sony makes 3D capable video cameras, and plans to sell 3D TVs for homes next year.

People wear special glasses to see 3D footage because the illusion of dimension is created by sending different images to the left and the right eye, although manufacturers are working on upgrades that will show 3D without glasses.

Chief executive Howard Stringer expressed his enthusiasm for watching a soccer game in 3D in an interview this week.

“I thought that was very cool," he said at Tokyo headquarters.

Most 3D releases so far have been animation films but the feature is gradually spreading to other genres, such as the soon-to-be-released sci-fi epic ‘Avatar’.

Stringer said sports was definitely one area 3D could display its strengths.

He also said that he wanted to see ‘thoughtful’ movies someday being made in 3D. He ruled out Michael Jackson videos and the next ‘Spider-Man movie as 3D possibilities.

For now, 3D video of the World Cup in South Africa won’t be shown in TV broadcast for homes, according to Sony, which makes Bravia TVs, Walkman portable players and PlayStation3 game consoles.

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.

“It’s a great opportunity to get people to experience 3D firsthand," said Sony spokesman Atsuo Omagari.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.