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Electronic Arts Korea Follows Up!

By Neil Schneider

A few weeks ago, we had the pleasure of interviewing Byun Ji Hwan, Publishing Manager for Electronic Arts Korea (EAK), and Kevin Lee (Lee Kyung Sik), Vice President of the Visual Display Division for Samsung regarding a press release about their joint collaboration on the new Samsung Plasma 3D HDTV. Since then, our members have asked a slew of follow-up questions.

EAK and Samsung are back to collect, and there were more than enough questions to answer. To make things easier, the interview was divided into two parts. The first part with Electronic Arts Korea today, and the second part with Samsung tomorrow. There was a bit of a language barrier so some of the answers didn’t quite fit the question, but the core messages are all there.

Before reading through the follow-up questions, read through the first interview HERE. Remember, all follow-up questions posted are from MTBS members and were sourced from HERE. I apologize if we couldn’t get all the questions answered.

1. Will I have a choice of using XP or Vista with your games in stereoscopic 3D (S-3D)?

EAK: No matter what operating system you choose, XP or Vista, you can enjoy games in S-3D. However, you can be sure that games with the Vista certification logo will also provide best results using the Windows XP system.

2. How do you see your games working with consoles? Will it be implemented in the consoles natively, or do you see a console to HDTV 2D/3D conversion algorithm (e.g. like converting a 2D movie to 3D on the fly but with video games)?

EAK: It doesn’t have any algorithm in the game itself. So far algorithm is realized by S-3D chipsets in PDP and is only available for the PC. EA Korea has had a good start with Samsung’s S-3D TV, and will help to look further into extending this to consoles. This will warrant internal discussion with the global development team.

3. In my eyes, consoles should be a prime target for a combined Samsung/EA marketing campaign as nearly all consoles are connected to a TV whereas very few PC’s are part of the living room. Does EA have a program in place, similar to TWIMTBP at NVIDIA, but targeted towards the console market?

EAK: Yes, Samsung has already started talking to NVIDIA about collaborations between the two entities. EA doesn’t have any plans on this front yet.

4. 2D/3D conversion doesn’t always look good. Do you see a risk of this harming the success of S-3D because of a bad first impression?

EAK: We can’t comment on this but if you watch EA games through the S-3D, I am sure that you would be mesmerized by the expression, distance, color penetration, and the perspective.

5. Will I be able to adjust the separation and convergence of the stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) settings according to my taste?

EAK: No, it is not possible to adjust the separation and convergence of the S-3D. Systematically, EA games do not allow you to adjust 3D-settings as of the moment, and I don’t see much chance of it happening anytime soon. In the near future, given that EA will collaborate with Samsung more closely, I think it could be possible.

6. Many of the older titles from EA are even better in S-3D than they were the first time. Will we be seeing anniversary packs, or free patches with some still commercially viable games?

EAK: I think you are suggesting a marketing big idea and we really appreciate it. You are absolutely right; many of the older titles from EA would also be better played in S-3D. This is something that EA Korea will certainly consider.

7. Are EA games developed or tested in stereoscopic 3D on more than one solution?

EAK: We have different methodologies to maximize testing solutions. As of the moment, EA Korea is collaborating with Samsung’s 3D PDP division to utilize the testing solutions. This will be defined on a single solution testing.

8. Are all future EA games S-3D ready?

EAK: Technically all of EA games can be converged into S-3D solution with specific tests.

9. Are any games specially designed for S-3D?

EAK: Not in the true sense of the word but EA constantly strives to deliver the best quality in its products. Crysis, The Sims 2, Tiger Woods PGA Tour 08, and Need for Speed Pro Street have proved to be perfect examples in this case.

10. Are you able to retain some type of quality control over how your products appear in S-3D? For example, is Crytek involved at all in the process of converting Crysis, or is it strictly a post-production effort?

EAK: Samsung has been working on the conversion stage of this project.

11. The industry is banking on the content developers to follow some type of guideline when programming their games to ensure stereoscopic 3D compatibility. MTBS has put a lot of time and effort into developing just such a guide - can you promote this to your internal teams?

EAK: Yes, this is possible and something that EA Korea will consider but warrants further discussions internally with development teams.

12. Has EA explored the option of creating the stereo pair at the game engine level versus relying on external third party drivers? Can you see yourself selling an update patch to implement this?

EAK: We don’t have any plans on this yet but it is a possibility.

13. Are these EA games MTBS certified? If not, why not? It is free and good marketing.

EAK: We still haven’t had the chance to review the guidelines of MTBS yet. This is an area EA Korea hopes to look into and will have to explore internally with our development team first.

14. Do you think the 2D gamers will complain about S-3D support because its superior game immersion may bring an advantage in multiplayer games?

EAK: EA focuses on providing the best gaming experience to our users while embracing technological innovations such as S3-D technology.

Special thanks go to Electronic Arts Korea for making a second appearance and spending the time to answer MTBS member questions. Samsung will be making their follow-up appearance tomorrow. Post your thoughts HERE.