There's nothing better than gorgeous 1080p high definition for games or movies. …well, perhaps maybe engaging 3D in 720p?
For the most part, that will be the trade-off, according to what a Sony representative said during this past week's Develop conference . The "official guidelines" for 3D games on the PS3 set the resolution to 720p; even if a game runs natively in 1080p, it will be downscaled in 3D mode for two 720p images, "one for each eye." Sony's Simon Benson did confirm that the PS3 is capable of displaying a 1080p 3D image (it would have to, if 1080p Blu-Ray movies are going 3D), but keeping that maxed resolution for games comes at the expense of the much-desired 60 frames per second, which is available at 720p. For the record, Blu-Ray movies run at 24 frames per second. So although "a more cinematic game" might work well with a lower frame rate at 1080p 3D, for the most part, 720p will be the standard for high-definition 3D interactive entertainment. But here's the good news: Benson says that in 3D, "even trained computer graphics artists could barely tell the difference between the resolutions."
I can imagine it'd be difficult to pick out resolution differences when immersed in 3D. And of course, most games don't play natively in 108p, anyway, although that might change in the future.