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PlayStation 3 to support 3D Blu-ray

PlayStation 3 owners will not need a new Blu-ray player to watch 3D films such as Up and Avatar, as the final specifications for 3D Blu-ray are announced

It may be the technology nobody asked for, but 3D home cinema continues to gather pace, with the news that the specification for 3D Blu-ray has been finalised. Not only will 3D Blu-ray discs be backwards-compatible, they'll even turn your existing Sony PlayStation 3 into a PlayStation 3D.

3D Blu-ray will display full high-definition 1080p video to each eye, encoded in the new Multiview Video Coding (MPEG4-MVC) codec. As this is an extension to the format supported by existing players, including the PS3, you'll be able to start buying 3D films and watch them in 2D until you get around to upgrading to a player and display with an extra dimension.

You'll not only be able to watch 3D Blu-ray discs on 3D laptops such as the Acer Aspire 5738 3D, but also watch these discs on older equipment and still get full HD, albeit in the usual two dimensions. Today's 2D Blu-rays and DVDs will also play in the new equipment.

PS3 owners, meanwhile, will only need to invest in a 3D telly or display, as 3D discs can be watched in 3D on existing consoles. Sony has been at the forefront of extra-dimensional home cinema, showing off a 3D Bravia TV earlier this year.

The Blu-ray disc association will make the spec available to manufacturers to create 3D extras for films such as Up, Bolt and My Bloody Valentine when they arrive on disc.

Meanwhile, Sky is planning a cinema advert before screenings of 3D opus Avatar, to show off its forthcoming Sky+ HD in three dimensions.