There's too much at stake in the emerging 3D market to let one company steal the spotlight, and so Sony joins Toshiba in trying to be the first (and best) to deliver 3D television sets that don't require donning a pair of special glasses.
"Seeing 3D without glasses is more convenient," Sony Senior Vice President Yoshihisa Ishida said Thursday at Tokyo headquarters. "We must take account of pricing before we can think about when to start offering them."
And therein lies the biggest hurdle. 3D technology is expensive enough as it is -- Sony just launched a line of 3D Bravia HDTVs that starts out at $3,000 (46 inches) -- and when you throw glasses-free technology into the mix, well, be prepared to get kicked in the wallet.
There's also the question of how effective this first-gen technology will be. Both Sony and Toshiba are likely to implement some kind of parallax barrier technology similar to the one being used on Nintendo's upcoming 3DS console, but they'll have to figure out how to widen the viewing angle to accommodate more than one viewer who plops himself in the sweet spot.