Sony's PlayStation 3 game console will work as a Blu-ray disc player for 3-D movies and music videos, not just 3-D games, with a software update download starting Sept. 21.
The free-of-charge update for movies and other content had been promised for later this year. But the date is being moved up to ride on the momentum of 3-D popularity, Sony executive Hiroshi Kawano said at the Tokyo Game Show Thursday.
The annual event in this Tokyo suburb features game machines and the latest offerings from game-software makers. It opens over the weekend for the public. A preview event was held Thursday for reporters and business officials.
"The appeal and impact of games will be definitely enhanced with 3-D technology," Kawano said during a two-hour presentation at the Sony booth.
The 3-D capabilities for the PlayStation 3 will not be as thorough as they are for 3-D Blu-ray disc players. The game machine will have no problem playing 3-D movies, but some parts of the menu and other minor portions of some DVDs will play only in 2-D, Sony said.
Sony also showed a motion-controller wand for the PlayStation 3 called Move, similar to the one already on sale from rival Nintendo Co.'s Wii. Sony said Move will go on sale Sept. 19 in the U.S. and Oct. 21 in Japan.
A $70 "starter kit" for the Move comes with software called "Beat Sketch!" which allows people to make computer-graphic paintings on the TV screen using the motion-controller stick.
A similar kit for the U.S., with a different game, costs $99.99, and the wand by itself costs $49.99.
Move is cheaper than Microsoft's Kinect, which sells for $150 in the U.S. Kinect is a system to control gaming motion without a wand. It doesn't require the player to push any buttons, and the game is controlled by the player's movements. (Msnbc.com is a joint venture of Microsoft and NBC Universal.)
The PlayStation 3 already plays 3-D games with an upgrade that could be done over the Internet earlier this year.
Some 38 million of the PlayStation 3 video game machines have been sold globally so far, according to Sony Computer Entertainment, the Japanese electronics and entertainment company's gaming division.