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NPD: 3D Purchase Intent Takes A Tumble

7/27/2011 11:21:33 AM Eastern

Port Washington,
N.Y. - The NPD Group said its recent
research has found  that although more
American consumers have been exposed to 3D video at movie theaters, retail
venues, and in homes of friends and family, the overall awareness and purchase
intent for specific 3D products declined in May 2011 from last October.

Declines were
evident in all 3D product categories except for home and portable video games
consoles, NPD said.

The 3D video
gaming area showed increases since the previous wave of NPD's "3D 360-Degree
Monitor" surveys were conducted last September.

"With the run-up
to the holiday purchase season, the intent to purchase 3D televisions followed
the purchase intent to buy TVs in general," stated Ross Rubin, NPD Group
industry analysis executive director. "As NPD's sell-through data shows, sales
of 3D TVs did indeed rise during the holiday season, but they have since
receded due to the seasonality of major electronics purchases."

 "For the majority of consumers who weren't
interested in purchasing any 3D devices, glasses were the major barrier to
purchasing, surpassing price as the most frequently cited objection," NPD said.

Still, the study
found that consumers are starting to warm up to portable 3D experiences, most
of which do not require special glasses.

Portable handheld
3D video-game consoles experienced the biggest increase in consumer awareness
of any 3D category NPD tracks. The research firm attributed much of this to the
launch of the Nintendo 3DS in February.

Awareness of this
3D category rose from 5 percent last October to 13 percent in May, the study
showed.

"Growth in both
awareness and purchase intent for the 3D video-game player market is a
particular bright spot in this emerging arena," Rubin said. "The Nintendo 3DS
has a low price compared to a 3D television and doesn't require glasses to view
the effect. These advantages will also hold true for 3D smartphones entering
the market this year."

For the majority of
consumers who weren't interested in purchasing any 3D devices, glasses were the
major barrier to purchasing, surpassing price as the most frequently cited
objection.

But price was
still a growing issue, with 42 percent of consumers in May reporting that
prices were a barrier to purchasing a 3DTV, up from 38 percent last September.

"With lighter and
less-expensive active-shutter glasses, a mix of smaller displays, and the entry
of passive 3D technologies into the market, the industry is offering more 3D options
to consumers," Rubin said. "A greater array of Blu-ray titles, along with new
digital delivery alternatives, is also helping to ease the path to 3D
entertainment."

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