Port Washington, N.Y. -
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."