Sony Exec: YouTube Will Go 3-D on the PS3

YouTube (s GOOG) will offer 3-D video content on the PlayStation 3 in the next 12 months, according to one Sony exec. While talking about PlayStation’s 3-D future, Sony (s SNE) studio director Mick Hocking said an upcoming firmware update to the PS3 would enable the game console to support 3-D YouTube streams.

Last year, it was reported that a YouTube developer was working on a stereoscopic 3-D player as a side project, but a full implementation of 3-D video on the video share site — which presumably would include some premium content — will be supported on the PS3 sometime over the next 12 months, according to Hocking.

“ has had 3-D functionality for more than a year now, so pushing this out to other devices would be a natural progression,” a YouTube spokesperson said in a phone interview.

Sony’s games division is betting big on 3-D, adding the ability for users to play 3-D games as well as watch 3-D Blu-ray discs and connect to 3-D web video content on its PlayStation 3 gaming console. Earlier this year, Sony did a firmware update making the PS3 HDMI 1.4-compatible, allowing any of its users to play 3-D games by connecting the console to 3-D-enabled televisions. And to give those users with PS3s and 3-D TV sets something to play, Sony launched four titles in 3-D, which is (ARE?) also bundled with 3-D-enabled Bravia TVs.

But Sony isn’t stopping there; according to Hocking, the consumer electronics manufacturer will launch another firmware update that will enable users to watch Blu-ray discs in 3-D. And later in the year, the PS3 will support 3-D photos and 3-D broadcasts through yet another firmware update. That will allow users to look at their own photos and videos shot in 3-D, as well as live 3-D video through Sony’s Play TV receiver and DVR.

For its part, Sony is hoping that its 3-D push with the PlayStation 3 will help drive 3-D adoption in other parts of its business. With more than 35 million PS3 units sold, the new firmware updates gives Sony a solid install base from which to push consumer interest that could increase sales of its Bravia 3-D-enabled TVs, 3-D games or even 3-D Blu-ray discs.

Related content on GigaOM Pro: Are We Putting the 3-D Cart Before the Horse? (subscription required)