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Cinema PS3s to enable gaming on the big screen?

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A Sony executive’s recent comments about an upcoming installation of PlayStation 3s in cinemas across North America have fuelled speculation that the firm’s considering a wider rollout of PS3-equpped cinemas.

From next week, four US cinemas – including one in San Francisco and another in Washington – will allow, albeit for just two days, punters to play upcoming videogame Uncharted 2: Among Thieves on movie screens.

This will be made possible by connecting a PS3 into a Sony 4K digital projector, the Japanese electronics giant said.

Mike Fidler, Senior VP of Sony Electronics’ digital cinema group, told Reuters that although the installation is “the first time we’re doing it in a theatre”, the company believes PS3-fitted cinemas will become “a standard element in the movie-going experience”.

The North American installation will obviously help draw attention to Sony’s 4K digital projector range – high-end kit designed for use in cinemas.

But Fidler added that a PS3-4K projector combo will also help exhibitors find new ways of filling seats. “Gaming is an important part of that equation,” he said.

So could Blighty-based cinemas soon start offering you the chance to play Grand Theft Auto before and after films? Possibly.

A spokeswoman for Sony’s UK projector arm told Register Hardware that cinema chain Apollo will install 4K projectors in an unspecified number of venues. She also indicated that a similar deal has been struck with another UK cinema chain.

And with several high-profile games, including Fallout 3: Game of the Year edition, Pro Evolution Soccer 2010 and Tekken 6, set to launch on the PS3 in the coming months, it’s feasible that Sony may have some equally high-profile promotional launches lined-up for Blighty. ®

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