Sony Corp rolls out its 3D product range in the U.K. tomorrow (June 11) with TVs, Blu-ray players, PlayStation 3 games and movies in the 3D format going on sale in almost 600 outlets.

Sony Corp is uniquely placed to provide access to 3D content: it sells home entertainment hardware, provides professional services for 3D filming and has the music, gaming and movie repertoire.

Naturally, Sony Music can see the potential for repertoire - new and old - that 3D can offer in terms of engaging with the audience. "Waka Waka (This Time For Africa)" by Shakira featuring Freshlyground is the first 3D music video the major has unveiled. The official 2010 FIFA World Cup song was launched in South Africa yesterday (June 9).

"She [Shakira] is excited and thrilled about what it [3D] means for her and for [other] artists," said Paul Bursche, Sony Music U.K. communications director, at Sony Corp's launch in London today (June 10).

Sony Music clearly believes there is strong potential for its repertoire and Bursche revealed plans to "bring our incredible catalog to life" in 3D. He mentioned a plan for a Jimi Hendrix live release as well the prospect of classic music videos being remastered for 3D.

"We are hugely interested in 3D, primarily as another way for artists to connect to audiences," said Bursche.

He added that Sony Music's access to its artists will enable quick turnarounds for the creation of 3D content, and it will liaise with the Sony group in how best to distribute that content and reach audiences.

3D R&B Masterclass

Sony Music has also been sending music video directors on 3D training course and Bursche says the major has been busy "increasing artist awareness" of 3D and reported "positive feedback from the artist community." And he raised the possibility of an unidentified "R&B superstar" filming a 3D masterclass for commercial release that will "truly excite this artist's fans."

At this stage, 3D Blu-ray DVDs and games will be leading the Sony release schedule. Sony Pictures' release "Cloud with a Chance of Meatballs" is being bundled with Sony 3D hardware from tomorrow.

Music releases are yet to be confirmed while the market is in its infancy, but it is likely that music repertoire will be available on Sky 3D when the U.K. channel launches fully later this year. Blu-ray 3D music releases should also be available this year.

Meanwhile, the Shakira video will be screened on 3D screens at more that 130 Sony Centre stores in the U.K., to illustrate the new range to customers. Sony did not list recommended retail prices of its new hardware.

Sony Music will also capture its artists live in 3D. Billboard.biz donned the glasses and witnessed Sony's 3D footage of its pop act Sia in concert at the London Roundhouse - and the clarity and depth of field on display were impressive. Some tech journalists did comment on a certain flatness to the images, but ultimately the 3D format seems to be a matter of taste.

Sony Corp is updating its Blu-ray range to make it 3D-enabled and thus "future-proof" and there will also be firmware updates available for existing PlayStation 3 customers.

Sony will be filming 25 World Cup matches in 3D, as part of its commercial partnership with World Cup governing body FIFA. Games will be shown in 3D at a limited number of FIFA viewing sites around the world, while Sony stores will show 3D promotional trailers.

Future Source Consulting says that 40% of shipments of new TVs in the U.K. will be 3D by 2010.