I don't consider my self an expert, much less do I spend time researching sales and data trends of the manufacturers... I just rely on some common sense and observations everyone can make.
The thread is "fad or here to stay"... remember???
The number of sets sold in 2010 initially
had some relavancy of fad or here to stay, but with more models, even midlevel sets having this feature, the answer in the later part of 2011 is clearly not a fad
The costs of sets, both 3D and non 3D has dropped,as well as overall sales numbers... this is no suprise. Most consumers have upgraded to HDTV's relatively recently,especially with the change in broadcasting format. One could argue that there was no rush for HDTV owners rushing out to get a new 240Hz set when their 120Hz sets were no longer the latest and greatest, therefore 240Hz sets are a gimmick, fad and failure! (?anyone have data on how many 240Hz vs 120Hz sets are currently in use/have been sold?) The reality is people replace TV's, most don't spend the cash for an upgrade, especially in this economic environment.
Then there is the content variable...
I can't comment on the gaming aspect of this, since I don't have the free time to enjoy this form of entertainment, but many do... and the response I have gathered in my limited exposure to this is an overwhelming approval and acceptance.
Bluray disc sales have historically lagged behind DVD sales, no suprise here also since many have not upgraded to this medium. With the cost of these players at historically low prices, this will change in the near future I believe... and many inexpensive players do include the 3D capability. The number of 3D movies is also significantly changed in the last 18 months, with many more titles in the works at this time.
Broadcast content from providers has also increased, although not as dramatically as the other types of content. Debating the number of households able to receive these broadcasts (basic vs full teir services, how many channels from different providers) is nothing more than a distraction for all intended purposes. Cable and satellite providers, as well as HBO and other content providers are providing this option in many if not most markets, regardless of whether the subscriber utilizes them or not. This actually relates mostly to the availablity of broadcast sporting events, and those that do desire this feature will do what they have to do to receive the programing where possible.
All of the data related to content leads me to the inescapable conclusion that again, 3D is not a fad
Some will never care for this form of entertainment, that is fair to say. It is an option
that is available... like sushi, a convertable top, and choice of political canidate... just an option!
How often will the option be used by those who have adopted this form of entertainment? Again, the debate over percentage of use is irrelevant and a distraction to the question. What is relevant is if it is enjoyed and appreciated. The success, including theater releases, as well as home entertainment adoption shows it has been enjoyed and is appreciated by many, if not most that have experienced it (IMHO).
I may get flamed for this type of "unscientific" thinking, that's fair also. But given the option, I feel most people would opt to have the ability in certain situations (gaming/Blurays/programing) when it comes to their next purchase... especially if the cost is nominal (as it currently is, except for the cost of Blurays).
The debate is over... sorry if your "side" did not prevail, from all indications 3D is here to stay. Like it or not, that's the way most are seeing it, including the manufacturers. Some may not agree, but remember it is an option, no one is being forced participate. But those that have, predominately enjoy and appreciate it for what it adds.
Not a fad... here to stay!
And bring on the content!