It sounds like there has been a lot going on at the Game Developer's conference in San Francisco this week, with a lot of talk about 3D worlds. . Apparently the rage is for Massive Multiuser Online games (such as World of Warcraft), with a number of large media companies trying to get in on the act.
In the meantime Second Life was predicted as being the prevalent "non-gaming" environment in the short-term.
The trend is for social networking to encompass 3D environments.... which is in line with my experience of Second Life being an environment that engenders communication; the experts at the conference expect there to be a lot of experments in convergence between social networking and MMOs. "Five years from now, as social networking site without a 3D universe will look like a dinosaur"..... so the experts in San Francisco see the ubiquitous 3D interface being no more than 5 years away.
Meanwhile Sony announced that they are to enter the 3D MMOG space in the autumn with a PS3 based game . I guess that they are trying to compete with the X-box live space of online gamers, who nummber several millions. I did wonder a while ago whether or not it would be viable for someone to develop an SL interface for the X-Box or PS3. I guess with this announcement, Sony are doing the whole thing themselves!
A video of the Sony announcement can be seen in the 3PontD blog.