Tobold's Blog
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Playing in 3D?

I was reading a review of the Nintendo 3DS, the new handheld console with 3D capability. The reviewer said that the 3D effects were nice as long as you held the console very still, but that if you played for example in a moving bus, or your mashing buttons moved the console a bit too much, the 3D effect was lost, and you got a blurry double picture instead.

Technical problems apart, I'm not quite sure about the advantages of playing in 3D. Has anyone of you already tried it? Do you think this is the future of video gaming, or is it just a fad that will pass?
3D is such a hype now, with movies and games - frankly, Avatar was great and all, but it's starting to get tiring and I don't see myself buying a 3D-TV or handheld anytime soon. I also doubt very much that the trend will last or become a standard.

I'd rather see us go towards the "real 3D experience" for games: VR. not a lackluster 3D effect behind a flat screen.
Played a shooter (forget the name now) in 3D at PAX. Granted, this was on a maxed out system on a giant high-end tv, but it really did look like a controllable Avatar. Very impressive.

Problem with 3D tech is that in 3-4 years (if not sooner) we will have 3D without glasses, so buying in right now is like buying a laserdisc player.

Oh I also played a little with the 3DS at PAX, and yea, it's sensitive, but not game-breakingly so IMO. When I'm on my iPhone I don't exactly swing it around while playing, so I doubt the 3DS would be much of an issue.
I tried a Nintendo 3DS on a trade stand at Crufts a couple of weeks ago. I was impressed with the quality of the 3D, especially without glasses. You have to look straight on but not much more than the usual screen.

It was running one of the Pets games so not exactly high-octane game play. There is a slider so that you can turn the 3D off if it begins to hurt your eyes. As it's optional it may be that 3D will become standard on game systems if there's no extra cost.
I've tried the anaglyphic mode in Minecraft. If view bobbing can make you sick now, you'll probably get virtual vertigo as well. Sprite-based HUDs will probably need to be tweaked as well. After a decade or two of playing 3D games with a 2D screen, you have gotten used to seeing the HUD in perfect focus all the time, no matter whether you're meleeing or sniping. Having to refocus all the time can induce headaches. Someone will eventually get it right, but I doubt it will be this generation of games/movies.
I tried it out at Best Buy over the weekend. It was just pretty exciting visually. Gameplay-wise, I don't think it's going to matter.

The 3d effect is created by a slider and you can turn it off. And I believe Nintendo said every game will require the ability to turn it off.

My wife is an optometrist and found it really interesting for use in vision therapy since it's uses the same principles. She's going to talk to her boss about getting some for work.
Here's a link for Nintendo's statement that 3d will not be required
I've played with it a few times here in Tokyo and it's pretty nice. I enjoyed my time with it and would definitely buy one if I had that sort of cash lying around.

Some games, like Professor Layton, looked very sharp. Nintendogs also had a nice look to it and the visuals were fairly nice.

As far as the viewing angle goes, I found it pretty forgiving and once you captured the 3D effect with your eyes you had some leeway with console movement.
I'm hoping that the future of gaming \ entertainment in general is not in 3D because due to vision problems in my left eye all I see is blurred pictures, tried it on a 3DS as well and same issue.

I vote to skip 3D and move straight to holograms. Who's with me?
Like Philip I have a vision problem that means I don't really see the 3D effect at all. I'm certainly not paying extra for a 3D anything.
I do think that 3D is the future of both gaming and TV/Movies. However, I don't necessarily believe the current implementation represents what that future will be.

What we have now could very well be a fad that dies out until a new, better technology comes along that really makes true 3D gaming possible without all the downsides.
It is the future - this just probably a so-so implementation of it, that lays part of the groundwork.

Like my first MP3 player, which was huge and heavy and held hardly any songs compared to where they're at now.

A book called Physics of the Future came out this month by Michio Kaku - it does a great job about talking about how technology is changing and evolving. The focus isn't on gaming, but it has some great insight into it, from 3D tech to holograms to implementation of fullscale VR.
3D is just a passing fad. Wake me up when we have full-fledged holograms. Bonus points for interactivity.
Here to stay. We loooooove our 3D for some reason.

I couldn't stand the "3D" graphics of the N64 and PS1, and was perfectly happy with the high quality high resolution of the sprites used on previous generations of systems. But it persevered and pressed on and is now the standard (and I don't mind it at all now that the quality is back up).

Whether we go with the glasses or the 1980s hologram card style I have no idea. But there's no way we're letting our 3D slip away, no matter how shitty it looks.
I played with a 3DS for about 10 minutes at GDC earlier this month. They had the augmented reality game up which was interesting... little monsters popping up from cards placed on your actual desk or table... but I couldn't quite see that being the killer app.

The 3D was good, but I could see turning the 3D slider to the off position and just enjoying the nice big screen (relative to the current DS models) for gaming more often.

As for 3D being a fad or here to stay, there was a good post up about why 3D is not going anywhere when it comes to movies in the theater; it is essentially free and it acts like copy protection.
As a guy with one eye I'm really hoping it goes out just like it did the last time it was a fad.
I've played a lot of games in 3D, but the ones that aren't built with it in mind often have some glitches that spoil the experience--things like shadows rendering at the screen depth, or having to focus past the double image of the cursor to find what you're trying to target.

But when it works, it's really cool. ;)
I've played WOW in 3D on a demo system at a computer shop. It made me feel ill, similar to other forms of motion sickness. I presume it's the same problem - your eyes and ears aren't agreeing on orientation.

I can't see 3D gaming taking off until someone solves this.
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