Is 3D gaming actually taking off this time?

Over the years 3D technology has come and gone, usually involving novelty films with objects popping out to scare you. Finally technology has matured enough that 3D is now becoming a viable medium, sadly it isn’t quite standardised yet. At the moment we have 3 completely different methods being waved about in our faces. All 3d viewing on a flat screen works in the same way, you display two images but only let each eye see one image, your brain then does the rest.

PC nVidia 3D Vision

This uses shutter glasses to cover alternating eyes, this happens 120 times per second, so you get 60 frames per eye.

This is compatible with a fairly large amount of games as the graphics driver renders the game from two slightly different viewpoints, as a result game developers do not have to have this system in mind while the game is being developed.

To use it you have to have the following:

  1. 120hz Monitor – 22″ is approx £200
  2. 3D Vision Kit – approx £150
  3. Modern nVidia Graphics Card – Start from £75 and go up and above £400
  4. Of course a computer that isn’t a pile of crap

The benefits of this method primarily is that you can play most of your existing games in 3d

Nintendo 3DS

Nintendo have done again what they do best, used tried and tested technology and package it together in to a novel format. Make no mistake though, the 3DS will be a massive success. The 3DS uses parallax barrier technology which apart from sounding impressive gives you a 3D image without the need for glasses. Rather than flicking between two images and  shutting off one eye the 3DS displays the picture for both eyes at the same time but has an extremely fine barrier in the way that only allows each eye to see alternate lines. Effectively it is like one of those bumpy pictures that change depending on the angle that you look them but a bit more high tech.

The 3DS will probably be around the £150 to £200 region, although it isn’t cheap it will still be the cheapest entry in to 3d for most people.

PS3 3D

Finally the PS3 3D is available to anyone with a PS3…as long as you have a 3D TV. It works in a similar way to the nVidia PC solution in that you have a shutter glasses that allow each eye to see alternate frames. With the PS3 the only games that will be supported are ones that are locked at 60 frames per second so that you get 30 frames per eye, any lower than that and you will notice the flickering. At the moment only a few titles such as Wipeout are available however there will be many in future.

Currently the list price for 40″ 3D Ready TV is around £1000 although a projector can be had for around £500 .


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