3DTV’s have been all the rage (at least if the TV manufacturers are to be believed), but a recent Nielsen survey suggests that people are indeed interested in 3D, but can’t seem to justify paying extra for it.
Nielsen, along with the Cable & Television Association for Marketing have finished off the first comprehensive study complete with focus groups in which they learned that the lack of content, along with the goofy glasses all add up to a feature nobody seems to be willing to pay for until 3D programming becomes more common place.
The numbers look a bit better when it comes to gamers with close to 71% of regular and hardcore gamers describing themselves as interested in 3D, but the limited availability of content continues to be a “marketing challenge” for 3D display manufacturers.
Nvidia has been promising 3D surround gaming for as long as we can remember, but it looks as though Sapphire is going to beat them to market with a home grown ATI based solution. Using a combination of Eyefinity and 3D drivers from iZ3d, the company was able to showcase a working three monitor configuration running games such as Tom Clancy's Hawx, Left for Dead 2, Battle Forge, and even Dirt 2.
"This technology demonstrates that games and applications can be displayed in 3D on multiple screens, and run smoothly, without the need for multiple graphics cards or expensive shutter glasses," said Bill Donnelly, Global PR Director for Sapphire. "This approach uses low cost glasses, and can be run on any system with an ATI-based Sapphire graphics card that has ATI Eyefinity support."
We expect to see more details emerge in the days ahead for the DIY crowd, but you'll still need 120hz monitors to give this a try. Either way this news can't be sitting well with Nvidia's driver team.
If you think 3D is a fad you can do without, don't look now because Nintendo just got into 3D in a big way. The console maker has officially announced their new 3DS handheld game platform. The unit itself looks like a regular DSi, but uses a 3D screen that does not require glasses. It may be using a type of parallax barrier technology to produce the effect. The top screen is a 3.5-inch 3D panel, and the lower 3-inch screen is touch sensitive. There is also a motion sensor and a gyroscope that we believe will be used to adjust perspective in the 3D environment.
There will be a slider to adjust the 3D effect to their liking; it can even be turned off completely. Users will be able to download 3D movies to the device, and take 3D pictures. As for the games, Nintendo made it clear that they weren't going to be developing the only 3D enhanced games. The likes of Activisio, Take Two, Sega, Capcom, and Namco Bandai will be on board as well.
No pricing or street date information was provided, but at least it's now a real product. Are you in the market for this device? Admittedly, the prospect of a new Kid Icarus game has us a little excited.
Paris-based Darkworks is wandering the floor at GDC making some pretty big promises. They say their upcoming TriOvis for Games SDK will allow developers to build in 3D support to 2D games. The real benefit would be that it would not require the purchase of a 3D capable display.
Darkworks is saying that all the 3D-ification happens in the software and the special 3D glasses. Apparently, this means those not wearing glasses would see a regular 2D image without the blurring of a 3D image. The technology will be available for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360.
If this proves to be a feasible option, we may see DLC for existing games that enable 3D with the TriOvis system. Darkworks has said that the process of adding TriOvis to an existing game is very simple, taking anywhere from a few days to a week. We are really floored by the possibilities here. Let’s hope this is for real.
Crytek’s CryENGINE has always been a fine looking game engine, but it’s been missing one thing. In case you haven’t guessed, that thing is 3D. We’re not sure anyone was really pushing for this, but at GDC 2010, Crytek will be showing off their new CryENGINE 3 with stereoscopic 3D.
The new engine is reputed to be near photorealism in its rendering. Crytek also plans to give developers a new tool called LiveCreate. This feature will allow game designers to work on, and play their CryENGINE 3 game for PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 platforms at the same time.
Nvidia has also made some noise about the coming age of 3D, saying that 3D will be “all pervasive”. Some estimates peg the number of 3D enabled games in 2010 as high as 50. We don’t know if this whole 3D thing will take off, but CryENGINE 3 will probably still be really pretty in 2D. Are you waiting with bated breath for 3D gaming to hit the mainstream?
One of the oft-repeated complaints about 3D video technology is the requirement that people wear glasses. While Gunnar Optiks isn’t out to change that, they would like to offer you the opportunity to look good while viewing your 3D content. Gunnar’s new line of 3D glasses will include versions for all major 3D technologies, but will have an eye toward style. Let’s face it, isn’t that really what it’s all about?
The company plans to use its i-AMP lens technology to produce a higher quality set of specs. Most 3D glasses use flat plastic lenses, but the i-AMP lenses will be curved like normal lenses. Gunnar president Rob Arnes explained, “Currently most eyewear used in 3D systems is either disposable or of low-quality construction. With our expertise in optics and our commitment to the digital world, we see the opportunity as a natural fit.”
Gunnar Optiks makes the claim that the glasses help reduce eye strain, and make for a better image. Some agree with that assessment, but it’s far from a consensus. If you’re interested, the 3D shades should be out in Q2 and priced from $89 to $149.
It may even be possible to see support for WebGL in native WebKit browsers in as little as 6 months. Safari and Chrome are probably on the forefront of this technology, as they are based on WebKit. Firefox, while based on the Gecko engine, has an extension capable of displaying a WebGL 3D canvas. As for Internet Explorer, don’t hold your breath. Microsoft still has yet to implement HTML5, let alone upcoming technologies.
If Dead Rising taught us anything, it’s that donning goofy apparel is par for the course during a potential zombpocalypse. So, of course, as mindless slaves to our media (though not quite “zombies”), we’re thrilled that it’s finally kosher to sport a pair of multi-colored shades while doing our civic, undead-slaughtering duties.
Oh, we guess you also get “true 3D” out of the whole deal or whatever, but it’s not like anyone else benefits from your newfound sight beyond sight. Only you, you self-serving greed-pig.
So here. Here are your dumb means to achieve your selfish ends. After all, it’s not like we’re bitter because the hack won’t work on our PC. No. You’re just a terrible person. Never forget that.
The shiny, new hatchback you nudge in a street race dents slightly on the driver’s side door. Although you’re playing a PC game, created with beaucoup equations, the bend looks almost real. The 3D renderer sculpts all those numbers into images, with help from the video API (application program interface). However, several completely different rendering techniques can be the source of those images. Currently, the hardware and software industries are debating how to best utilize two graphics-rendering techniques: ray tracing and rasterization.
Hit the jump to see how 3D game rendering is changing with hardware advancements.