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Enough Said

By Neil Schneider

The other day, one of our members pointed out a really positive article about Blitz Games Studios’ Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao. Entitled “Why 3D is the New HD”, David Houghton of GamesRadar shares his experienced views of how and why stereoscopic 3D enhances video games beyond measure.

“...we can see very definite parallels between it and the beginnings of a certain other display technology ending in `D’. The comparisons to the early days of high-def are obvious, and we think 3D’s future will only compound them.”Gamesradar

The article was just one positive remark after the other. Finally, a journalist who gets it!

Unfortunately, while the article was honest to goodness positive, the reader comments were very mixed at best. Immediately, our members posted questions as to why the gamers would think this way. Why is stereoscopic 3D gaming getting such a bad rap?

Here are the doozies, and my analysis of what they have to say:

“I’ll believe it when I see it. Personally I think it’s just a way of getting us to pay a bit extra for hardly any more game.”

“Believe it when I see it,” that really summarizes the problem, doesn’t it? Check out the contrast from someone who has seen it:

“My mate was at GDC and TGS and played GT:P in 3D, or watched it demoed I can’t recall which, and said that I wouldn’t believe how good it was-and he’s like a super cynic!”

Let’s read what others have to share:

“Christ, gaming is already bad enough on your eyes. We don’t need 3-D to make it worse, imagine trying really hard to focus on something in the background that the game insists on keeping blurry. ugh...”

“...how will this fit in with our other gaming future - motion control? 3D usually works best from one stationary viewpoint - moving around may F*** up the picture. Full head-tracking is an option, but it doesn’t work for more than one person.”

In addition to not having experienced the technology, these guys have no clue what S-3D is capable of. Modern stereoscopic 3D gaming solutions do not require players to sit in a fixed position, and I have never played a game that insists on making objects blurry. Perhaps they are thinking of what a 3D image looks like when the gamer isn’t wearing their 3D glasses?

Finally, check out what this gamer has to say:

“Still not impressed. Personally, an immersive experience isn’t the be all and end all of gaming for me. I thought motion control would be fantastic, but I don’t even use my Wii nowadays. I don’t even care about HD, I’m fine playing games on a standard definition set. I guess I’m not just that impressed by shiny stuff.”

As an industry, we have to keep our eye on the ball. Stereoscopic 3D gaming is targeted to consumers who are after superior game immersion and are willing to pay for it. It always has, and it always will. Therefore, these remarks are not personal attacks against stereoscopic 3D gaming. These comments would have been similar had they been talking about motion control or a new steering wheel or any add-on above and beyond straight CRT television gaming.

Here is my comment: according to the U-DECIDE Initiative which surveyed hundreds of traditional 2D gamers who don’t yet own S-3D equipment, 93% of respondents want to see game developers support this technology. According to a study of gaming professionals done by Gamesindustry.biz, S-3D gaming is the most anticipated technology of 2009.

Enough said...or is it? Share your thoughts in our discussion forums!