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3D Entertainment Summit, Day I, EA NFS SHIFT Launch Party!

By Neil Schneider

Day one of the 3D Entertainment Summit was as much about what happened on stage as it was about the proud moments behind the scenes.

3D Entertainment Summit: First S-3D Gaming Panel

There were two gaming panels this year at the 3D Entertainment Summit. I had the privilege of moderating the first, which featured:

Patick Naud, Executive Producer of Avatar: The Game, Ubisoft
Andrew Oliver, Co-Founder and CTO of Blitz Games Studios, makers of Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao
Habib Zargarpour, Senior Art Director at Electronic Arts, makers of Need For Speed SHIFT

Front to back: Patrick Naud (Ubisoft),
Andrew Oliver (Blitz Games Studios), Habib Zargarpour (Electronic Arts)

Andrew Oliver wowed the audience with a brief S-3D trailer of Invincible Tiger. Sincerely passionate about S-3D gaming, Andrew talked about the different solutions their game runs on, and how it came to be.

While Patrick didn’t have a trailer to show just yet, he put to rest the myth that Avatar will only support Panasonic’s 3D HDTV solution. For example, on the PC side, he told us that they are optimizing the game for NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision, iZ3D, and more. Similar to Crytek’s opinions expressed at SIGGRAPH 2009, Ubisoft also wants a way for game developers to pass on the left and right image to the S-3D display, and not be limited to having their artistic vision translated by an S-3D driver.

When asked why Ubisoft took the risk of taking on stereoscopic 3D gaming, Patrick was quick to correct me. According to Ubisoft, it was never considered a risk with James Cameron attached to the project, and they see S-3D technology as an evolutionary step for gaming.

Finally, Habib Zargarpour demonstrated some well received snippets of Need For Speed SHIFT in stereoscopic 3D using the DDD Tridef Ignition drivers. On the topic of standards, Habib explained that in addition to passing on a left and right view, the units of measurement also need to be standardized so all game developers and S-3D manufacturers are speaking the same language.

Electronic Arts: Need For Speed SHIFT Launch Party

Now this was a lot of fun! Held at The Geisha House in Hollywood, California, this was a private launch party for EA executives and select media.

Neil Schneider, President of Meant to be Seen (left), and
Jesse Abney, Producer, Electronic Arts

We were very honored to be given the opportunity to show Need For Speed SHIFT in stereoscopic 3D, and made arrangements for LG and DDD to share a unique perspective on what this game is truly capable of.

I surveyed the room, and the excitement around the technology was unanimous. Erased were the concerns of headaches and discomfort after hours of play, erased were the myths that S-3D is anaglyph only, and erased was the idea that stereoscopic 3D gaming is a gimmick!

Neil Schneider, President of Meant to be Seen (left),
Habib Zargarpour, Senior Art Director, EA (center),
Nandhu Nandhakumar, Senior VP of Advanced Technologies, LG Electronics (right)

Special thanks go to Nandhu Nandhakumar, Senior Vice President of Advanced Technology at LG Electronics for bringing the LG 3D HDTV, the DDD team for supplying the stereoscopic 3D drivers, and of course, Electronic Arts for letting us showcase their game...the way it’s meant to be seen! A special thanks also goes out to ETC for supplying the PC needed to get the demo working.

Aaron Rapp, VP of Marketing, iZ3D (left),
Habib Zargarpour, Senior Art Director, EA,
Neil Schneider, President, Meant to be Seen (right)

In addition to iZ3D optimizing their drivers with NFS SHIFT, Habib told me that their game has been patched with Z-axis coordinates so NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision users can also enjoy the game. This will either be implemented as a future NFS SHIFT patch, or be activated in an upcoming GeForce 3D Vision stereo driver - details were unclear at the time.

Day two is filled with positive moments too! Share your thoughts in our discussion forums!