Where S-3D is Headed According to MTBS

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Neil
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Where S-3D is Headed According to MTBS

Post by Neil »

Read the blog, and post your thoughts... 8)

Regards,
Neil

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Post by Freke1 »

Yes the future looks bright indeed, I agree :D
It is so nice that 3D is finally kicking off - hopefully this will mean better driver support.

In the meantime we're sort of in a black hole between the old technology (no drivers for 18 month) and the new technology (no working solution yet).
(If You got a new computer today there is still no way to play Online PunkBuster games in 3D). That's why I'm stuck with my old PC with 91.31 drivers and thats why some people are irritated I guess. Nvidia should have kept updating the 3D drivers until they launch the Zalman monitor, that would have been the decent thing to do.

But this will probably all be forgotten in 6 years... when we're all gaming on Zalman/iZ3D/Samsung/Spectronic/Hyundai monitors or with TDVision HMD's or what the future brings - shooting each other up in Fear Online.

Lets hold 1 min of silence for the Nvidia 3D driver. You deserve it, old buddy. Thanks for getting me through all those killer fights on the net. You are pure GOLD.

Future - get here - NOW - pls.
Last edited by Freke1 on Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by pixel67 »

>>>>Moment of Silence>>>>
>>>>RIP Free Drivers>>>>


Nicely written, Neil. The S3D experience has been in need of an overhaul for years. For WAY too long, enjoying S3D has been like making chicken soup from scratch...

...S3D Recipe from grandma's kitchen...

1-CRT Monitor with high refresh
Add 1 set of LCD Glasses
Add 1 Nvidia Graphics Card
Add 1 Nvidia Stereo Driver
Add a dash of patience, cause your gonna need it!
Learn hotkeys for S3D
Start game and turn off ALL the eye candy (coronos, HDR, post processing)
Tweak, Tweak, Tweak
find settings that work with "acceptable" side effects
adjust monitor brightness and contrast to minimize ghosting
adjust 3d settings through trial and error until you know hotkeys by heart
Tweak, Tweak, Tweak
Adjust gamma some more because can't see anything in dark areas
readjust contrast and brightness after changing gamma
darnit, shadows look horrible
Tweak, Tweak, Tweak
(BTW, sure would be nice if I could play this game sometime soon, really tired of Tweaking)

Today's chicken soup recipe?

Pop off the plastic top, remove the tin lid, replace plastic top and microwave for 90 seconds. Ahhh, progress...

I remember spending a LOT of time tweaking different settings to get the stereo effect "just right", and never really getting there. Today's experience is much more Plug n Play. I haven't touched the brightness, contrast, and gamma on my new rig in a LONG time. This is very important to the average gamer and is something the new technologies bring. Simplicity is king and is one reason why the console market is so popular. A 5 year old can work a PS3 or XBOX360. Can a 5 year old use S3D on a CRT with LCD's? Not really... S3D solutions NEED to be packaged the same way a PS3 or XBOX360 is so that it has mass consumer appeal, and they are almost there (IZ3D with their own drivers, Samsung and TriDef drivers, Zalman and Nvidia drivers). Predictable end user experience means you KNOW what happens when you push the power button. About time, EH???

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iZ3D Monitor Users

Post by Neil »

Hi Guys!

I couldn't help notice something. The iZ3D monitor owners, and there are more of you out there now, have been dead quiet since the NVIDIA announcement. Like the Star Destroyers in Return of the Jedi!

Are you quiet because you don't care? Are you satisfied enough with your solution that you don't see yourself going back to shutters again? Do you think that when members own Zalman monitors with modern working S-3D NVIDIA drivers, people will forget what they got upset about?

Maybe your silence says it all...

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Neil

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Post by Likay »

Happy IZ3D-owner here. :D

However i of course miss continued stereosupport for the projector rig though.
My first impression of the rumor that nvidia only will make future stereodrivers for the zalman monitor isn't very good new for me personally.
I have to agree with one thing: It seems like s-3d is very much picked up by hardware manufacturers. So far they more or less have to make their own stereodrivers to support their hardwares and that's probably the thing that keep many of them from even trying. I don't know if gaming in 3d isn't well known in other countries but in sweden the knowledge is almost 0 :( . The fact that more 3d-solutions are marketed and the same time hollywood will make more movies for 3D will also increase peoples knowledge+interest in 3d and how to get it. I'm really waiting for this breakthrough since a lot more will follow! :D.
Regarding 2008: I hope this will be the breakthrough of s-3d to the "common people" (yes, we are martians). Once people know and prices drops some s-3d will soon be a standard.
Small parallell: Why is it necessary with at least two speakers in a soundrig? The extra speaker doesn't give an experienced effect even close to the effect of having one image to each eye. ;)

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Post by crim3 »

If stereo 3D is really going to rise from now on, as it looks, the future won't be stereo drivers, but such a simple thing as game engines with native stereo, like unigine has.

I've been playing around with some direct3d samples from a book, trying to make it work in stereo natively. It's as easy as: 1 - udpate world state, 2 - draw with 'eye one' camera, 3 - flip backbuffer, 4 - draw with 'eye two' camera, 5 - flip backbuffer ... and repeat.

All you have to take into account is if the display hardware uses page flipping or dual input for stereo. With page flipping you have to measure the time to update the world state to know if you have to swap eyes before drawing with the first camera.

All graphic cards, all effects (there is no difference between left and right cameras, you'll just draw the same scene from the perspective of each eye), just doing that. The changes to achieved that are quite small.

Now that I have been doing it by myself I feel like all this controversy about stereo drivers is out of place because there is no need for them. They add complexity, instability and CPU load when the magic is really in the hands of the game developers.

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Post by wuhlei »

maybe in the future stereo support will be built in to opengl and directx?
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Post by Likay »

wuhlei wrote:maybe in the future stereo support will be built in to opengl and directx?
The best option indeed! :D
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Post by cirk2 »

wuhlei wrote:maybe in the future stereo support will be built in to opengl and directx?
That solution would be the best, but it isn't realistic.
Microsoft woudn't do something for free, they are to Capitalistic...

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Post by wuhlei »

if microsoft supports surround sound they should support stereo?
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Post by A.J. »

[quote="wuhlei"]if microsoft supports surround sound they should support stereo?[/quote]

Actually, Microsoft killed support for hardware accelerated surround sound in dx10 8) Bad year for gamers all around :roll:

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Post by wuhlei »

oh rofl oops no way I cant believe it surround sound been around forever!
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Post by A.J. »

:D

http://pc.ign.com/articles/759/759538p1.html

It's not the end though, surround sound still works but it's handled by the CPU. And Creative has drivers for OpenAL so hardware acceleration works for some games but not so surprisingly you need the new X-Fi card for it :wink:

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Post by Jack Pot »

Hi Neil, hello everyone
this is my first (due to the forums only working for me since the single sign-on) and my last post. So bear with me if it´s a bit longer :roll:

almost 10 years ago now, I started with an Elsa Erazor (GeForce 256...). For some reason, Elsa did S3d only in d3d-mode, so the best, jaw-dropping s3d experience would be to play that revolutionary, new shooter called "Unreal". And, oh yes, it had immersive surround sound with full Soundblaster AWE64 support. :lol:

now let´s take a step back and have a look at what changed in those 10 years, ok?
we have dual CPU 64-bit systems as mainstream nowadays. Something that would have given me wet dreams back then. Until, that is, I had learned that only the OS and a few select apps made use of the 2nd CPU and the huge address space due to 64 bit - and all those nice new instruction codes - were all largely wasted. The Core 2 Duo I´m writing this on is a true monster compared to the auld K6-II I was playing Unreal on. Only: it doesn´t show. 3/4 of it are idle anyway: one core (most of the time) and all 64bit registers / instruction units...

so with the CPU being nowhere near as fast as it could have been given the transistor count and clock increase compared to the K6-II 300, surely the graphics adapters are a different matter? well yes, they are. Playing Unreal on a GeForce 256 was as far as it would go. The 7900 GTX that works in my rig now renders images that I would have considered science fiction in 1999. Only even my old (but high quality) 17" screen at that time gave an image quality that is still superior to any LCD device out there. It was smaller, yes. Only supported resolutions up to 1600*1200/70 Hz - with 1280*1024/80 Hz being usable - but sharpness, color rendition, and especially color gamut and contrast was way superior to almost anything you can buy nowadays. Unless you shell out some k$ for a pro kit. Today, I compare the Samsung 22" 226BW I sit in front of at work to the IIyama HM204 DTA - a 22" CRT with 142 kHz vsync - I got at home. For writing (and programming) the TFT looks better. Since that´s my job, it´s fine. For anything else, I would not trade in my CRT. No matter what. In fact, had someone showed me back in ´99 what modern graphic cards were capable of - on modern screens, I would have laughed. All that muscle - but no color depth, no contrast - kind of plastic feel to the whole rendition. And no Stereo-3d. "Progress?" my old alter ego would have asked, "you can shove it where the sun don´t shine!"

I attended a programming conference a few weeks ago. These things tend to have a bit of a trade fare on the side nowadays. To my big surprise, I saw an IZ3D rig. To my even bigger surprise, it was pants. Image ghosting was very pronounced in 3d (this was my big hope going down the drain) while sharpness in 2d was unacceptable. You got dat ole Shutter/CRT setup still? - keep it. This kind of 3d won´t make you happy.

Out of habit, I scanned all news about stereoskopic viewing. Have always done that. There aren´t that many sites out there. Stumbled over MTBS3D pretty much on day one. Wow, cool. Given that nVidia hadn´t done a thing about their "driver" for years, I thought it be a great idea to join. Make our voices heard, that kind of thing. The 7900 wasn´t getting any younger you now, and nVidia had that shiny new 8800 out. Only no decent drivers for the beast yet. Talk was already getting a bit heated at the nVidia forums when MTBS3D was founded.

Now, after a decade of enjoying stereo-3d, it´s time for my personal conclusion: s3d is not dead. But it´s as comatose as ever. The new LCD solutions with passive glasses won´t help it. Only a few people will be ready to buy them. Hollywood showing 3d films in select theatres? sheeesh! - kind of like in the 60s, right? - didn´t change a thing then, won´t change a thing now. MTBS3D? - we´ll sit back and clap exitedly.

Sorry, I mean no offence. Neil, you must have worked really hard to put such a positive spin on the dismal affairs concerning nVidia. And hey! they´ve got a "head of stereoscopic 3d driver development team!" - now that would have been my dream Dire-Straights-Job ("...money for nothin´ and the chicks for free..."). They never realised what they had in terms of "unique selling point" - and they´re not getting it. Even if they got it, they´re propably too fat to care, nowadays. Far as progress is concerned: it´s all going a bit vista nowadays. Well then, I´m off.

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Post by sharky »

hi!

you know, mtbs is FREE... everybody is free to post whatever he wants.. but there are some things that piss me of..

1) "my first and last post"... first is ok, why last? have you ever gained something from life without fighting? if yes then lucky you! i belive in mtbs and what it is doing, i spent my SPEAR TIME to add features to mtbs like the unified registration system you so like... and i do it because it is needed! we are not google or youtube where everything is set, everything works.. WE need to put oour a**, legs, hands and head into this. we all toghether.. neil alone is NOBODY.. he is mtbs as person, but without users and without ideas mtbs is nothiing! mtbs grow because we worked all toghether mtbs grow because we regularly ask other what they think... i am sharky, i am not mtbs... i am sharky i am not the admin....its quite ok to say "i am not interested anymore".. but it is also quite easy to say "nah, i am to fat to do something" (liek you said of others) and then as soon as there are working drivers wich satisfy you to come back and say "cool drivers guys! i am here with you"... toooooo easy. sorry but i hate to see people work very hard the whole day and then others come here and put all the work down only because they woke up with the wrong leg!

2) iz3d.. i dont work for iz3d, i dont get payd by iz3d, i dont get payid by mtbs, i have a "deal" with neil that i can post whatever iw ant on the forums even if i am administrator so what arrives here is my personal thought at 100% and in no way biased from anywhere:
iz3d is great! if you look at the monitor forom a wrogn angle (5° is enough) in height, the ghosting is very very heavy.. (only in height....) so if your head is higher than the center of the screen you get ghosting.. if you go lower the ghosting goes.. this means that if somebody puts the glasses on and leans on the desk he sees a big ammount of ghosting... (this is what usually happens at tradeshows since youre standing and the monitors are on the tables) iz3d is a small company wich kicked the XX of all teh companies.. want to try to do better? read trough the forums.. a lot of people bought it, and spent the money for it.. if the situation world really be as you are describing it, dont you think that they would send the monitor back and start to post negatively about it on the site? again the site is free, everybody can post the opinion..


3) cpu... ever tried to render something? all 4 cpus run ad 100% and start to smoke... its obvious that if you play pacman 2D from the year 1952 it wont use all the cpu.. but now, if you open 20 programs they all run smoothely, some years ago they didnt.. there was a real limit to the apps...if you dont need that kind of powerfull cpu you dont have to buy it.. nobody forces you.



again allt hetext above arrives from me as sharky, because i do not feel as an administrator, or as a "high level user".. it is not intended as offence, its simply my thought regarding what you posted.. i simply think that working toghether brings much more than complaining about things and the pop out when things are working as expected...

bye

sharky

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Post by Neil »

Hi Jack Pot,

First, I think Sharky is right about posting and leaving. You are welcome to your opinion, but when you run off like that, it implies that it's a position you think you can't defend, or it was just your intention to cause harm and not contribute anything for the better.

You raise some valid points about CRT monitors. They are big and clunky, but visually, they have a wider color spectrum than LCD panels, and they still have their professional uses.

Your statements about Hollywood cinema is way out of whack. 3D cinema was never as popular as it is today, and it is a complete myth to believe it was. I learned the hard way because I used to believe this myth, and Lenny Lipton, the CTO of Real D corrected me. At best, it was an enthusiast market of amateur projectionists, and they never had the visual beauty that Hollywood has today. Unlike the 50's movies, S-3D has a demonstrated revenue benefit (two to three times what 2D offers). You can't compare.

Your statements about the iZ3D monitor are a bit off too. I don't do hardware reviews, but like Sharky suggested, listen to your fellow members who own the monitor. If you choose to get one, there are measures you can take to significantly cut down ghosting, and iZ3D is continually working on some exciting things to improve it.

I don't do spins and I feel very positive about our industry and our industry's future. For MTBS to be successful at attaining its goals of growing the industry, I have to be 100% convincing and certain of our direction. I meet people in person, I speak at events, and I post here on MTBS. Do you think MTBS could survive if this service was based on "spin"?!?!? I'm sorry, but people would see right through that, and MTBS wouldn't have lasted three months. There are problems in the the industry for sure, and I founded MTBS to solve those problems, and I think we are making a lot of headway.

I'm really glad you joined and remarked on our single registration system. I am kicking myself because our membership has been artificially low because it took us a long time to get a good registration system going. Did you know we got nearly a hundred new MTBS registrants in just two weeks? That's nearly a 5% growth for us!

On a final note, S-3D aside, MTBS has become a community of good people. Gamers who like to play against each other, posting to one another about topics outside of stereo, people like me who enjoy to talk! :P Don't be a first and last poster because you'll just end up missing out. Being laddy-dah is not a prerequisite for being an MTBS member. :)

Regards,
Neil

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Post by Jahun »

Skipping the previous posts, I'll only add my feelings about the current state of S-3D:

I am ofcourse sad to see Nvidia opt for Zalman only.. it saves me buying a 8800 GT atm however.. They will probably shift again as the market grows. After all it is a company, not a charity so they need profit.

But the most important thing is, to get the companies that write the game engines, to incorporate S-3D.. it isn't all that hard after all... It would be the ideal situation and it will 100% surely happen.. let's hope they figure this out during this decade.. I wonder if Gabe Newell (Valve CEO) ever played his own games in S-3D.. surely if he did they must have been working on S-3D support by now..

Most importantly, and I think this is crucial... is that "HD" has been hot for a bit now.. and I don't see "superHD" or "UltraHD" to make the same amount of impact. All these huge companies are shoving enormous amounts of money into R&D on HD television sets. This will end at some point, and big new leaps will need to be found, to keep the industry running and sales up. S-3D is definately a next big step.. like Samsung is doing right now. If this picks up, and as always this will be slow.. then at last huge support will come..

So I think the HD hype needs to be over.. then S-3D can hit in full force.. And we can say "ow man I told you guys like ages ago.. but noooo.. "

Changes are always slow.. and everything is connected.
Who knows, the Zalman name and monitor coupled with Nvidia drivers are not the perfect solution.. but they may just give this industry the nudge it needs... baby steps.... hopefully not for another 10 years.



ps: some company gimme drivers for my projector rig dammit..! :)

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Post by LukePC1 »

I've just tested a DLP-projector (Benq, MP610 @ 85hz, 800x600). It was a very nice Setup. No noticable ghosting (well maybe 1-5% due to wrong blacking out of shutterglasses), but a slight difference in colors for each eye. While using both eyes, that's no problem, though.

I don't had not enough time to test every detail, but I'd say, it can compete with CRT (but its much more expencive and space consuming). The old glasses could be used, but upside down, or with a swap of the pictures in Stereoscopic player.

DLP is great for S-3d! It can be fast and ghostless (as pixel pointed out, too) in HD. It might be a great purchase, when it becomes available in europe at a decent price.

To drivers: if we don't get new drivers we'll have to stick to old/working titles with some details/fetures turned off. That might be bad for the industry, because it's not advised to buy new equippment (which is not working) --> no profit for them :twisted:
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Size of market for mainstream gamers?

Post by subwoofa »

What I wonder is, is there a real market in S-3D for the mainstream gamer? I am rather doubtful. I show my S3D setup to most of my friends who enjoy video games, and while they are usually impressed, they have never been impressed enough to bother buying the glasses for themselves. If it's not convincing enough to get them to buy a pair for only $50, how can we expect them to shell out $1000 or more for a stereo monitor?

Another example is film. While an increasing number of people are going to see movies in 3D lately, I doubt they would bother if it cost significantly more than a regular ticket, because to most of them it is just a gimmick. Likewise, I don't believe that huge numbers of people are going to pay significantly more for new stereo 3D equipment.

In my experience, most people just aren't as interested in S-3D as we at MTBS are, even after they see it for themselves. I'm struggling to understand how new, easier-to-use systems and monitors are going to change that significantly.

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Post by pixel67 »

Very fair statement, subwoofa. Does 3D automatically appeal to every gamer out there? Not in its current form, no. And as a lot of these so called "reviews" we are seeing on the net prove, first impressions of 3D are difficult to overcome. I think 3D is kind of like a brand new pair of shoes. You like them when they are new, but you love them once you have grown accustomed to them. 5+ years ago I used to play games in 2D and 3D, whereas these days I lose interest VERY quickly if i can't play it in 3D. It just seems so...fake! Todays 2D gamer is so used to looking at a flat screen that 3D games seem unnatural and cumbersome. Your brain actually has to adjust to it and change years and years of perceptions, for the lack of a better word. Another great example is a console controller. As a PC gamer, it took me FOREVER to get used to a controller! My brain just couldn't pick up on it after years of using a keyboard or joystick. They will come around when it feels more "natural". And is cheaper...

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Re: Size of market for mainstream gamers?

Post by subwoofa »

Is stereo 3D truly "better," or is it simply a matter of opinion? In some ways, I see 2D and 3D as apples and oranges, not old cars and new cars. If I show someone a PS3 and a PS2, or an HDTV and a standard TV, or surround sound speakers and stereo speakers, the result is always the same: "Wow!" Then, either "I wish I could get that," or "I'm going to get that." When I show them gaming in stereo on my high-end 24" widescreen CRT, the reaction is often the same: "Huh, neat."

The frequency of this rather lackluster reaction leads me to believe that even if stereo 3D was free in every TV and compatible with every game without ghosting, a great many people wouldn't bother to toggle it on, simply because they prefer 2D, and that would probably not qualify as universal mainstream appeal.

What does this mean? Well, I guess I am wondering what all these new stereo 3D hardware producers are up to. I am very excited about all of the news that's come out of CES; not just here at MTBS, but in the press as well. If they can successfully grow their market and reduce costs, we might one day see fully supported stereo 3D featured in every imaginable form of media in the not-too-distant future.

However, if they invest all of this money into developing and marketing stereo technology, and it still doesn't catch on with everyone, then do we have the same repeat of early stereo 3D gaming history? And if so, won't it end up doing more harm than good for the industry in the long run by souring future development, and alienating the previous generation of stereo gamers because of things like dropped driver support?

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Post by Neil »

I think it's important to put this in perspective.

The previous generation of S-3D gamers borders on invisible. Look through the old NVIDIA forums, the former stereovision.net, etc. I would count a hundred unique gamers if we are lucky. There are between five and seven million hardcore PC gamers in the market today. This is our future with the consoles to follow. This is where 98% of our efforts should be placed.

Is S-3D indeed superior to 2D gaming? Where properly implemented and appropriate, yes, no question. Will gamers take an active interest in S-3D? Yes, no question. We were all 2D gamers once, what makes us so special?

The example of showing S-3D on a 24" CRT with LCD shutter glasses is in itself a limiting message. Gamers want convenient, comfortable options that they can relate to. A bulky CRT is too old school for today's gamers. Do your friends own CRT monitors? Do they want to own a CRT monitor? Is the idea of owning a CRT monitor at all attractive to them? I think the medium (CRT) is what turns them off, not the message (S-3D).

A valid point was raised about the adjustment needed for playing in S-3D compared to 2D. However, we are now seeing solutions where you don't need to have a double cross-hair to aim properly in S-3D, you don't need to cut back on settings to run games, and you don't have to start with disorienting S-3D separation and convergence settings from the get-go.

S-3D in movies isn't cheap at all. When my wife and I went to see Beowulf in S-3D and IMAX 3D, it ran me $60+ including drinks and popcorn. The demand for the S-3D benefit is there, even with the premium price in cinema.

Regards,
Neil

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Post by crim3 »

I agree with subwoofa. I think the same, but I could not express it properly because of my limitations with english language.

Even with comfortable and easy to use hardware people prefers a 2D image, generaly speaking.

What is really important is the information effort so the people like us who prefers stereoscopic gaming would know about it (how I would like to know about all this earlier and not just a year ago as it is my case). It's the old topic: let people know so they can choose freely.

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Post by Freke1 »

I think we normally buy what's advertised or what everyone else haves.
If 3D monitors were advertised and half the gamers had it, we would buy it without blinking an eye and go:
"OMG, You STILL :shock: have that old 2D monitor" to the ppl who hadn't gotten a 3D monitor.

Today You can buy a highend HiFi system cheap, so what do we use to play music? MP3 players.
Because it's advertised, it's handy and everybody else does it.

Most ppl do like that most of the time. A few ppl say: "Naaaah, I want something BETTER!" once in a while. And they buy the car they've allways dreamed of, or the holiday to the Himalayas, or a 3D monitor or the 6" speakers they saw 10 years ago in a magazine. It's like that isn't it? :D

Also mobile phones fry Your brain. "Who cares! Everybody got one. I WANT one!"
We don't allways do the best thing (me included - got a mobile phone too :) ).

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Post by subwoofa »

Neil wrote:Is S-3D indeed superior to 2D gaming? Where properly implemented and appropriate, yes, no question. Will gamers take an active interest in S-3D? Yes, no question. We were all 2D gamers once, what makes us so special?
This is what I'm talking about. We are different--very different. Just because I'm crazy about Porches, doesn't mean everyone wants one, even if they were cheap and easy to drive. We can't continue to use ourselves as examples when considering whether everyone will love S-3D as much as we do.
Neil wrote:The example of showing S-3D on a 24" CRT with LCD shutter glasses is in itself a limiting message. Gamers want convenient, comfortable options that they can relate to.
My point was that even though the S-3D experience was nearly the highest quality you can get, their reaction was more like it was a novelty rather than something they would really enjoy having for themselves. As I said before, showing them the same thing on a fancy new S-3D monitor would not change that reaction.

Perhaps there are reasons that this line of thinking is not productive for what we at MTBS wish to accomplish, but I honestly think that crim3 and Freke1 both have the right strategies. Either we simply work on expanding awareness and promoting certification of S-3D, or we need a huge marketing victory similar to what media providers and manufacturers accomplished with High Definition.

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Post by Neil »

Hi Subwoofa,

I misunderstood what you were trying to say, so that was my error.

Let's look at your HDTV example. That by far was not an overnight success. HDTV was introduced by MIT in the early 90's, the first HDTV was sold in 1998, and it's only in the last two to three years that HDTV has become extremely popular for the mass consumer. I would hope S-3D moves faster than HDTV! I would venture that the HDTV model is closer to the MTBS model than we are giving credit for.

We are at the stage now where S-3D is on the shelves, the standards for gaming are here from the point of view of having games that can be played, and now we are building the consumer appeal.

Regards,
Neil

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Post by subwoofa »

Neil wrote:HDTV was introduced by MIT in the early 90's, the first HDTV was sold in 1998, and it's only in the last two to three years that HDTV has become extremely popular for the mass consumer. I would hope S-3D moves faster than HDTV! I would venture that the HDTV model is closer to the MTBS model than we are giving credit for.
After thinking about this for a while, I can see the similarities between S-3D and HDTV. However, like Freke1 suggested, for it to have the kind of mainstream popularity we are aiming for people have to need it in a way that's more than just wanting it (In the case of HDTV, it is even mandated by law in broadcasting!) Some (less expensive) things, like cell phones and mp3 players people will naturally flock to; other things like the newest DVD players and HDTVs take more time.

The missing ingredient so far seems to be the massive marketing juggernauts of corporate alliances behind HD. How will S-3D eventually get to that point, and what role will be played by MTBS in it? Will we be passive by building awareness and acting as advisers and mediators, or will we take a more active role where MTBS actually directs some of the marketing and development strategies?

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Post by Okta »

S3d has many significant obstacles that i can see and some major setbacks that have killed awareness and progress.

1.Driver support has dwindled down to next to nothing for available hardware.

2.Most gamers think they are to cool to wear 3d glasses of any kind, they are seen as a dorky gimmick, maybe until real quality killer HMD's become available.

3.The uptake of lcd monitors has killed the cheap mainstream method of s3d ,shutter glasses. If ED have a working lcd version why has it not been advanced upon? Drivers most likely.

4.Game engine developers (who really are the ones to make the difference where is it easy to do so as pointed out earlier) are not raising a finger to provide default s3d support and head tracking support in there engines. It seems the gaming industry is still looking at the churn out the next ho hum game rather than creating the virtual experience a lot of gamers would appreciate.

5."Virtual Reality".... what should have been. There was massive buzz in lawnmower man era about VR headsets but it seems even in this day of amazing technological advances, we are still in the stone age here. It seems high res mini displays are an impossibility to produce at this time with the best offerings (if you can even find them on google) are 1024x768 and many thousands of dollars with zero driver support. And head tracking in these things seems to be an unworkable gimmick rather than a solid feature. Yes this is a general sweeping opinion but its what i see aside from the VR920...



Now a positive- VR920

Although i haven't seen an actual unit the Vr920 seems to be a shining light in the dark that offers an all round package not offered elsewhere. Of course its biggest let down is the resolution but it has some driver support, headphones, headtracking (not perfect) and a reasonable price. This unit with a high res display and greater fov and improved games support would be ideal and have the potential to become a "must have".

I have been waiting a good ten years for headsets to reach an acceptable level and i think this is where the real stereo gaming will evolve to. Its the only correct method of providing a stereo image to the eyes without image quality loss and using 'tricks'. It HAS to soon come to the point where a high res full feature headset that is not at all bulky will be possible to buy around $500. Then advances in control interface will follow but may take a LONG time to beat the humble mouse and keyboard.

I think working towards VR is the future more so than just a stereo screen in front of you with polarized glasses but 3d monitors may also reach a point of becoming default for a while if industry decides it should be so.

Hmm, now to get back to the subject, in the future from what news ive read i expect no great innovations. S3d is set to become an overpriced niche that will burn all who buy into the new generations of short lived products through lack of software support and will have to constantly replace there latest 'gadget' to keep support for that latest fad games as the industry chops and changes... funny that, sounds like a perfect marketing ploy to keep the punters spending... so on it goes.

Just my (bitter) 2cents.

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Post by Neil »

Let me reply to all these points.
The missing ingredient so far seems to be the massive marketing juggernauts of corporate alliances behind HD. How will S-3D eventually get to that point, and what role will be played by MTBS in it? Will we be passive by building awareness and acting as advisers and mediators, or will we take a more active role where MTBS actually directs some of the marketing and development strategies?
MTBS is everything but passive! Yes, we will and we are playing an active role in marketing and development strategies.
1.Driver support has dwindled down to next to nothing for available hardware.
I'm aware of only three driver developers in the 2D market: NVIDIA (Forceware), ATI (Catalyst), and Intel. S-3D has iZ3D, NVIDIA, DDD, and additional independents. Qualitatively, there are differences, but the point is that there are multiple players where before there was just one.

2.Most gamers think they are to cool to wear 3d glasses of any kind, they are seen as a dorky gimmick, maybe until real quality killer HMD's become available.
Can you give me a reference on this? The only feedback I'm aware of are complaints about anaglyph glasses which have nothing to do with modern technology. There are some references to shutters too, but this was because of not being used properly.

3.The uptake of lcd monitors has killed the cheap mainstream method of s3d ,shutter glasses. If ED have a working lcd version why has it not been advanced upon? Drivers most likely.
Not drivers. The nature of a traditional 2D LCD monitors makes for inconsistent polarization and refresh rates, so LCD shutterglasses have poor results with LCD monitors. To be more accurate, it's the decline of CRT monitors that knocked the LCD shutter glasses off the market.

4.Game engine developers (who really are the ones to make the difference where is it easy to do so as pointed out earlier) are not raising a finger to provide default s3d support and head tracking support in there engines. It seems the gaming industry is still looking at the churn out the next ho hum game rather than creating the virtual experience a lot of gamers would appreciate.
Not true, and I will leave it at that.

5."Virtual Reality".... what should have been. There was massive buzz in lawnmower man era about VR headsets but it seems even in this day of amazing technological advances, we are still in the stone age here. It seems high res mini displays are an impossibility to produce at this time with the best offerings (if you can even find them on google) are 1024x768 and many thousands of dollars with zero driver support. And head tracking in these things seems to be an unworkable gimmick rather than a solid feature. Yes this is a general sweeping opinion but its what i see aside from the VR920...

TDvision is working on a 1280 X 720 (720P) HMD, and they are working on adding head tracking too. Let's see what they come up with!

Regards,
Neil

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Post by nubie »

Just on the S3D support in games, where is the support in the rendering engine? "DirectX 10.1" and still no support for 3D? I think we know who is making it difficult.

The OS isn't 3D either. Basically you can't expect to get something for nothing, I plan to work as I can to get the word out and experiment with 3D on my own. (I already garnered some interest with a Planar demonstration for my intro to Computers course).

I am glad to see the support getting better, and yes the technology is expensive and having teething troubles, that is why we are called enthusiasts, we are excited enough to get past all of that and see how it could be.

(I would really like a DLP 3D Projector with the circular polarized segmented color wheel that flashes the image 3 times for each eye through the polarized filters in the wheel, but that is reserved for movie theaters.)
CAVE, see what all the fuss is about:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6NN5JKlIi0

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Post by Okta »

1.Driver support has dwindled down to next to nothing for available hardware.
I'm aware of only three driver developers in the 2D market: NVIDIA (Forceware), ATI (Catalyst), and Intel. S-3D has iZ3D, NVIDIA, DDD, and additional independents. Qualitatively, there are differences, but the point is that there are multiple players where before there was just one.
But still each 3d driver supplier support a tiny selection of hardware and games. The comparison to the 2d drivers isnt really relevent. Its a bit like saying there are only 3 doctors working on a cure for tooth ache, but a thousand working on a cure for cancer. Nvidia drivers at this stage count for nothing but a tiny selection of users namely Zalman users on Vista. IZ3d seem to be the major players with there current and upcoming drivers but i cant comment on them too much as they dont work on my machine for unkown reasons. And DDD from my experience supports a tiny fixed lot of games.
2.Most gamers think they are to cool to wear 3d glasses of any kind, they are seen as a dorky gimmick, maybe until real quality killer HMD's become available.
Can you give me a reference on this? The only feedback I'm aware of are complaints about anaglyph glasses which have nothing to do with modern technology. There are some references to shutters too, but this was because of not being used properly.
My reference is my experience. I know/have known many keen gamers over many years. And i used to go to lan parties with hundreds of players. In all this until now, my only experience with s3d was a set of shutter glasses an old friend got with an early nvidia card many years back, we never got them to work. So a few days ago a was telling a pc/console gamer friend about whats happening on the scene and that was his reaction "Do those stupid looking glasses even work?"

Its an up hill battle all the way im afraid. The sad part is anaglyph is the most available form of s3d with no hardware limitations only software limitations, and a sad state that is in.

4.Game engine developers (who really are the ones to make the difference where is it easy to do so as pointed out earlier) are not raising a finger to provide default s3d support and head tracking support in there engines. It seems the gaming industry is still looking at the churn out the next ho hum game rather than creating the virtual experience a lot of gamers would appreciate.
Not true, and I will leave it at that.
Where are the major titles? What happened in the last 10 years aside from going backwards? How long must it take?

5."Virtual Reality".... what should have been. There was massive buzz in lawnmower man era about VR headsets but it seems even in this day of amazing technological advances, we are still in the stone age here. It seems high res mini displays are an impossibility to produce at this time with the best offerings (if you can even find them on google) are 1024x768 and many thousands of dollars with zero driver support. And head tracking in these things seems to be an unworkable gimmick rather than a solid feature. Yes this is a general sweeping opinion but its what i see aside from the VR920...
TDvision is working on a 1280 X 720 (720P) HMD, and they are working on adding head tracking too. Let's see what they come up with!
I am aware of what TDvision is working on and i am less than excited about it. It may not be there fault maybe the tech just isnt here yet but they already want $1500US for a 800x600 display which is far out of even enthusiast interest i hate to think what they will want for the new one. And there are no drivers for either.




Yes, im a glass half empty person.

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Post by chilledsanity »

I really have to agree with some of Jack Pot's statements. I also started with the Elsa Revelator and I'm disappointed with how things are at the moment. Even though the ghosting could get extreme and it wasn't good for every game, when it did work, the Revelators were incredible. Then Elsa died off and Nvidia took over. I recall being disappointed with Nvidia's drivers from day 1. They didn't have the depth or options that Elsa's did. It used to be in an FPS shooter, I could have my gun coming clearly out of the monitor, with my HUD floating in the air next to it, I could see way back inside my monitor and it was awesome. With Nvidia's drivers in the exact same games, there simply wasn't as much depth overall, and in order to get things to pop out of the screen again, I had to push the depth so far that everything else got distorted. It's like there were 10m in between my HUD and my gun. It still worked alright for some games and shined occasionally, but it felt kind of disappointing.

Now Nvidia has pulled out entirely and focused on Vista with a Zalman monitor. The fact that they simply drop their fans like this makes me want to boycott it. I already hate Vista.

The iz3d sounds like they're doing a killer job on drivers, but my experience with it in a game store was kind of disappointing. I wasn't able to get a lot of depth with it compared to my CRT and the ghosting was pretty apparent if not worse. I tried adjust the hotkey controls for quite some time and didn't have much luck. I've heard if you tweak them they get better, but are we talking about a night and day difference here? The experience felt more gimmicky rather than suck-you-in immersive.

I haven't tried the VR920, but I really hope it has potential. Even at a low resolution, actual goggles could be a really immersive experience. I'm really glad they're continuing in the wake of Nvidia's pullout. What I'm concerned about (I could be wrong), is as I understand it they are developing drivers for individual games. This sounds like the wrong way to go about it. I'd much rather see a general fix for D3D or OGL games, then tweaks for problematic games. I haven't heard much about this unit in a while, does anyone have any updated opinions about it?

Also Neil, from what I've seen you definitely try to spin things positively (in the forums anyway), but you're indiscriminate about it. I can see where it must take an optimist to do your job.

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Post by Neil »

Hi Chilledsanity!
Also Neil, from what I've seen you definitely try to spin things positively (in the forums anyway), but you're indiscriminate about it. I can see where it must take an optimist to do your job.
Whether or not I'm an optimist doesn't matter. The core issue is whether or not I'm sincere, and I am. I couldn't be working in this business if I wasn't.

I'm well aware that the new NVIDIA positioning was a painful pill to swallow, but it was a necessary one. I'll give you an example that I am working hard to rectify.

Look at the new front page of MTBS. For the most part, we have received really positive feedback about the look. It's sharp, it's professional - it really gets out there that we mean business. For weeks leading up, I was on the moon because the look was exactly what I wanted.

However, there is still a core issue that needs to be resolved. Looking at the site and the popular forum topics on the front page, the message isn't that the stereoscopic 3D technology is for everyone. Instead, the site comes across as though we are a tiny niche market of people who like to cut our computers up into pieces and do crazy things with them. One of those things just happens to be stereoscopic 3D.

How do we come across this way? Because 90% of the content in the forums is very high level stuff, and this is what gets profiled on our front page. Also, we need more guides and messaging to convey what we are about in a clearer, more visual fashion. So, we are working on this.

I can't speak for the inner workings of NVIDIA, but I think they faced a very similar problem. They have this exciting technology that has gone through a major overhaul and refresh. The market is now very excited about 3D through Hollywood cinema and word of mouth. Even the game developers, thanks partially to MTBS, are taking a much more active interest in stereoscopic 3D technologies.

As elite customers, I see how you value technologies like LCD Shutterglasses combined with CRT monitors and customized dual projector setups. However, these products are not sexy to traditional 2D gamers. This messaging appeals to a hundred people, not five to seven million. Our industry needs the five to seven million - that's our market of opportunity and then some.

By going the licensing route, NVIDIA is saying "Look at our brand new video game offering! Get your games in 3D with an ABC monitor or one of our new licensed partners". Sexy! Sexy! Sexy! CRT monitors and dual projectors have no place in that sentence. Therefore, I don't see this as a pull-out, I see it as a new way of pushing in.

Why am I optimistic? It's important to recognize that MTBS works outside the confines of this website. We are developing exciting new business relationships and I have not lost any sleep about the viability of S-3D or the likelihood of game developers adopting technologies like this. I'm 100% confident that this is and will be happening.

My biggest challenge is finding ways to encourage the MTBS community to take a stronger role in contributing content, spreading the word of S-3D, and thinking outside the box of a hundred gamers and more in line with five to seven million to assist in accomplishing this goal. The moment you can think in terms of millions instead of hundreds, you will be optimistic too.

Regards,
Neil

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Post by subwoofa »

Neil wrote: By going the licensing route, NVIDIA is saying "Look at our brand new video game offering! Get your games in 3D with an ABC monitor or one of our new licensed partners". Sexy! Sexy! Sexy! CRT monitors and dual projectors have no place in that sentence. Therefore, I don't see this as a pull-out, I see it as a new way of pushing in.
I'm starting to see what you've been saying... As I've mentioned in the past, I don't believe that the newest 3D as it exists today (on a flat monitor) is sexy enough by itself to get people running to the stores. However, in cases like this I think you also have to kind of force it into people's homes by bundling it with something they need like a new graphics card or new computer. The technology has to be better or they will start to complain, so we are assuming that 3D is preferred over 2D by most people (that is a different debate ;) ) Eventually, we will get enough companies to send their lobbyists to congress to get them to pass a law requiring all broadcasts to be in S-3D... then we have attained "mainstream" :D
Neil wrote: Looking at the site and the popular forum topics on the front page, the message isn't that the stereoscopic 3D technology is for everyone. Instead, the site comes across as though we are a tiny niche market of people who like to cut our computers up into pieces and do crazy things with them. One of those things just happens to be stereoscopic 3D.

How do we come across this way? Because 90% of the content in the forums is very high level stuff, and this is what gets profiled on our front page.
Isn't this true about just about any technology website? I mean, most people with cellphones, HD TVs, Blu-Ray players, home theaters, and just about any Windows or Mac computer, hardly ever go to websites about them. You only ever find "elite geeks" on any of these kinds of sites anyway, so I think the website is fine so far, because the true movers at this stage (based on your recent announcements) are the producing companies, not the consumers.

I honestly can't recall why I bought my first pair of shutter glasses, but it was probably because I was bored with my games and had $50 to burn on something I didn't know for sure whether I would like it or not. Now, many gamers don't have $50 to just try it out, much less hundreds more for one of the newer monitors. No matter how much mainstream-appeal our website has, I don't think it is going to get far with consumers unless people can actually see S-3D for themselves. Eventually those monitors have to have a nice big display in every electronics store where a computer is sold before you can reach the sales in the millions that you are talking about, and only then will you get substantial mainstream website traffic.

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Post by chilledsanity »

However, there is still a core issue that needs to be resolved. Looking at the site and the popular forum topics on the front page, the message isn't that the stereoscopic 3D technology is for everyone. Instead, the site comes across as though we are a tiny niche market of people who like to cut our computers up into pieces and do crazy things with them. One of those things just happens to be stereoscopic 3D.

How do we come across this way? Because 90% of the content in the forums is very high level stuff, and this is what gets profiled on our front page. Also, we need more guides and messaging to convey what we are about in a clearer, more visual fashion. So, we are working on this.
While I agree that it doesn't need to be this way, I think right now this is currently the reality of the situation. Trying to present it differently isn't going to change it. What IS going to change it is finding technology solutions that really get the job done then marketing them properly. What's going to get more gamers to crossover is to make as painless experience as possible. Right now, are there any solutions that do all of the following?

-Have a clear picture
-Have little to no ghosting
-Have good driver support
-Have a relatively low price

I don't know of any. This is what is required to reach the mainstream audience you're after.

I understand what Nvidia did as a business decision, not something that benefits stereoscopic enthusiasts. S-3D has never been a real money maker for them, neither have linux drivers, but they've developed them in the past as way to get round-up sales and support their communities at a minimal cost to them (driver support). They've signed on a partnership deal with Zalman, so they've dropped support for all other technologies as a way of getting rid of the competition; competitors that didn't use to be competitors, on the contrary, they were SUPPORTED by them. This is why it feels like kind of a backstab.
As elite customers, I see how you value technologies like LCD Shutterglasses combined with CRT monitors and customized dual projector setups. However, these products are not sexy to traditional 2D gamers.
And HMD's aren't either? That's like saying nothing except a high-cost stereosopic LCD monitor with proprietary drivers is the only thing that's going to save S-3D gaming. Do you really believe this? I feel like you're trying to justify Nvidia's decision as something that will help stereoscopic gaming as a whole, whereas I see it as a simple business decison of them weighing numbers. If that wasn't the case, why would they shut out support for all other devices? They've co-existed prior to this. Now they have a vested interest in making sure that the Zalman monitor is the only successful S-3D solution.

I might not be so bitter about this if Nvidia was backing godlike technology, but judging from the iz3d v. zalman comparisons, that doesn't seem like what's happening. Anyway I appreciate your optimism Neil, but it feels pretty hollow on this issue if not misguided. Let me ask you a question: Speaking hypothetically, what would your attitude be about Nvidia and the S-3D market if they hadn't made the Zalman deal and simply continued not to release any drivers?

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Ideal solution

Post by subwoofa »

Just brainstorming here, but isn't the ideal solution a standardized S-3D driver for all games, engines, and hardware? I believe that taking away this driver problem that no one really seems to want would help everyone by increasing competition, production, and customer satisfaction.

Hardware manufacturers: with a standardized set of rules, they don't have to spend money on drivers, which lowers costs and has more potential for new hardware development.
Graphics Card manufacturers: since they haven't been interested in driver development for years, now they can compete in the new stereo mainstream without having to worry about it anymore.
Game Developers: wider stereo gaming market?
Consumers: More hardware solutions at a cheaper price, and easy to use!

This is probably overly simplified, but I think that the battleground for gaming is starting to form around the driver issue, where the real competition should continue to be in the hardware and the games themselves! It is now looking like "competition by proxy", where the manufacturers (e.g. nVidia and Zalman) aren't really in the business of stereo drivers, but instead they make monitors and GPUs.

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Re: Ideal solution

Post by yuriythebest »

subwoofa wrote:Just brainstorming here, but isn't the ideal solution a standardized S-3D driver for all games, engines, and hardware? I believe that taking away this driver problem that no one really seems to want would help everyone by increasing competition, production, and customer satisfaction.
yes, that would be awesome. the only 'but' is that nvidia, ati, the games manufacturers don't seem to see it that way...

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Re: Ideal solution

Post by stee1hed »

yuriythebest1 wrote:
subwoofa wrote:Just brainstorming here, but isn't the ideal solution a standardized S-3D driver for all games, engines, and hardware? I believe that taking away this driver problem that no one really seems to want would help everyone by increasing competition, production, and customer satisfaction.
yes, that would be awesome. the only 'but' is that nvidia, ati, the games manufacturers don't seem to see it that way...
I read in the forums here that a great solution would not be for us to rely on a universal driver or any driver but to get game makers to support 3d output right from the game. The Unigine engine is going this route and I support this thinking. Make it 3d right from the source with properly rendered crosshairs, huds, etc.

Then they could focus on the real issue of a globally accepted S-3D format... :P

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Neil
3D Angel Eyes (Moderator)
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Which stereoscopic 3D solution do you primarily use?: S-3D desktop monitor
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Post by Neil »

Hi Guys!

Ok, let me respond to some points:

Subwoofa:
Isn't this true about just about any technology website? I mean, most people with cellphones, HD TVs, Blu-Ray players, home theaters, and just about any Windows or Mac computer, hardly ever go to websites about them. You only ever find "elite geeks" on any of these kinds of sites anyway, so I think the website is fine so far, because the true movers at this stage (based on your recent announcements) are the producing companies, not the consumers.

Just so I'm clear, I'm not trying to discourage this type of activity on the forums, not at all. We are the first impression potential consumers get to this technology, and the message we are sending is it is complicated when it doesn't have to be that way.

For example, when I bought my first pair of LCD shutter glasses, I was never under the impression that it was a complicated piece of technology. If I had that impression, I probably wouldn't have taken an immediate interest in it. Once people are sold on the concept of 3D, I think they are willing to go through the learning curve to use it. However, we are showing the curve before getting the buy-in, and that's a messaging issue we need to fix.


Chilledsanity:
-Have a clear picture
-Have little to no ghosting
-Have good driver support
-Have a relatively low price
I don't do hardware reviews, but I think you will find a lot of gamers here who have tried the modern technologies and like them. I haven't read a lot of posts about people returning the equipment. As for price, I think it's very reasonable for our market. There are five to seven million hardcore gamers out there. How much is a triple SLI 9800GX2 valued at? How many years will it last you? If a 3D monitor is under $700US and lasts for years, what qualifies as expensive?
And HMD's aren't either? That's like saying nothing except a high-cost stereosopic LCD monitor with proprietary drivers is the only thing that's going to save S-3D gaming. Do you really believe this? I feel like you're trying to justify Nvidia's decision as something that will help stereoscopic gaming as a whole, whereas I see it as a simple business decison of them weighing numbers. If that wasn't the case, why would they shut out support for all other devices? They've co-existed prior to this. Now they have a vested interest in making sure that the Zalman monitor is the only successful S-3D solution.
I would argue that previous HMD products in gaming have been less than successful because of low resolution and poor driver support. These issues have and are getting rectified. There is a diffference between a product that most people can't buy without a high level of experience (e.g. dual projectors), and an easily marketable product that doesn't have the means to work properly (e.g. HMDs without proper software support). I don't think it qualifies as the same type of product I'm describing,

I think you are jumping the gun a bit on the relationship between Zalman and NVIDIA. I don't think this is a partnership - it's a licensing agreement. Very different thing. I gather NVIDIA will work with whomever agrees to their licensing terms. What they are, I don't know. Zalman signed on the dotted line, and others can follow. We'll have to wait and see on that.

Speaking hypothetically, what would your attitude be about Nvidia and the S-3D market if they hadn't made the Zalman deal and simply continued not to release any drivers?
First, I don't make any money from NVIDIA or Zalman, so there is no cause to question my intentions here. Your hypothetical situation has been a reality since I founded MTBS and their driver only made a first appearance in the last month. I've developed and have been making different arrangements for our industry that I'm proud of, and none of them were dependent on NVIDIA's participation. As welcome as NVIDIA's involvement is, it's the community and the community's leverage that will determine the direction the industry goes.

Regards,
Neil

subwoofa
Two Eyed Hopeful
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2007 12:44 pm
Which stereoscopic 3D solution do you primarily use?: S-3D desktop monitor

Re: Ideal solution

Post by subwoofa »

stee1hed wrote: I read in the forums here that a great solution would not be for us to rely on a universal driver or any driver but to get game makers to support 3d output right from the game. The Unigine engine is going this route and I support this thinking. Make it 3d right from the source with properly rendered crosshairs, huds, etc.
Yes, that's pretty much what I meant. I said "driver" but I am really talking about a standardized set of instructions (API) that is implemented from game engine to graphics card to video output, so they are all speaking the same language. Considering how well the drivers have worked without it up until now, this hypothetical API would probably be very simple and easy to use and test (someone please correct me if this is not the case.) Therefore, there would be minimal impact on game, OS, and hardware developers.

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