Meant to be Seen

MTBS Interviews Electronic Arts & Samsung About S-3D!
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Author:  Neil [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 12:44 am ]
Post subject:  MTBS Interviews Electronic Arts & Samsung About S-3D!

Well...looks like the other shoe has finally fallen!

I'm told they are able to do a follow-up interview if the demand is there. Post your thoughts and questions here, and we'll see what we can put together.

I strongly recommend you Digg the article and spread it around because I think it is really golden that leading game developers like Electronic Arts are going on record and being supportive of stereoscopic 3D. This is what we have all been working for!


Author:  nubie [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 1:45 am ]
Post subject: 

What is a PDP, and how does it display 3D? Can it be affordable (<$800, or $500 for a basic model)?

Can I use my existing setup (Planar)? Will I be able to adjust the separation? Do I have to run Vista, or will it be XP compatible? On Vista will it actually work?

I am happy that there is some recognition for S3D finally in the mainstream, but after being burnt before by the expense and lack of support, how can we be sure we will be able to utilize the Stereo content in these games?

Many of the older titles from EA are even better in S3D than they were the first time, will we be seeing anniversary packs, or free patches with some still commercially viable games?

I tried to get Need For Speed Carbon and Prostreet to function in S3D, it wasn't exactly an easy thing to do, notably the aspect ratio is not even properly computed for standard screen dimensions of 15:9, 16:10, and 5:4, will we see proper support for aspect ratios? This is even more necessary as the 3D immersion depends on a correct sense of proportion to be believable.

What is the solution? Passive, or active? Will reasonably priced viewing apparatus be available (<$50 active <$15 passive).

Pleas provide us with more information. I for one have enjoyed S3D for quite some time, and am addicted to the high resolution, inexpensive glasses ($3), and lack of flicker/ghosting of a Planar setup. Unfortunately without much in the way of proper media for it.

Author:  sharky [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:12 am ]
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many cool news.. but im a bit worried about the console thingy...

how will you work on that? will it be implemented in the consoles or a console-tv conversion?

if it is the second one, how will you make it realistic? dont you think that it could more harm then help?



Author:  LukePC1 [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 3:20 am ]
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I think PDP is a Plasmar Display Panel --> Plasma TV we already know. I'm not shure, if it was passive or active, but at least it was too expencive :(

I think they agreed that EA looks a little better on S3D, so DDD can produce the drivers faster. Maybe they'll also write S-3D or 3D HDTV on it, to promote it a little. That'd be nice.

Does DDD suffer from postprocessing? Maybe they'll make PP better ;-)

1) Are EA games developed or tested in S-3D on any solution?
That was not clear from the interview.
2) Are all future EA games S3D ready?
3) Are there games which are especially designed for S-3D?

Author:  cirk2 [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:30 am ]
Post subject: 

That sounds nice... I will love to see Battlefield in 3D (the 8800 betas for xp aren't compatible and I don't own an Zalman/iz3d).

What are the Exact Models that are supportet, want to get more information about it.

Author:  Neil [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 11:19 am ]
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Can you guys Digg this article? ... _3D_Gaming

Thanks in advance,

Author:  Xerion [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 2:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

This blog article for some reason turns into a very narrow column. I have had this happen before when some tag wasn't closed right or so...

Author:  Neil [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:21 pm ]
Post subject: 

I can't duplicate your problem, but we are looking into it.


Author:  sharky [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:23 pm ]
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can you please upload a printscreen to the gallery? i am not able to duplicate it.

thank you


Author:  Freke1 [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 4:25 pm ]
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Battlefield 3D - I'm so glad from reading this news :D Great Neil, thx.

Author:  maxthreat [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:49 pm ]
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This all seem well and good. Any exposure is good exposure but I would not expect much from EA. I have to ask what's in it for EA and why would EA care that their games work on current 3D technology, they never have in the past and I don't believe they will in the future.
Obviously the only thing in this for EA is Samsungs money and EAs games for Samsungs new 3DHDTV. I'm sure Samsung is handing it over in truck$. They can't sell their TVs without content to play on them, the few movies aside for now. I can't believe for a single second that EA would spend a single extra dollar or an extra second of their time making sure their games work on CURRENT 3D technologies. Actually I really doubt this will have any good effects on anything going on right now. Maybe it's the future and if we want 3D, you’re going to have to have a special display.<-Period. Shutter glasses gone, Planar dropped along with anything else around, zero driver support. Maybe it’s better and we’ll all want a Samsung 3DTV.
I see this as a very custom IP ("3D PDP chipset") and am guessing EA's stereo games will only work on Samsungs TVs with their chip. I mean how else can they sell them, that is the bottom line of all this, Samsung wants to sell their TVs, not EDs glasses, not another competing display. Many of the comments from the interview reflect this. ("there are no plans on our end with regards to PC desktop monitor solutions yet.") This is the only reason EA is involved. They will be the first to mass market and the masses will have no idea we even exist or what shutter glasses are. Maybe just maybe EA is saying NO, we want our games to work on any 3D setup but I bet they could care less as in the past.
I do get a good feeling from the Unigine people, that I brought to mtbs, I think they have the right idea but this "partnership" IMO will only drive current technologies further into the ground as other companies come up with their own IP’s. The only real benifit of this will be games with 3D as the only selling focus and we can just hope they will work. ("Also, we are currently under deliberation for a 3-D stereo property solution with NVIDIA.") Sorry to be so negtive, I guess in the end it's just another iZ3D.

Edit: Sorry I don't much care for EA anymore, we have a past.

Author:  Neil [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 7:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

Hi Maxthreat,

Thanks for digging the article!

I think there are some important things that need to be read between the lines to appreciate the importance of this.

First, when directly asked if their games will natively support stereoscopic 3D, their answer pointed to DDD and "deliberations with" NVIDIA. They also saw this as a PC technology to start. What does this mean? DDD is a stereoscopic 3D driver, and NVIDIA is asking for licensing deals for their driver, so the "deliberations" probably revolve around that. Therefore, EA's compatibility is based on a stereoscopic 3D driver, not native game engine support - at least not yet.

What does EA have to do to be compatible with an S-3D driver? Well, they have to take care in their 3D rendering for one. Putting interfaces at the right depth, having options to turn post processing off, checking for driver compatibility, etc. While different drivers have different features, the core needs for the best results are very similar. Even if they focused on a single driver solution in the market, it will likely benefit everyone.

I don't know what the financial relationship is between EA and Samsung. I think this is a creative marketing deal that puts EA games on the 3D HDTV screen in an exciting way - something a flat box on the store shelf can never do. For Samsung, it gives them the opportunity to showcase stereoscopic 3D games. I see no need to exchange fat checks as incentives.

I think this is all win-win because even if EA's efforts were 100% on Samsung's HDTV, the care in rendering and the associated promotion will benefit the other solutions too. Though, I don't see them going 100% Samsung - I didn't get that from the interview, and it doesn't make business sense.


Author:  Freke1 [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:02 pm ]
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When game developers talk about making S-3D compatible games I'm happy... no matter what (allmost). I so enjoy BF2 in 3D. When they team up with an advanced monitor company it's even better.
We can not dictate the future, so I'm happy when it turn towards S-3D.
Seriously the future is not the old technology with postprossesing turn off with an outdated driver, it's plug 'n play with big HD monitors and advanced HMD's like in the videoclips from CES 2008.
I'm sure EA will want their games to run on every PC and console in the world.

Author:  pixel67 [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 8:35 pm ]
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Nice interview, Neil! Very encouraging news seeing these two industry giants working together publicly. It is very refreshing to hear a major software powerhouse such as EA recognize what we all already know... That S3D will revolutionize the way games are played and represents the next big thing in display technologies. I do have a few additional questions in hopes of them returning.

As you can tell from my signature, I currently own a Samsung DLP3D HDTV, DDD 3d driver software, and of course a full complement of EA Games that I play on my PC. Overall, I have been quite pleased with the combined solution and am really looking forward to seeing Crysis, and other EA titles, in S3D as mentioned in the interview.

1. Up until this point, DDD has been the sole provider of S3D drivers for the EA/Samsung experience and consequently seems to handle a lot of the marketing duties for EA games that can be played on Samsung S3D enabled HDTV's. Will we see an EA/Samsung joint marketing campaign promoting S3D to traditional 2D gamers, like on G4TV perhaps?

2. You mentioned Nvidia adding support in their drivers to support EA/Samsung, expanding on the just released Zalman drivers I assume. Recent feedback has been good but not stellar on the quality of these drivers. Can you define the relationship between EA/Samsung/Nvidia and are you able to retain some type of quality control over how your products work through these 3rd Party conversions? For example, is Crytek involved at all in the process of converting Crysis, or is it stricly a post-production effort?

3. IZ3D also recently announced their entry into the 3rd Party S3D Driver market, which is great news considering the vast number of games they support and the excellent feedback from their users. Competition is good in every arena and we, the end consumer, usually come out as the winner. Does EA/Samsung have any ambition to entertain working with them to create a more complete and compatible S3D conversion offering?

4. The afformentioned companies are all banking on the content developers to follow some type of guideline when programming their games to insure stereoscopic compatibility. Neil and MTBS have put a lot of time and effort into developing just such a guide. Has this been promoted to your internal teams? Are their any Qaulity Assurance practices in place that essentially insures that objects are rendered as expected in 2D and 3D?

5. This was already asked however it was combined with another question and not clearly answered. Has EA explored the option of creating the stereo pair at the game engine level vs relying on 3rd Party drivers?

6. One of the major drawbacks to 3rd Party conversion is the additional stress being placed on the CPU/GPU resulting in a sometimes significant hit in frames per second even on the most modest of systems. As evidenced by our own CarlKenner who added native stereo support to assaultcube in a matter of weeks, native stereo support significantly minimizes this performance hit. Has EA looked at making a project of adding native S3D support for existing games at the engine level and reselling the "patch" instead of passing this revenue stream off to the DDD/Nvidias/IZ3D's of the world?

7. In my eyes, Consoles should be a prime target for a combined Samsung/EA marketing campaign as nearly all consoles are connected to a TV whereas very few PC's are part of the living room. They also offer a static hardware platform that can be "debugged" much easier compared to PC's. Does EA have a program in place, similar to TWIMTBP at Nvidia, but targeted toward say the PS3 which we already know is S3D capable?

Thanks again for the insightfull interview and I look forward to see the EA/Samsung relationship flourish in the coming years.


Author:  CarlKenner [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 9:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

This is great news! Thank you.

But I have some questions...

To EA: Are these EA games MTBS3D certified? If not, why not? It is free and good marketting.

To Samsung: I hear that the Samsung 3D PDP monitors use the same checkerboard format as 3D DLP monitors? Is that correct? Will any game that can render in checkerboard 3D work? Or does the monitor need some special USB command to make it work?

By the way, I looked up some prices, and it seems like the 42 inch display costs a bit under $2000 Australian dollars, or 1,750,000 South Korean Won. (that's $1 per 500 contrast)

Author:  ssiu [ Tue Mar 25, 2008 10:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

This is a great interview; thank you! Questions to Samsung:

During 2008 CES, Samsung announced 2 series of PDP HDTV. It seems to me that only the lower-end 720p series are S-3D compatible, not the 1080p series. Is that correct or not? (The press release seems to be deliberately vague.) If yes, why? Will there be 1080p S-3D compatible PDP HDTVs from Samsung?

What is the PDP 3DTV display technique? (I personally doubt that it is the same "checkerboard" used by DLP HDTVs.)

How much more does being S-3D compatible add to the cost of the PDP HDTV?

What about the Samsung S-3D DLP HDTVs, are they being neglected / phased out? Even though the majority of consumers seem to buy into the "flat-panel" pitch, many/most don't actually hang their HDTVs onto walls, and many consumers will deal with the 18-inch depth of DLP in return for biggest size / best-bang-for-the-buck. Will Samsung continue to make sure any S-3D contents work equally well on both their S-3D DLP HDTV and S-3D PDP HDTV, or are DLP HDTVs being orphaned?

More general question to all -- suppose I want to buy a big HDTV. Mabe it costs $2000 or more. That is a lot of money, and so I expect it to last many years. I want to make sure it will work on all S-3D contents coming out in the next few years, i.e. S-3D Blu-Ray videos, S-3D PS3 console games, S-3D PC games. But it seems like the different S-3D HDTVs (DLP, PDP, Spectron IQ LCD -- not to mention S-3D desktop monitors like IZ3D and Zalman) all use different display techniques. My fear is that I pick the "wrong one" and it won't be supported in the future (e.g. maybe I pick DLP, and then the technology got phased out in 3 years just like CRT monitors, and by the time PS3 supports S-3D games it does not support "checkboard" S-3D). This is stopping me from spending the big $$$$. How would companies like Samsung help convince me to buy the "right S-3D HDTV"? (Of course, the best case is to have a universal S-3D driver from DDD or other companies that support all S-3D display techniques. But being burned by NVIDIA, I am no longer naive enough to assume that.)

Author:  maxthreat [ Wed Mar 26, 2008 7:57 am ]
Post subject: 

Good deal Neil. Those extra details do put it into a better perspective. I had that thought as well, the indirect benefit related to the nature of how Stereo games are rendered. We know having options to turn post processing off isn't in the future of S-3D and I doubt it would be good selling point. I could see some custom PDP chipset related post-processing effects being written very easily. I could pick things apart and guess but really in the end it is only a good thing for the progression of 3D to the masses.
3DTV is huge and after this is mass market the next gen of 3D consoles can't not follow, I give it less than 3 years.
I guess I want to know more about the technology behind the TV, 3D PDP chipset and if and how they will break the post processing issue. Is 1080p going to become the new standard of 3D viewing? I am glad Samsung is involved, there huge. I have two of their TVs and two of their monitors up right now. I would also like to allot more about how Nvidia is involved and if Samsungs 3D is dependant on their Stereo support.

Author:  fsp48 [ Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:10 pm ]
Post subject:  Industry Questions and Observations

This is great news that there is another "team" working to bring S3D to the masses.

Q1) EA, will there be more issues with the propietary S3D solution you are working on like there have been
with widescreen support from the first launch of a popular title such has BF2 that I purchased?

The widescreen thing seemed to fall on deaf ears for a long time even with the fact that widescreen monitors
were the new favorite but there was little to no support for these.
More recently there was an ultra-wide or "surround gaming" piece of hardware from Matrox released known as
triple head to go. This made the gaming experience that much wider and thus immersive and more enjoyable to
see and play...if it was supported correctly. This has been a new, to most gamers, addition to PC gaming and
is even possible with multiple consoles now. This technology is similar to the leap that S3D will add to

I feel that Ea needs to understand why either supporting or allowing the publicly made mods/patches which
correct a problem such as a games field of view(FOV) along with a MATCHING aspect ratio are so important to
the end user. A game needs to display correctly for the monitor it's viewed on but is officially blocked by
Punkbuster and flagged as cheating. Zoom and crop is not a solution.

Things like this are not acceptable and the same type of things needs to be figured out with all the various
S3D solutions in the works. If they can't or dont want to address the problem in house then there needs to
be a way to allow third party solutions put in place. I hate game cheaters in MP as much as the next guy but
at least figure out how to diffrentiate between the two.

I have a triple head solution but am only using 3 older work hand-me-down sony flat CRTs. They still give me
a very nice looking image and I enjoy what it adds to gaming but the most annoying support issue from EA was
that it was an unfair advantage. Is that what we will hear that about EA's S3D solution? Not from EA at
least I would think. There is no real gaming advantage other than it just looks cooler and more immersive.
Single to triple head gaming was 100x better than traditional and now S3D will be 100x better than that. You
realy need to put them together for the ultimate gaming setup which I can do now but only in anaglyph with
certain games and sacrifices thanks to IZ3d for the anaglyph driver support.

Q2) EA and Samsung, do you forsee the "have not's" cry of "unfair advantage" with S3D gaming?

I only recently started playing my driving sims in S3D with Nvidia drivers on a 6800gt in anaglyph. This was
all on my my triple head sytem and wow what a difference the depth adds to sim driving. I then went out of
town for work and came back a couple months later and never fired up the system again until I tore it down
and started over with more power and an 8800gt. I ordered the shutter glasses for it ready for the best S3D
there was now...wrong no more support on the new GPU. Too bad since thats why I went with Nvidia with the
6800gt in the first place over all previous years of using ATI. On that note it was very hard to go back to
regular non S3D for the driving's really that much better.

IMHO as far as unfair advantage is concerned, just play with the hardware you have or can afford and live
with it or make more money to buy better toys...but with that said, please try to keep the S3D solution from
being so elite that not too many gamers can jump right in on an average gamers paycheck to get it going.
The big advantage of S3D and or surround gaming is that it just looks better and a games looks is what pulls
you into the game as long as it is fun to play. There really is no more advantage than having a better {name
your other traditional hardware here}

Q3) How do you deal with the issue of the hardware solution being too niche and too costly?

I think Samsung and EA may need to take a look at MS with the xbox360's losses on the hardware side to pave
the way for getting S3D out of the niche it's in now which is similar to surround gaming. You hear alot
of"yea it's cool but how much is it or will it give me a headache?" The industry needs to keep costs as low
as possible to get more people hooked on the fun of S3D. For example, the Matrox price point should have
started at least 100 usd lower to win over more gamers or have offered some type of monitor package deal with
a monitor maker. Samsung comes to mind since they offer very nice monitors with very slim bezels.

It will be very hard to catch on no matter how cool it is if the price is out of reach. How many TH2g owners
do I know? Just my brother of all my gamer friends who do happen to think it looks great but still not quite
great enough to put down the extra cash for it. Will they see how cool the new S3D is and be tempted? Yes,
since I love this stuff so as soon as I know what I'm getting figured out they will be able to try it on my

We need a simple S3D solution/product offering with system requirments etc as to what the options are.
Overcomplicate things and people stay away in frustration. I want what I have now but with a bigger single
unified screen that can run 3.75/4:1 aspect ratio capable all in S3D...What are my options again?

Author:  3Dward [ Thu Mar 27, 2008 12:03 pm ]
Post subject: 

Question to Samsung:

- Why partner with a single editor, be it the number 1, over going straight to nVidia or developping their own universal drivers ?
I mean, if content is king -sarcasm- are they really going to limit their displays to the only 20 % of gaming tittles published by EA ?

In my opinion spending 2000$ on a device only good at displaying 20% of the content is only acceptable by people who had never heard about stereo gaming and only as long as there is no real competiton on the mass market.

- in other words : how long is this partnership going to last until the exclusivety given to EA is "re-examined" ?

Author:  ignatius [ Tue Apr 01, 2008 8:19 am ]
Post subject: 

Not necessarily a question towards EA or Samsung. But does relate to both companies. I am planning on buy a Samsung 3D ready DLP HDTV in the next couple days. And from reading the interview they were talking a lot about future 3D games becoming compatible with the new PDP tv's. My question is, if i get the 3D ready DLP HDTV, will i still be able to play those same 3d games coming in the future like Crysis for example on my tv? Or is it only viewable/playable on the PDP screens?

Thank you for your help.


Author:  LukePC1 [ Tue Apr 01, 2008 9:09 am ]
Post subject: 

Hey you could Play any 3D game on it. It will be the new all inclusive device. It transforms every information about rotation, shifting and so on in 3D 8)

Author:  wuhlei [ Tue Apr 01, 2008 10:17 am ]
Post subject: 

1) are they going to support tracking
2) what are they going to do with all my all time favorite bullfrog games, make a part 2?

Author:  Neil [ Tue Apr 22, 2008 11:50 am ]
Post subject: 

Hi Guys!

I got the interview back from EA and Samsung, and there are some interesting responses to your questions. I'll put it up in the next day or two - I just want to confirm some details first.


Author:  Neil [ Wed Apr 30, 2008 1:19 pm ]
Post subject: 

Answers to your questions were posted today! :P


Author:  Nevermore4ever [ Sun May 04, 2008 7:30 am ]
Post subject: 

Well, then I have another question - could be answered by the companies or by owners of a 3D-TV.

How well can those screens handle the ghosting problem? Because a game with high contrasts like Doom 3 looks quite disturbing (in an unwanted way) :twisted:

Also the Zalman technique sounds a bit healthier to the eyes - ghosting not possible, and no flickering. I wonder if Samsung would also sell TVs based on polarisation and not only based on shutter glasses.

Author:  Zeblade [ Thu May 15, 2008 5:36 pm ]
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Unless I missed it sorry if I did but is DDD the only way to get 3d? Because shutter glasses are like the past and the prices are just crazy. Until someone else comes along that cares and wont charge PER game lmao its cheaper to just go with Iz3d and Zalman. I have nothing against DDD just I tried a few times to ask hard questions and they just didnt answer and dodged the rest.

Author:  yuriythebest [ Fri May 16, 2008 1:00 am ]
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Zeblade wrote:
Unless I missed it sorry if I did but is DDD the only way to get 3d? Because shutter glasses are like the past and the prices are just crazy. Until someone else comes along that cares and wont charge PER game lmao its cheaper to just go with Iz3d and Zalman. I have nothing against DDD just I tried a few times to ask hard questions and they just didnt answer and dodged the rest.

I asked this question myself and seems they offer some kind of single driver soultion, also proprietary. not sure though.

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