3D Capable Games: Friend or Foe?

Posted by on May 6, 2010 in Business News, Marketing [ 1 Comment ]

With the newly found obsession of 3D movies thanks in part to large blockbusters like ‘Avatar’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland” one thing seems clear 3D is the entertainment of the future. As more and more movies are projected to be released in 3D, game developers are wondering how they can translate these into their video games. Developing games which are 3D capable requires a lot of pricey technology.

One aspect helping 3D gaming along is the recent developments of large screen televisions from Sony and Samsung which are 3D capable, but these televisions are just one part of the necessary requirements to begin gaming in 3D.

Gaming in 3D also inevitably involves games which are created with 3D capabilities, while some gaming companies are on board with the progressive thinking others are not. Sony is currently in the process of making 3D games which will be able to be played by all play station 3’s purchased since 2006. On the other hand Microsoft is holding off on plans to introduce 3D to their Xbox, and similarly Nintendo is proceeding cautiously with 3D Wii plans.

Besides the purchasing of a 3D capable television set a hefty investment ranging between $2,000 – $5,000, gamers will also need a split screen lens. NVIDIA is one of the main developers currently for 3D gaming innovations their screen allows for 3D visual effects by showing the game in 2 different angles coupled with a shutter glass which constantly opens and shuts forcing the brain to register the images seen in 3D. These shutter glasses are guestimated to run about $200 and need to be installed by the gamer.

So once the gamers have successfully purchased a 3D TV, shutter glass, and software for their 3D gaming experience, the games themselves need to also be in 3D which is not projected to happen until late 2010.

Besides the possibly expensive considerations 3D gamers need to be aware of, others are more concerned about the health repercussions of this type of gaming. Many viewers after screening the film Avatar in 3D suffered from dizziness, nausea, headaches, hypertension and is rumored to be the possible cause of one death.

While there have been no studies to determine the safety of viewing 3D programs, reports like this cause concern for the developers of these technologies.

Samsung recently released a statement suggesting children under the age of 6, women who may be pregnant, elderly persons, any person suffering from insomnia or under the influence of alcohol should abstain from watching things in 3D.  Samsung suggests viewers take frequent breaks to avoid possible side effects of headaches and eye fatigue, these suggestions did not sit well with die hard gamers.

Gaming blogs all over the internet while buzzing with excitement of 3D games find two major drawbacks to this seemingly inevitable invention, the prices of the necessary technologies and the warnings regarding gamers duration of game play. As technology prices are inevitably going to decrease as they become more mainstream, the possible health concerns might not be something which can be amended through time.

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