July 11, 2010

Why 3D may really be a gaming revolution

Much has been said of late about the 3D movement. Nintendo recently introduced the 3DS, the new handheld that can produce 3D visuals without the aid of 3D glasses and Sony has been pushing 3D games and movies on the PS3, assuming you want to pony up the cash for the hardware, around $3,000+.

Upon first hearing of this, I was firmly in the, 'Say no to 3D' camp. However, the more I think about it the more I think that this could really be the next gaming revolution.

When it comes to movies, I think 3D is useless. Regardless of it being 3D, as the viewer, I still don't have any control over camera position, nor am I interacting with the world I am viewing. I am merely a passive participant in the events presented.

Therefore, from movie standpoint, I think 3D is useless and adds nothing to the presentation.

Games have the potential to be different. I CAN change the camera, and I AM interacting with the environment. Think of all those times you misjudged that jump because you had no depth perception because the 'pseudo' 3D world you are in that being flattened on a 2D plane. Now imagine that same scene, rendered in full 'real' 3D. As you move the character (and in turn the camera that is following the character) you are no longer looking at a flattened world. You can judge distances better simply because you will see the object moving in relation to each other, in a fully rendered 'real' 3D environment.

I've not actually played or even seen a 3D game yet, but if you've ever closed one eye while doing everyday things, you'll see just how much you miss your 3D. If it's done right, jumping alone in games may actually become fun and not the bane of all platformers.

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