3D: The New HD (And Why You Should Just Accept It)

 *** During E3 2010, I began thinking about some of the things that are entering our medium of gaming to change the way we view, interact, and participate with video games.  In a series of blogs outside of my regular ongoing Uninteresting $#!% blog, I want to take a look at some of these ideas from a philosophical, psychological, and theological perspective.  Please feel free to participate in discussion.  ***  
 
Continuing my series of blogs in a post E3 2010 world, a prominent thing being displayed was the integration of 3D into the gaming space.  When HD was being introduced almost five years ago as what would be the new mainstream for video games, many were in general agreement that it was the next natural evolution for our medium.  We like pretty games, and in order for games to look prettier, we needed to put more pixels on a screen.  However, looking at 3D, there is rarely a topic where opinions are so greatly divided.  Therefore, let's explore this brave new world that is being pushed into our favorite hobby. 

 Is It Just A Fad?

 THIS...is a fad.  3D does not share the same traits.
Why would it be?  3D is a concept that has been around for ages, and as we are humans by nature, we always want bigger and better for our entertainment experiences.  3D is quite honestly the next logical step beyond HD.  We know we can make images clearer and prettier, but how can we get people to really feel like they are part of the experience?  With movies and potentially TV, this stuff is a slight bit different than video games.  You aren't talking about an interactive experience where many things can happen like glitches and bugs.  Movies are preset images that move along, so the stereoscopy makes some form of sense with that. 
 
Many say 3D is a fad, but it's not.  It's here to stay, and instead of constantly putting studios and publishers down for pushing this initiative because we think "it looks bad" or "it's not well done", we should instead be offering feedback as to WHAT looks bad and WHAT isn't well done.  That feedback is crucial to offering a better experience in future products.  Completely dismissing this technology is denying the very thing that keeps humans going:  curiosity.  This is an exciting time to be in the technological side of entertainment, so why should we boo it when we could help to shape it?  I'm sure a lot of people said the same thing when televisions were first coming around:  "I don't need to see what I can already hear on the radio".  We don't HAVE to see something popping out of the screen when we already see it on the screen.  However, there is NOTHING wrong with offering another layer, a new experience.  However, this brings up the next point... 
 

Make 3D Optional and Glasses-Free

At least modern stereoscopy glasses don't make us look THIS stupid.
Despite the best efforts of all the greatest minds working on stereoscopy technology, there are just some people that 3D does not work for.  Whether they have eye problems or get sick from the motions they are seeing while it is in 3D (hell, any myriad of problems), companies HAVE to make 3D optional!  While it's almost assured that 3D capabilities will be an optional affair for the next year or two, that could always change at any time.  Companies could say "we're only making them in 3D versions" in order to push the tech as well as push the hardware needed to get those 3D capabilities.  Rushing customers to get into the tech is not the way to go, and I can personally only hope that any publisher worth their meddle would realize this. 
 
The other issue is those doofy fucking glasses.  Get rid of them!  I don't want to wear them, you don't want to wear them, no one does.  When I look at the 3DS, I can't help but think of how perfect Nintendo is getting this:  a slider that allows you to customize the depth and amount of 3D (going all the way down to a 2D screen), as well as a glasses-free experience.  Sure, the screen on the 3DS basically forces you to hold it at a certain place to get the 3D effect without going black and such, but they are also still very early in that tech.  Who knows what can happen between now and the time they release it?  Why aren't ALL of the 3DTVs taking this same exact route?  Offer people a menu option on the TV that adjusts the level of stereoscopy to make sure they are comfortable in viewing their experiences, as well as offer a glasses-free experience.  THAT is where you will grab people. 
 

Cost of Entry

 If you're paying $2400 for a 3DTV, you should NOT have to wear stupid glasses.
We can suffice it to say that going into the HD era was not a cheap endeavor, especially if you were a gamer.  Aside from the $1000+ TV do get our 720 and/or 1080p on, we also needed the video game hardware.  That was another $400+, bringing the basic total a minimum of $1400+.  That's not including games, batteries for the controllers, and eventually the Blu-Ray player...unless you were buying a PS3 instead of a 360.  Folks, we're talking about something that could've potentially sucked about $2000 out of your pocket...easily. 
 
With 3D, one question is "what's the cost of entry going to be"?  From the Nintendo Entertainment System to the PlayStation 2, we didn't have to upgrade our TVs that often unless they just broke and we needed a new one.  Within the span of five years, we're at a point where we have to upgrade from an HDTV to a 3DTV.  What kind of price tag does that carry?  Well, a Samsung runs you about $2400 right now.  However, we're not having to buy new hardware.  The 360 is still the 360, and the PS3 is still the PS3.  Therefore, what we're really looking at is just buying that new TV.  Unfortunately, you will still have to wear those glasses, which seems stupid.  Why am I spending $2400+ on a TV and yet I'll have to wear these extra peripherals in order to see it the way you want me to see it?  That makes it seem more like a vanity thing of "hey, my TV does 3D" than an entertainment revolution.  Given that the technology is getting better and better with every day/week/month, we can expect that price to be down in plenty of time for a better penetration rate in most households, as well as TVs that will eventually do away with the need for glasses.
 

Don't Rush The Tech

 Digital photography is making the leap as well, but will this suffice? Digital frames could do a glasses-free type of system, just like a 3DS screen, right?
Too many companies want to jump on the bandwagon and push out a game with 3D capabilities.  If the movie industry has taught us anything within the last week, it's that a rush job on post-production 3D can really destroy a movie (more than M. Night Shyamalan already could - yes, that's a dig at The Last Airbender).  Gaming CANNOT do that.  We're in an industry that (again) deals with bugs, glitches, frame rates, and so many anomalies that one small thing can equal one big problem.  Also, we can't have this stuff forced down our throats.  There was a time when people didn't have surround sound systems everywhere.  That was a very limited thing.  I remember when these things called compact discs were coming around, and it wasn't cheap to get one of these newfangled CD player things.  However, time progressed.  The music industry didn't push that tech onto people.  They allowed it to naturally evolve, and it did. 
 
In a consumer's world, corporations want to push the newest thing into as many homes as possible to get that all important penetration rate.  It's about time we slowed the fuck down and just allowed this tech to take its necessary falls in order to get to its maximum capabilities.  I will find a package far more endearing and worthwhile if I know that the tech behind it has had time put into it.  Take a movie like Up and put it against Avatar.  James Cameron spent years upon years building that tech, and the experience (at least for me) felt very natural with very little eye strain.  Meanwhile, Up was the opposite, making my eyes freak out every five minutes or so to get readjusted.  Take the time to really work this tech out, and you'll find a much larger group of people willing to believe in it. 
 _____________________________________________________________________ 
 
In short, I'd like to say that the bickering and arguing about whether we do or do not like 3D is not going to make it go away.  Moreover, why would we want it to go away?  If we make it go away, we are merely stunting the advancement of technology for a more immersed experience.  I beg and plead, stop the bitching.  Rather than bitch about it, offer constructive criticism to the companies who are implementing this technology.  Funny enough, they'll usually listen if a mass amount of people show that they care enough to help make a better product.  Also, as long as it stays optional, you personally have nothing to worry about.  You may not like 3D, but you aren't being FORCED into 3D except at the theatres.  While that is quite the bummer, the theatres need something to draw people in.  They believe 3D is that thing. 
 
Thanks for reading, and if you have any of your own comments, you know where to put them. 
 
*P.S. - As this is an ongoing series, I figured I'd offer a heads-up on the next entry in this series:  why I think free-for-all and team deathmatch are killing the capabilities of multiplayer.  Look for that one sometime next weekend.
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Edited by jakob187

 *** During E3 2010, I began thinking about some of the things that are entering our medium of gaming to change the way we view, interact, and participate with video games.  In a series of blogs outside of my regular ongoing Uninteresting $#!% blog, I want to take a look at some of these ideas from a philosophical, psychological, and theological perspective.  Please feel free to participate in discussion.  ***  
 
Continuing my series of blogs in a post E3 2010 world, a prominent thing being displayed was the integration of 3D into the gaming space.  When HD was being introduced almost five years ago as what would be the new mainstream for video games, many were in general agreement that it was the next natural evolution for our medium.  We like pretty games, and in order for games to look prettier, we needed to put more pixels on a screen.  However, looking at 3D, there is rarely a topic where opinions are so greatly divided.  Therefore, let's explore this brave new world that is being pushed into our favorite hobby. 

 Is It Just A Fad?

 THIS...is a fad.  3D does not share the same traits.
Why would it be?  3D is a concept that has been around for ages, and as we are humans by nature, we always want bigger and better for our entertainment experiences.  3D is quite honestly the next logical step beyond HD.  We know we can make images clearer and prettier, but how can we get people to really feel like they are part of the experience?  With movies and potentially TV, this stuff is a slight bit different than video games.  You aren't talking about an interactive experience where many things can happen like glitches and bugs.  Movies are preset images that move along, so the stereoscopy makes some form of sense with that. 
 
Many say 3D is a fad, but it's not.  It's here to stay, and instead of constantly putting studios and publishers down for pushing this initiative because we think "it looks bad" or "it's not well done", we should instead be offering feedback as to WHAT looks bad and WHAT isn't well done.  That feedback is crucial to offering a better experience in future products.  Completely dismissing this technology is denying the very thing that keeps humans going:  curiosity.  This is an exciting time to be in the technological side of entertainment, so why should we boo it when we could help to shape it?  I'm sure a lot of people said the same thing when televisions were first coming around:  "I don't need to see what I can already hear on the radio".  We don't HAVE to see something popping out of the screen when we already see it on the screen.  However, there is NOTHING wrong with offering another layer, a new experience.  However, this brings up the next point... 
 

Make 3D Optional and Glasses-Free

At least modern stereoscopy glasses don't make us look THIS stupid.
Despite the best efforts of all the greatest minds working on stereoscopy technology, there are just some people that 3D does not work for.  Whether they have eye problems or get sick from the motions they are seeing while it is in 3D (hell, any myriad of problems), companies HAVE to make 3D optional!  While it's almost assured that 3D capabilities will be an optional affair for the next year or two, that could always change at any time.  Companies could say "we're only making them in 3D versions" in order to push the tech as well as push the hardware needed to get those 3D capabilities.  Rushing customers to get into the tech is not the way to go, and I can personally only hope that any publisher worth their meddle would realize this. 
 
The other issue is those doofy fucking glasses.  Get rid of them!  I don't want to wear them, you don't want to wear them, no one does.  When I look at the 3DS, I can't help but think of how perfect Nintendo is getting this:  a slider that allows you to customize the depth and amount of 3D (going all the way down to a 2D screen), as well as a glasses-free experience.  Sure, the screen on the 3DS basically forces you to hold it at a certain place to get the 3D effect without going black and such, but they are also still very early in that tech.  Who knows what can happen between now and the time they release it?  Why aren't ALL of the 3DTVs taking this same exact route?  Offer people a menu option on the TV that adjusts the level of stereoscopy to make sure they are comfortable in viewing their experiences, as well as offer a glasses-free experience.  THAT is where you will grab people. 
 

Cost of Entry

 If you're paying $2400 for a 3DTV, you should NOT have to wear stupid glasses.
We can suffice it to say that going into the HD era was not a cheap endeavor, especially if you were a gamer.  Aside from the $1000+ TV do get our 720 and/or 1080p on, we also needed the video game hardware.  That was another $400+, bringing the basic total a minimum of $1400+.  That's not including games, batteries for the controllers, and eventually the Blu-Ray player...unless you were buying a PS3 instead of a 360.  Folks, we're talking about something that could've potentially sucked about $2000 out of your pocket...easily. 
 
With 3D, one question is "what's the cost of entry going to be"?  From the Nintendo Entertainment System to the PlayStation 2, we didn't have to upgrade our TVs that often unless they just broke and we needed a new one.  Within the span of five years, we're at a point where we have to upgrade from an HDTV to a 3DTV.  What kind of price tag does that carry?  Well, a Samsung runs you about $2400 right now.  However, we're not having to buy new hardware.  The 360 is still the 360, and the PS3 is still the PS3.  Therefore, what we're really looking at is just buying that new TV.  Unfortunately, you will still have to wear those glasses, which seems stupid.  Why am I spending $2400+ on a TV and yet I'll have to wear these extra peripherals in order to see it the way you want me to see it?  That makes it seem more like a vanity thing of "hey, my TV does 3D" than an entertainment revolution.  Given that the technology is getting better and better with every day/week/month, we can expect that price to be down in plenty of time for a better penetration rate in most households, as well as TVs that will eventually do away with the need for glasses.
 

Don't Rush The Tech

 Digital photography is making the leap as well, but will this suffice? Digital frames could do a glasses-free type of system, just like a 3DS screen, right?
Too many companies want to jump on the bandwagon and push out a game with 3D capabilities.  If the movie industry has taught us anything within the last week, it's that a rush job on post-production 3D can really destroy a movie (more than M. Night Shyamalan already could - yes, that's a dig at The Last Airbender).  Gaming CANNOT do that.  We're in an industry that (again) deals with bugs, glitches, frame rates, and so many anomalies that one small thing can equal one big problem.  Also, we can't have this stuff forced down our throats.  There was a time when people didn't have surround sound systems everywhere.  That was a very limited thing.  I remember when these things called compact discs were coming around, and it wasn't cheap to get one of these newfangled CD player things.  However, time progressed.  The music industry didn't push that tech onto people.  They allowed it to naturally evolve, and it did. 
 
In a consumer's world, corporations want to push the newest thing into as many homes as possible to get that all important penetration rate.  It's about time we slowed the fuck down and just allowed this tech to take its necessary falls in order to get to its maximum capabilities.  I will find a package far more endearing and worthwhile if I know that the tech behind it has had time put into it.  Take a movie like Up and put it against Avatar.  James Cameron spent years upon years building that tech, and the experience (at least for me) felt very natural with very little eye strain.  Meanwhile, Up was the opposite, making my eyes freak out every five minutes or so to get readjusted.  Take the time to really work this tech out, and you'll find a much larger group of people willing to believe in it. 
 _____________________________________________________________________ 
 
In short, I'd like to say that the bickering and arguing about whether we do or do not like 3D is not going to make it go away.  Moreover, why would we want it to go away?  If we make it go away, we are merely stunting the advancement of technology for a more immersed experience.  I beg and plead, stop the bitching.  Rather than bitch about it, offer constructive criticism to the companies who are implementing this technology.  Funny enough, they'll usually listen if a mass amount of people show that they care enough to help make a better product.  Also, as long as it stays optional, you personally have nothing to worry about.  You may not like 3D, but you aren't being FORCED into 3D except at the theatres.  While that is quite the bummer, the theatres need something to draw people in.  They believe 3D is that thing. 
 
Thanks for reading, and if you have any of your own comments, you know where to put them. 
 
*P.S. - As this is an ongoing series, I figured I'd offer a heads-up on the next entry in this series:  why I think free-for-all and team deathmatch are killing the capabilities of multiplayer.  Look for that one sometime next weekend.
Posted by warxsnake

Because consoles don't already have enough framerate issues, let's go ahead and render everything twice now. And 3D at a bad framerate is like asking for AIDS

Posted by natetodamax

I'll accept 3D if 
 

  • I never have to wear glasses (since I already wear eyeglasses)
  • It doesn't make games look worse
  • I don't need to buy a 3D television that costs thousands of dollars
 
The last one basically ruins it for me.
Edited by iAmJohn

Note that I have not bothered reading your entry and am instead going to criticize your flamebait title. 
 
There is an identifiable benefit to HD that 3D does not have: much like color or sound, higher-quality footage is something you cannot simulate.  You either have it or you don't.  Depth is something we have been simulating in film for the past 120 years without any difficulty; 3D is unnecessary for that very reason.  Therefore, 3D is not the new HD and never will be.

Posted by AhmadMetallic

All i did was this : 
 I tried to imagine playing video games in a 3 Dimensional way, and i didnt enjoy what i imagined. 
 
Plus, now you say that 3D should be optional and shit, but believe me, once we give the devs our trust and let them change our entertainment as they please, they're gonna force 3D unto us as "the new cool" and the shit will hit the fan

Posted by Pinworm45

I'm not going to accept it, because it's bad. HD, IE Higher Resolution, is not bad.
 
Sorry to burst your bubble.

Edited by Trilogy

I believe most people are more worried about developers spending too much time on the 3d and not enough time developing the game in areas that they are worried about. It's pretty much the same argument people make when they don't want multiplayer in a game. They are afraid that too many development dollars and time are being wasted. I think this argument holds a little water for now as the tech is still very new. Once developers get used to the tech it's going to be a lot easier and cheaper and that argument won't hold as much water.
 
Me personally... I'm neutral to 3d. I doubt I'll invest in the technology and if it turns out to be a flop then I won't loose any sleep over it. That doesn't mean I want it to die right away but I'm just not interested in it in my home entertainment space. At least not with games.

Posted by MrKlorox

Hear hear! But let's please just stop calling stereoscopic visuals "3D". I thought we got past that when we stopped calling polygonal games "3D". When holographic style walk-around displays come out, then we'll end up calling that "3D" as well. 
 
@natetodamax said:

" I'll accept 3D if 
 
  • I never have to wear glasses (since I already wear eyeglasses)
  • It doesn't make games look worse
  • I don't need to buy a 3D television that costs thousands of dollars
 
The last one basically ruins it for me.
"

  • There are already some technologies like this. Check out next year's CES show
  • They make most games look "worse" in the exact same way HDTVs often do: you see more of the existing flaws
  • Prices will go down just like with regular HDTVs
 
@warxsnake said:
" Because consoles don't already have enough framerate issues, let's go ahead and render everything twice now. And 3D at a bad framerate is like asking for AIDS "
Yes, 3D does not belong on this generation of home consoles. But like all console tech, the concept will need to be proven to the market on PC first. Next generation consoles will likely have stereoscopy as a standard in mind removing and thoughts of "this should have been in mono in higher resolution instead". Does 5.1 audio bother people this generation because it takes up three times as much of the sound budget?
Posted by mrhankey

I skimmed your argument, and will only accept 3d for the same reasons as  @natetodamax

" I'll accept 3D if 
 
  • I never have to wear glasses (since I already wear eyeglasses)
  • It doesn't make games look worse
  • I don't need to buy a 3D television that costs thousands of dollars
 
The last one basically ruins it for me.
"
Posted by jakob187
@warxsnake: Plenty of games do, but that's where keeping 3D optional is part of it.  Moreover, there have been massive leaps made in the technology over just the last six months.  Who is to say that this will be a problem for very much longer? 
 
@iAmJohn: That's okay.  I only read the part of your comment that said I had a flamebait title and "3D is not the new HD".  It's not a flamebait title, but rather saying exactly what I need to say:  3D is the next step in evolution for our entertainment viewing, much the same way that HD was.  Maybe you should've read what I wrote so you could understand the purpose of it rather than making a stupid comment on a blog.  =  / 
 
@Ahmad_Metallic: I highly doubt that the publishers are going to "push" 3D onto us.  They pushed HD because their consoles were capable of HD.  However, they are using those same consoles to play around with both motion controls as well as 3D.  Therefore, the likelihood of being forced into the tech with the current gen of consoles seems illogical.  So far, 3D is being kept optional, and it's the way that it should remain.  Hell, Nintendo is putting out a handheld that is CALLED the 3DS.  It's right in the title, but they still offer a slider that allows you to completely turn off the 3D if you want to!  The gaming industry understands the risk they run with this tech, and they don't want to flub it.  There will definitely be folks that want to do nothing more than cash-in on it in the hopes of it being a "fad"... 
 
Why do so many people really want this to be some kind of fad or gimmick?  What is honestly so bad about the idea of having 3D capabilities in video games and other forms of media?  Have we come to a point that we don't want technological advancement?  It's kind of disheartening to think that people WANT 3D to fail, they WANT to see it gone...rather than offer a helping hand and words of constructive criticism to IMPROVE it!
Posted by AhmadMetallic
@jakob187 said:
" Why do so many people really want this to be some kind of fad or gimmick?  What is honestly so bad about the idea of having 3D capabilities in video games and other forms of media?  Have we come to a point that we don't want technological advancement?  It's kind of disheartening to think that people WANT 3D to fail, they WANT to see it gone...rather than offer a helping hand and words of constructive criticism to IMPROVE it! "
hmm.. though im not a fan of evolution and advancements, like big leaps in the way we live and play games and everything (for social reasons i dont wish to discuss), i like the way you're saying what you're saying. 
 
lets see where this new innovation (video game-wise) will take us and what it will offer. I now change my vote from "never" to "maybe?"
Posted by carlthenimrod

3D will never be the new HD. It's more like the new PIP (picture-in-picture). It's a side feature at best. Don't forget some people get sick from viewing 3D. Nobody gets sick from higher definition. There's a reason you can turn it off on most devices.

Edited by jakob187
@Ahmad_Metallic: That's the mentality I'm hoping to see come around.  People are so quick to dismiss the idea of stereoscopic technology in general, whether it's because it's cool to hate on it or because they just don't want to be open-minded about the possibility that it might actually kick ass. 
 
I remember listening to the Bombcast during E3...can't remember if it was Day 1 or Day 2...and the excitement in Ryan's voice over the 3DS really grabbed me.  Here's a man who can be rather dismissive and pessimistic at times (and really, what reviewer/critic isn't?)...and he's saying "dood, I'm sold".  IT TURNED RYAN FUCKING DAVIS AROUND!  That moment is actually what made me think about all of this stuff since that Bombcast in the first place! 
 
@natetodamax  @mrhankey: I can agree with all three of those bullet points.  If it's one thing that we've always seen in technology, however, it's that the "lower-end customers" like us typically don't convert to new tech until it is more affordable for our budget as well as less rickety.  There's absolutely nothing wrong with that.  It's how VHS, CDs, DVDs, cartridge-based home console gaming, CD-based home console gaming, cell phones, microwaves, and so many other things have worked.  That's the natural flow of technology.  Maybe there's this fear that we'll be forced into a tech that we are not ready to be a part of, but electronics companies as well as the entertainment industry know that you can't just force it down peoples' throats...when it's something that will be going into their homes.  DVDs started their life very sketchy, as they were battling it out with laserdisc.  If it weren't for the technology of PlayStation 2's playing DVDs, that physical form of medium might've had a tougher time selling itself.  It's a prime example of how advancement in technology was able to become a trendsetter. 
 
Who is to say that using the current hardware for 3D spec testing and seeing how well it is received can't determine where the future of it is at, as well as what kind of specs new consoles would need in order to run these types of games smoother with less hitches?  Right now, where the idea of 3D stereoscopy stands, it's optional...and the people that are partaking in that option are the guinea pigs.  It sucks having to label them as such, but they are...and again, that's the natural cycle of technology.  The difference this time around is that we're not having to buy more new hardware outside of a new TV, and those TVs will decline in price rather swiftly once the technology becomes cheaper to manufacture as well as something that is understood better. 
 
@carlthenimrod: When I say "3D is the new HD", I mean more in the way of saying "pink is the new black".  It's all marketing, business strategy, and frankly, it's something that the companies want to implement into entertainment.  I figured people would've understood that from the title...as well as reading what I had to say...but apparently, that was asking too much of people's intellects?  =  /  I don't know.  Sorry for the confusion.
Posted by iAmJohn
@jakob187: I feel completely justified in saying what I said.  Even if I ignore the fact that I hate 3D, that I think it more often than not looks stupid and goofy, that it sometimes gives me a headache to watch (I had to stop watching the trailer for that stupid looking owl movie when I saw Toy Story 3 for that very reason), and that I don't want these resources being poured into a shitty niche technology when they could be used to creating things that actually benefit games (like better AI, more interesting, dynamic worlds, and so on), it does not change the fact that your entire statement is wrong.  HD adds visual fidelity and sharper resolution; 3D simulates depth.  One thing is something that you cannot do with lesser technology; another is something we have done for 120 years and without the need of having something literally "pop" off the screen. 
 
On that very fact alone, your statement is wrong.  Your argument was sunk before you even typed a sentence.
Posted by MooseyMcMan

I just think that since Avatar made tons of money, now everybody is jumping on the 3D bandwagon, and that the technology isn't good enough or cheap enough yet. Maybe in a few years, but for now, I'm fine with everything in 2D (well, except for the 3DS).

Posted by Chaser324

I agree that I don't think 3D needs to go away. It's potentially a very cool piece of technology. The key is that Sony and all of these other companies just need to ease up a bit and stop trying to force it. Give the technology time to mature. Given time, the technology will improve, the prices will come down, the install base will grow, and the console specs will improve to a point where 3D won't be such a big performance hit. After all of that begins to happen, then we can start talking about game developers adopting 3D on a large scale.

Moderator
Posted by jakob187
@iAmJohn: Again, my statement of "3D is the new HD" is the same way as saying "pink is the new black".  It is PURELY from a marketing, business strategy, and aesthetic point.  When HD came around, everything was advertised as "in HD!!!".  Hell, games are still coming out that say "HD" at the end of them...as if we're not living in an HD era already. 
 
I'm not arguing the ideas of fidelity.  I'm not even really arguing.  I'm not even disagreeing with you.  I'm saying you read it wrong, misinterpreted the purpose of what I said, and because you didn't read what I actually wrote aside from the title, then you are merely speaking out of your ass on one small thing in a much bigger discussion. 
 
The general idea is that 3D will become as commonplace as HD.  It will become just another portion of our entertainment experience, and you are trying to grill me in saying that I don't know the difference between simulating depth and increased fidelity/sharper resolution.  So...maybe read what I wrote and comment on THAT instead? 
 
@MooseyMcMan: Definitely agree.  I'm not going to go out and buy a $2400 TV to play a game in 3D right now, but that's solely because I don't have the money to drop on one of those TVs and it isn't glasses-free.  If I did have $2400, I could think of other things to spend it on.  However, there are plenty of people who DO have that kind of money and WILL drop dough on that.  You mention the 3DS, and as I pointed out, I think Nintendo is absolutely doing it RIGHT with that thing...even though I haven't seen it in front of me.  The buzz around it is phenomenal and exciting, and I can only hope that people will stop trying to dismiss 3D and instead try embracing the idea while offering constructive ideas to better the technology.
Posted by MrKlorox

As long as this strain of life has stereo vision, stereo visuals isn't going anywhere. If humanity as a whole lost functionality of one eye, then and only then would the technology not go any further.
 
Every single one of you stereoscopy cockblocks who owns a surround sound system is a hypocrite.

Posted by jakob187
@Chaser324: I commend Sony for their initiative, actually.  I don't think they are trying to force it on people at all, since they are still offering their games in 3D as an "option".  Yeah, you have to buy a TV, but I doubt that Sony is going to say "hey, everyone needs to go out and buy a 3DTV now because we're converting everything this coming weekend".  They know it'll take time.  They also know that their installed base is a group of people...that paid $600...for a console at launch.  Therefore, they know EXACTLY what they are doing, if you see what I'm saying.  lol
Posted by iAmJohn
@jakob187: Well then I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions. 
 
@MrKlorox said:
" Every single one of you stereoscopy cockblocks who owns a surround sound system is a hypocrite. "
You cannot simulate stereoscopic sound.  You can simulate visual depth.
Posted by Chaser324
@jakob187: 
Yeah, you do have to admire the way Sony goes balls out with some of these cutting edge technologies...it's even more admirable how often they make it pay off. Spearheading technologies like DVD, HD, and Blu-Ray and trying to get them into homes has worked out extremely well for them.
Moderator
Edited by MrKlorox
@iAmJohn said:

" @jakob187: Well then I'm sorry for jumping to conclusions. 
 

@MrKlorox said:

" Every single one of you stereoscopy cockblocks who owns a surround sound system is a hypocrite. "

You cannot simulate stereoscopic sound.  You can simulate visual depth. "
It's called stereophonic sound. And I didn't say stereo sound, I said surround sound (ie: 3 to 22 speakers... usually "5.1").
 
Secondly, stereoscopy IS simulated visual depth. What you mean is approximated depth, like making something smaller to look farther away or having parallax backgrounds. Echochrome is the only game I can think of that would have no benefit from actual simulated depth, only because it relies on the 2D visual tricks used to approximate depth.
Posted by iAmJohn
@MrKlorox Oh fuck off, you know what I meant. >:|
Posted by Sweep

I refuse to embrace 3D because it's so obviously flawed, specifically on a personal level. I'm slightly short-sighted in my right eye which means when I use 3D glasses the two lenses do not match up so instead of perfect 3D I get a freakish smear of colour. It's not terrible and I can still watch a film that way but it's uncomfortable and mentally exhausting in a way that films really don't need to be. 
 
Cliche as it may be, until 3D cinematography becomes meaningful instead of just a novel way of viewing the latest Shrek spinoff, i'm not interested.

Moderator
Posted by Gamer_152

A very well-written piece, I think you touched on some key points; 3D needs to be optional, not involve glasses and at this point costs a scary amount. The one thing I would say is that in terms of stereoscopic 3D a big hurdle for anyone trying to create or distribute 3D entertainment is producing pictures at what will be double the frame-rate. 120 FPS could be the new 60 FPS and that means the people behind games need to get them drawing to screens twice as fast and people behind cable and satellite TV services will have to start beaming double the data to their customers. I believe the coming future really will be make-or-break time for 3D.

Moderator
Posted by TheHT

D:
 
NEVER.

Online
Posted by DanielJW

Awesome write up. As somewhat of a bystander to this 3D "revolution", I'm quite excited to see where it goes. I'm rather impressed with what movies are doing with the glasses technology, and I'm really looking forward to getting a 3DS in my hands. I'd love to see how far we can take this. It's certainly exciting new ground.

Posted by Burns098356GX

I think 3d would be awesome. Unfortunately I dont want to wear space goggles to see it. That alone keeps me from not wanting to buy a 3d TV. Ever.

Edited by MrKlorox
@Sweep said:

" Cliche as it may be, until 3D cinematography becomes meaningful instead of just a novel way of viewing the latest Shrek spinoff, i'm not interested. "

But here's the thing: I don't expect stereoscopy to become meaningful in cinema whatsoever. You don't need to know exactly how much distance is inbetween the fighter plane and its target since it's entirely passive. If it was the same scenario in a videogame, you would need to have agood idea of the target distance and speeds and trajectories of both planes and the ammunition to nail it. Having a more precise sense of depth would have a real impact on your performance. The movie would be the same, regardless.
 
Miyamoto analogized it to butt-stomping a wooden peg in Mario 64. What might take you three or four tries regularly might only take you one afterward.
 
Regarding single eye vision issues, are you saying you wear corrective lenses most of the time? Do you have problems seeing depth in the real world?
 
@Gamer_152 said:

" The one thing I would say is that in terms of stereoscopic 3D a big hurdle for anyone trying to create or distribute 3D entertainment is producing pictures at what will be double the frame-rate. 120 FPS could be the new 60 FPS and that means the people behind games need to get them drawing to screens twice as fast and people behind cable and satellite TV services will have to start beaming double the data to their customers. I believe the coming future really will be make-or-break time for 3D. "

I don't understand this. Most console games are locked to 30/1 FPS at this point anyway. Wouldn't 60/2 pretty much do? And TV/satellite/Blu-Ray videos are almost always only 24/1 frames per second. Those could stand going to 60/2 for 3D and still be smoother than usual.
Posted by ryanwho

Yo 3d takes a lot of CPU because everything is rendered twice, so games that use it will not look as good as games that don't. People would rather the game look better, 3d's a fad sry.

Posted by Nephrahim

Nice blog post. 
 
I know Giantbomb has a lot of 3D haters (Only natural since the staff feels that way) but there's a lot of potential in the technology, an it shouldn't be dismissed just because you think the glasses are stupid.

Posted by jakob187
@MrKlorox: I'm glad that you understand where I'm coming from.  The technology is there, and progress is being made to enhance it all the time...but people just want to complain about glasses and how it hurts their eyes.  They don't want to be a part of the evolution - they just want to be there for the end result. 
 
@Sweep: That sucks.  I know how something like that can be.  I have 60% hearing loss in my left ear from a misdiagnosed ear infection when I was a child that ended up damaging some shit in there.  Trying to compare the sense of sound to the sense of sight is a bit apples to oranges, but imagine how much it sucks for me when people are saying something on my left side and it sounds like they are whispering...and I keep saying "huh?".  =  / 
 
With that said, I'm sure that there will be advancements made that will eventually work out these issues.  As it stands, though, I have friends that have corrective contacts, and they've said that they don't have a problem with 3D films too much, so I don't know.
Edited by ryanwho

It shouldn't be dismissed because of a big barrier to entry people haven't wanted to cross for 30 years? That's the exact reason it should be dismissed. That's why 3DS is such a big deal. 3d (requiring glasses) has spiked and will wain in interest from here, as its a fad. Saying that's a fad is not saying hologram tech is also a fad. Hologram tech will be great, you get depth and it doesn't mess up your eyes an no glasses. But that's not what 3d is right now. When people talk about disdain for 3d they're talking about what it is and not what it could be in some scifi feverdream.

Posted by TooWalrus

You know, I really want to like 3D, and since it's going to be our overlord someday, I'm trying to get used to the idea. I saw Toy Story 3 this weekend, and man, that movie was awesome, but the 3D was just irritating. I don't understand the appeal of making subtitles pop out of the screen, it was distracting. The 3D made the illusion that I was six feet farther away from the screen than I actually was. I don't like it on the big screen, or especially at home. I'm super excited for the 3DS, however, and aside from that, I'm going to stick with the 2D option whenever possible.

Online
Edited by liquidsol

I wouldn't judge 3D unless you have actually seen the way it works in your home.  Most people I know who are excited about 3D, became that way after watching Avatar on IMAX.  In your home, it's a lot less effective, and gets old QUICKLY.  Even though the images are coming out of your screen, they are still contained within the outer edges of it.  That basically means, you have to sit 2 feet away from the TV to get the effect that advertisers are pushing.  A 46 inch screen does not compare to IMAX, any movie theater for that matter. 
 
It also comes down to personal preference.  I don't like 3D, because it just doesn't impress me.  Avatar was the only 3D experience I enjoyed, but even then, I could do without it.  I just don't get the "Wow" feeling that I get from a really good movie or really good gameplay.  3D, like CGI, can only enhance the experience for me.  Having said that, glasses are annoying.  Too many peripherals are annoying.  With 3D glasses, Kinect, and Move coming, I see a serious overload of peripherals.

Posted by DevWil
@jakob187:  
 
i read your blog and you didn't change my opinion on 3D one bit. 
 
stereoscopy and HD aren't comparable in the slightest.  the HD "revolution" (if you will) was just electronics manufacturers going "y'know...we could totally put more pixels up in this".  there's also the new aspect ratio (which was only actually new to home theater), but the transition to HD was pretty uncontroversial.  the transition to HD was one to a new generation of electronics that were indisputably higher fidelity.  it was/is easy to prove.  how many pixels does your TV show?  oh.  mine shows more.  i don't think anybody ever argued that higher resolution was anything but better.  well, maybe being able to see the acne scars of the local news anchors isn't so great, but still.
 
i will totally admit that the last time i saw something in 3D was...i don't remember.  i think i was at an amusement park or something, like 10 years ago.  something like that.  i didn't see avatar in 3d (or at all) and i'm simply not interested.  my understanding is that it still just makes everything look like a pop-up book (or magic eye).  this isn't any more immersive.  not really.  at the end of the day, you're still looking at pictures in a frame.   the artistic considerations in a stereoscopic motion picture vs a "flat" one are trivial at best and gimmicky at worst.  
 
until we're using holodeck-like technology, it's not adding depth in any meaningful way.
 
we already tend to have freedom to explore game worlds in three dimensions.  games like Super Mario 64 were the transition to 3D gaming, not stereoscopy.  your brain is already understanding the image in three spatial dimensions, even if it's not popping out of the screen.
 
you're right about one thing: this current push towards stereoscopy isn't a fad.  it is, however, still a stupid gimmick.  i don't want to necessarily accuse you of this, but people seem to easily forget that stereoscopy in motion pictures isn't a 21st-century idea.  the only real difference now is that it's making its way into the home market.
Edited by Bionicicide
@jakob187: 
 Which would you choose: 3D or wider TVs [in 21:9]? ^ *See mini bio* ^ 
Posted by jakob187
@Bionicicide: Personally, you're asking the wrong guy.  I still have a 28" SDTV.  I don't need to buy an HDTV because of my workplace.  Here's the issue that I have with your question:  who is to say that you can't have both of those happen?  You are making it out to be a CHOICE.  Nothing has to be a CHOICE.  People can be working on wider TVs while also working on 3D TVs.  Problem solved.  Yet again, another dismissive mindset... 
 
@DevWil: Sorry I didn't change your mind.  As it stands, it sounds like you already have a problem against 3D anyways because you don't view it as a necessity.  I think we've already dealt with enough years of necessity that it's time we put some frills on that necessity.  HD was the necessity, 3D is the extra cherry on top. 
 
Also, how can you contest the merits of any artistic capabilities of stereoscopy when you have already stated that you didn't see Avatar and your last experience is 10 years old?  I mean, I'm fully aware of how old the idea of stereoscopy is.  My mom still has her grandmother's old antique stereoscope from back when photography was first coming around.  I have fond memories of looking at pictures through it when I was younger.  Regardless, I look at stuff like the artwork of Alex Grey or how someone like Tarsem Singh or Terry Gilliam could implement it into a film. 
 
Actually, all of this talk from naysayers makes me think one major thing:  if Salvador Dali and Luis Buenel were alive today, they would be giddy with joy at the idea of making a film in stereoscopic 3D...and there would be FAR less naysayers.
Posted by Sweep
@jakob187 said:
"@Sweep: That sucks.  I know how something like that can be.  I have 60% hearing loss in my left ear from a misdiagnosed ear infection when I was a child that ended up damaging some shit in there.  Trying to compare the sense of sound to the sense of sight is a bit apples to oranges, but imagine how much it sucks for me when people are saying something on my left side and it sounds like they are whispering...and I keep saying "huh?".  =  /  With that said, I'm sure that there will be advancements made that will eventually work out these issues.  As it stands, though, I have friends that have corrective contacts, and they've said that they don't have a problem with 3D films too much, so I don't know. "
Sure I could get contacts. I could even get laser eye surgery, if I could afford it. But should I have to compromise just to watch 3d films? Can you name a film that justifies me going out of my way to watch it in 3d? 
 
That's the problem. 3D technology comes with more baggage than many people will be prepared to handle.
Moderator
Posted by Sweep
@MrKlorox said:
" @Sweep said:

" Cliche as it may be, until 3D cinematography becomes meaningful instead of just a novel way of viewing the latest Shrek spinoff, i'm not interested. "

But here's the thing: I don't expect stereoscopy to become meaningful in cinema whatsoever. You don't need to know exactly how much distance is inbetween the fighter plane and its target since it's entirely passive. If it was the same scenario in a videogame, you would need to have agood idea of the target distance and speeds and trajectories of both planes and the ammunition to nail it. Having a more precise sense of depth would have a real impact on your performance. The movie would be the same, regardless.
 
Miyamoto analogized it to butt-stomping a wooden peg in Mario 64. What might take you three or four tries regularly might only take you one afterward.
 
Regarding single eye vision issues, are you saying you wear corrective lenses most of the time? Do you have problems seeing depth in the real world? "
If you don't expect it to become meaningful then it will remain the novelty status it has had up until now. It's not about being able to appreciate depth and distance it's about whether it will have beneficial and productive repercussion for the medium of cinematography. And I don't mean watching spiders jump out the screen in the next scooby doo film. 
 
Maybe it's just because i'm a film snob and I dismiss 90% of the films that are released as shallow garbage but I honestly can't see any film experience genuinely benefiting from 3D technology in an artistic sense.
 
 
And no I don't wear contact lenses and I don't have any problem seeing stuff normally. I took an eye test a couple of weeks ago before my driving exam and whilst they said my eyesight was not perfect it was still good enough for me to pass. What basically happens is my right eye will focus at a slightly different depth to my left - the two planes don't match up and I get a blur. It's only really noticeable with 3D because it's harder to focus on the correct depth.
Moderator
Edited by jakob187
@Sweep: I could get a hearing aid...or even tubes put in...to try and help clear my hearing up...if I could afford it.  I don't complain about people trying to advance audio in ways that I won't be able to hear it because along with the 60% hearing loss, I'm also partially high tone deaf. 
 
You're making a losing argument to me.  ANY advancement in technology is going to have someone who can't fully appreciate what that technology is doing.  Again, I point back to my blog where it says "make it optional".  If you honestly want to partake in something in 3D, then do so...and if not, then don't. 
 
Can I name one movie?  Avatar used stereoscopic 3D incredibly well, but that time has passed.  Trying to say that there is a movie in this still-young infancy of mainstream use for stereoscopic 3D that "justifies" it would be the same as me asking you if you can name me any movie that fully justifies me needing to hear it in surround sound.  I can still hear the same sound coming out of the movie without needing to hear it coming from behind me or to my off-right, or even from a surrounding wall of sound.  There's no movie to me that justifies NEEDING it.  However, surround sound is not a NECESSITY.  It's an option...and it's an option that I happen to partake in. 
 
3D is ALSO an option, and so long as the industries (movie, gaming, and whatever else) KEEP it as an OPTION...then we're doing fine. 
 
Again, sorry that you can't partake in the 3D experience in the same way as everyone else.  I just don't see that as being a big enough reason why the technology should be dismissed and considered unworthy of further advancement. 
 
P.S. - I see what you are trying to do here:  point out that HD was a necessity while 3D is an option, thereby meaning that 3D is not the new HD.  I understand that logic and point of view.  That's not what I meant with the title.  It was strictly meant as "pink is the new black".
Posted by Sweep
@jakob187:  Heheh ok just to clarify this isn't really a big deal for me. I'm not angry or indignant because I feel excluded. I just don't like the idea of having to wear some goofy glasses to see a blurry image when what we have seems pretty fucking good already. 
 
Neither am I saying it shouldn't exist. I do think however that it's never going to be useful as a production tool. 
 
Avatar was pretty good, yo.
Moderator
Posted by Nephrahim
@Sweep: You know, I'm not an expert on the technology, but in the Movies, I don't have any trouble putting the glasses over my own.
Posted by jakob187
@Sweep: I can't believe that someone like you, who is typically very open-minded, would honestly say that you don't think stereoscopic 3D could at any point genuinely benefit someone's artistic ability.  We've been seeing movies pop up in the mainstream for...a year, maybe...in 3D?  So in the course of a year, we're supposed to have all this stuff figured out, ready to go, and bam?  Seriously? 
 
Dood, Tony Scott took the film stock for Domino and overdeveloped that shit to give it a completely unique look.  We still haven't completely figured out our OLD technology!  We're still experimenting with shit!  Now, we're trying to add an additional layer to that artistic palette, and you want to dismiss that? 
 
I'm just shocked, that's all.  You of all people seem like you would be gung-ho for people having the opportunity to extend their artistic capabilities, eye problems or not.
Posted by Sweep
@SamDrugbringer said:
" @Sweep: You know, I'm not an expert on the technology, but in the Movies, I don't have any trouble putting the glasses over my own. "
I don't wear glasses. I wouldn't need them for anything other than 3D. That's kind of my point dude...
Moderator
Posted by Sweep
@jakob187: I would be happy for someone to prove me wrong. If you sat me down and showed me something mind-blowingly awesome that could only have been fully realized with this new 3D technology then yes - i'm back onboard. Until that day comes i'm going to remain skeptical.
Moderator
Posted by buzz_killington

But... but it hurts my eyes!

Posted by jakob187
@Sweep: I'm more than positive that if you give it another year or two for people to actually look at how the stuff works and play around with it, we'll start seeing some cool and creative shit come out of directors, editors, etc.  Until that time, we have to just watch the technology evolve.  That's the way the cycle of technology goes:  you've gotta get through the steps of exploration and invention before you can get to the fun shit. 
 
It's sad that you remain skeptical to it, though. 
 
Bringing the debate that we've been having into video games, however, is a different story.  With movies, that is a passive form of art.  Therefore, as someone pointed out earlier (I think Ahmad or Klorox), we currently don't need to see distance or anything crazy like that.  Mind you, that's based solely on where the tech is RIGHT NOW.  However, with games, having the capability of stereoscopics would mean we have our OWN depth of field and would no longer need that represented for us in-game by blurring out the graphics of an object in the foreground for the illusion of depth.  We would actually have stereoscopics providing that depth, and our own eyes would adjust to that. 
 
As it stands right now, the only two games that we've had hit the market with stereoscopic 3D available are Avatar: The Game and G-Force.  I can't say that those are two games where they were artistically trying to make that 3D stuff mean something.  However, now we have a TON of games that are slated for stereoscopic treatment.  Once THOSE hit, we'll be able to pass some more judgment.  Killzone 3, Crysis 2, plus the few games that Sony announced for right now like Wipeout HD and Motorstorm Pacific Rift and such.  There is the 3DS coming. 
 
In film, I think it can always be something arguable whether it's something worthwhile or not.  In gaming though, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find someone that wouldn't want to have something closer to a TRUE depth of field rather than some blurred-out graphics to imitate it.  At the same time, we don't want to see performance drop, and with motion controls AND 3D becoming big things at the same time, I think there is a genuine cause for worry about that.  However, we'll have to wait and see what happens.
Posted by Damian

I don't know. I'm neither pro nor con on this. Either the technology will prove itself worthy or worthless. Right now it's in a minor renaissance of sorts, so I think we should just see where it goes before we get out the pitchforks or sing its praises. And if one day 3D is unavoidably everywhere, it will be because most people think it's good, not because it's just a really long-lasting fad that everyone just puts up with.
 
All I know is that the 3DS looks pretty damn cool and I haven't heard anything bad about it yet. But it is only possible because we're trying new things with this technology. So for people to be saying 3D sucks but the 3DS is some sort of exception is ridiculous. 
3DS' 3D will be optional. Sony's 3D will be optional. 3D movies are mostly optional. There's no reason for such a knee-jerk reaction.

Posted by Hailinel

I have absolutely no interest in, nor do I have any intent to buy a 3D television.  Even if I were to get one, I'd have to get enough pairs of glasses for a small group of people, otherwise there would be no point in buying the TV.  And frankly, I already wear glasses, and I absolutely despise the idea of being forced to put glasses on over my glasses like some retarded Xzibit joke.
 
Nintendo really has the right idea when it comes to 3D tech.  If I'm going to buy any device that outputs 3D images, it had damn well better be one that doesn't require special eye wear.

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