3D movies are becoming quite common and are readily accessible at most any theater, who will provide the necessary 3D glasses. 3D gaming, on the other hand, is in a much more nascent stage, with few developers supporting the feature; this didn’t damper the enthusiasm of the first ever 3D Gaming Summit, where the consensus was that the 3D revolution is coming to gaming sooner rather than later.
The television industry is helping to push 3D to gamers, with both Samsung and Panasonic now selling 3D TVs. Additionally, 3D films on Blu-ray like Coraline and The Polar Express along with 3D programming from networks Discovery and ESPN are helping to popularize 3D on the small screen.
“We’ve got to tell people about it,” said Phil Eisler, general manager of Nvidia’s 3D Vision. “Hollywood has done a fantastic job of educating consumers and marketing to them about the wonderful experience in the theater. We need to tell consumers about the wonderful experience that games are in 3D.”
Conversions to 3D for gaming are not difficult, and hundreds of titles like Battlefield: Bad Company 2 and Resident Evil 5 are already 3D compatible on PC right now, with the correct equipment. “You’re seeing it now,” said Avatar producer Jon Landau. “People are going to want 3D in their homes. I think 3D is going to become ubiquitous in everything we do. From what I understand of the initial TV sales at Best Buy, everything went out the door. Why? Because it’s of a certain quality, and I think that’s what we have to make sure we protect.”
That said, having to wear glasses for the 3D effect is a negative; Michael Cai, an analyst at research firm Interpret, said that gamers are reluctant to don the 3D glasses, but weren’t adverse to 3D gaming in general. Proving its never to early to prepare, Sony is gearing up to include 3D gaming features in the PS3 and Nintendo has already announced that its next handheld, the 3DS, will offer 3D visuals without 3D glasses.
“One of the big advantages of the gaming market is that it’s extremely viral,” said Neil Schneider, president of 3D gaming advocacy group Meant to be Seen. “If there’s a way to capture the interest of just a handful of these gamers, it’s the consumers that could help drive this industry forward, perhaps more influential than a retail display at Best Buy.”
Source: The Hollywood Reporter