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Why Should We Bother With 3D Now?

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 69 comments

Are we willing to sacrifice image brilliance and saturation for our content to slightly pop out?

Nvidia went through the trouble of putting up its own tent a block away from Taipei 101 for COMPUTEX 2010 visitors. Inside were showcases of various products and hardware using Nvidia technology, including laptops, all-in-one PCs, and reference GPU cards.

But the focus of the venue was clearly Nvidia's push into the 3D market. There were multiple three-display workstations, all running popular video games in 3D mode. For those who haven't tried viewing 3D yet, the screens presented a slightly blurry picture to plain sight. Users have to wear a pair of glasses for a clear image. If the format of the content supports it, objects slightly pop-out for the viewer.

Basically, current 3D technology creates the illusion of depth. Objects closer to the viewer pop out more. The problem is that this illusion isn't usually convincing. Worse, the tinted 3D glasses usually take away some of the saturation and brightness of the picture. The image is still clear, albeit darker and with less difference between the colors.

So there we were, showing off our mad driving skills on NFS: Shift, weaving through a virtual racetrack perceived via 3D glasses. And while we handily won the race, we left with the impression that nVidia's offering was pretty much the same as everyone else's. Wear the glasses for a clear, yet slightly darker image.

Sure, it's sometimes great to see objects pop-out slightly from the screen. But when the experience isn't impressive enough to be a must-have, it's probably best to wait for companies to make consumer 3D level technology more convincing.

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Top Comments
  • 23 Hide
    Parsian , June 2, 2010 3:23 PM
    Yes the 3D technology needs a lot of improvement but I hate to see it disappear again... The only way these things can become feasible and improve is through increase in demand and popularity.
  • 20 Hide
    Trueno07 , June 2, 2010 3:15 PM
    Yea.. Thanks, but no thanks.. It's not you, it's me...
  • 18 Hide
    dravis12 , June 2, 2010 3:27 PM
    I played 3D BC2 at PAX East and while it looked impressive it seemed a bit gimicky.

    Top that off with >$4000 in hardware to be able to recreate the environment they had...no thanks.
Other Comments
  • 20 Hide
    Trueno07 , June 2, 2010 3:15 PM
    Yea.. Thanks, but no thanks.. It's not you, it's me...
  • 13 Hide
    w1zz4 , June 2, 2010 3:17 PM
    Ok, judging by the title, I was sure this article would be about AMD not Nvidia...
  • 23 Hide
    Parsian , June 2, 2010 3:23 PM
    Yes the 3D technology needs a lot of improvement but I hate to see it disappear again... The only way these things can become feasible and improve is through increase in demand and popularity.
  • 11 Hide
    hokkdawg , June 2, 2010 3:25 PM
    Completely agree - 3D is overrated; it's a good idea on paper, but the practical technology just isn't there yet.

    Anyone here see Avatar in 3D? I thoroughly enjoyed watching a high res, bright & saturated image on my home TV vs. the 3D version at the theater.
  • -1 Hide
    twbg4cq , June 2, 2010 3:27 PM
    I'm not too big on the whole 3D thing either. In fact, when I go to see movies in a theater, I would prefer viewing it without the glasses, but sometimes they don't give you a choice; 3D is all they have.
  • 18 Hide
    dravis12 , June 2, 2010 3:27 PM
    I played 3D BC2 at PAX East and while it looked impressive it seemed a bit gimicky.

    Top that off with >$4000 in hardware to be able to recreate the environment they had...no thanks.
  • 13 Hide
    wolflive , June 2, 2010 3:29 PM
    I agree, it doesn't look all that wonderful and the cost = performance for 3D right now just isn't worth it. I'd rather put my money into a better looking 2D image.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 3:30 PM
    3D has been the rage since the 1950's. I guess it's the most tireless dead horse ever....It always require huge costs and fades away only to resurface later on and repeat the cycle
    3D= Money wasted.
  • 4 Hide
    mattclary , June 2, 2010 3:35 PM
    Just in case playing an FPS didn't give you motion sickness, lets surround you with monitors. In 3D. :o *****
  • 9 Hide
    Tomtompiper , June 2, 2010 3:36 PM
    It's a Gimmick and an overpriced and uncomfortable one at that.

    Sure some people will get it and the rest will nod and whisper to each other "But he isn't wearing any clothes?"
  • 4 Hide
    mpdugas , June 2, 2010 3:38 PM
    ...why not for #D graphics programs? Like Maya, Carrara, Poser and the like?

    It seems imminently sensible that a 3D design program would benefit greatly if it could utilize even existing 3D technology.
  • 5 Hide
    smacks forehead , June 2, 2010 3:43 PM
    3D will be great once they actualy have depth in the image on a gimicky pop-up book style image. Think Avatar vs. Alice in Wonderland.
  • 0 Hide
    smacks forehead , June 2, 2010 3:44 PM
    I meant "not" instead of "on"
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 3:50 PM
    Most of the poo-poohing of this tech seems to be coming from the people who are RABID about multiple GFX setups, 6 core processors, and high end liquid cooling.

    All for a marginal increase in effects.

    Why can you spend a grand on one and not on the other?
  • 3 Hide
    xizel , June 2, 2010 3:53 PM
    yeah.... ill have to say NO, Eyefinity is a much more appealing technology
  • 6 Hide
    CoryInJapan , June 2, 2010 4:04 PM
    Ill wait until you dont need any glasses to see the 3d effects.
  • 13 Hide
    Anonymous , June 2, 2010 4:08 PM
    aghhhhhhhhhh the term 3D hurts my head, most gfx cards can render in 3D for a while now, took me a while to realize they talking about artificial depth perception (we used to call it VR in the old days), someone should rename that damn thing, why are we adopting stupid movie industry terms

    @mpdugas
    most CAD packages have had this ability long time ago, it just never took off, it really didn't give you that much added value considering the performance hit, it can only project a limited perception of depth, you need full motion head tracking to even simulate any useful depth perception (maybe this in conjunction with natal might work)
  • 4 Hide
    vertigo_2000 , June 2, 2010 4:11 PM
    I think the problem with most PC demos is that they've added the 3D after the fact.

    I watched Avatar in 3D. While it wasn't the sole reason I went, I thought it added a little something to the movie. But, Avatar was created from the ground up with 3D in mind.

    I'm still waiting for the 1st PC game designed to be in 3D and not have it added as an afterthought. I think only that will give the user a true idea of the possibilities.
  • 7 Hide
    miloo , June 2, 2010 4:12 PM
    i like the 3D effect no doubt, but i would say no for a 200 bucks glasses.
  • 8 Hide
    joemehnert , June 2, 2010 4:13 PM
    im sorry but 3d through a new led or plasma is far superior to anything ive see in a theater. yes it costs 3000 for a 55tv but until you enjoy it in your own home i would highly recommend the inexperienced keep there comments to themselves.
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