3D Stereo Technology: Is it Ready for Prime Time?


The world is a flat disc - at least for the virtual worlds of computer games, which will remain confined to 2D on the screens of their players. 3D stereo displays are (still) too expensive and (still) carry too many limitations to be of interest to the broader PC market. Autostereoscopic displays are a step in the right direction, but their high price and the need for an extra monitor for 2D use make these solutions uninteresting for anything but professional applications. Another reason preventing their acceptance in the near term is the associated reduction of image quality brought on by the halving of the horizontal resolution.

Of course, the development of 3D stereo technology is moving ahead, even as you read this. X3D has already announced a stereoscopic 17" TFT display for PC gamers that should cost somewhere around $1000. A.C.T. Kern also says it is working on such a consumer 3D display. Of course, the hardware support is already in place. Using the software published by More3D, practically any 3D software can be displayed in 3D stereo. NVIDIA is also continuing the development and support of its consumer 3D stereo drivers.

Who knows - maybe some company will surprise us with a completely new 3D stereo technology that comes free of any limitations and offers 3D enjoyment at an affordable price in the very near future. Until that day, however, PC gamers will have to live with the fact that their role in the increasingly realistic games they play is that of a guiding spectator, not a participant.