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GeForce 3D Vision: Gaming Goes Stereo

Game Compatibility And The Future

Hats off to the team at Nvidia that tested more than 350 DirectX games and determined the best settings for each one. The same group even went to the trouble of subjectively rating compatibility on a scale ranging from Fair to Excellent, giving customers some idea of what to expect when new technology and old software collide. Simply put, some apps just don’t work well in stereo, and in the games we tested with issues, Nvidia's disclaimers generally meshed with what we saw.

In order for the GeForce 3D Vision system to work with a particular game, there needs to be a profile associated with it. You can create your own profile if a given game doesn’t yet have one that matches, but we weren’t able to find a title in our software bin that is not yet accounted for in the GeForce 180.81 driver build. The concept of profiles shouldn’t spook anyone already accustomed to SLI, which is also affected by driver-based profiles for optimal performance. And Nvidia's spokespeople are insistent that, like SLI, new games will immediately receive 3D Vision driver support, too.

At the end of the day, GeForce 3D Vision must really bend itself around the long list of already-published titles, working with them as well as possible given a development process that, in many cases, ended years ago. As a result, none of today’s titles incorporate the sort of effects that made Captain EO audiences jump back in their seats. Sure, the zombies in Left 4 Dead lunge at you—but they stop at the monitor’s plane and are really only frightening when contrasted to the depth added to the rest of the game’s environment.

The fact that Fallout 3 didn’t require any configuration alterations in order to work correctly made it the most representative of how Nvidia might be able to leverage its developer relations strengths in the future to ensure that this technology "just works" in upcoming titles. That's the point where we think GeForce 3D Vision will make the most sense.

The Future

What really knocked our socks off was the stereoscopic test built into Nvidia’s drivers. Not only does it exhibit depth behind the screen, but it also pushed data out past where you’d expect the panel to end, giving that feeling of something popping out at you. Nvidia says it is seeding developers right now with stereoscopic hardware and expects those same "pop-out" effects to start emerging in games this year. Once that happens, the must-experience factor of GeForce 3D Vision will increase. Ideally, prices on the glasses, monitors, and cards will also be lower by then.

  • TheGreatGrapeApe
    Interesting, but I'm surprised that this came out before an updated and finalized GTX295 review.

    nV's recent flurry of 3D stereo-vision and Charlie @ the InQ's pre-emptive bashing of it have been interesting, but it reminds me of Matrox's wonderful surround-view feature, which is great, but it's still niche and will remain so.

    Not my cuppa, but at least the tech is moving forward so who knows about the future.

    I'm one of those people who see the rainbow effect on Gen3 DLP screens with 360hz colour wheels, so I have a feeling these new glasses won't improve the headaches anymore than the faster wheel solved my rainbow vision. Now synch some shutter glasses on a 480hz plasma... ;)
    Reply
  • gmt325gh
    nice...
    just one small problem .... what about people who wear glasses ???!!! :P
    Reply
  • Nice article, but you're forgetting about something...Pc's are not only used for gaming, and if NVidia wants to make this really popular they MUST find a way to make movies work with their glasses.Currently there are very few titles that are in 3D, most are old, and the new ones are expensive, and so far converting a regular movie to stereoscopic 3D is almost impossible, and the quality is not what you'd expect. Also...besides providing their own hardware and a new Vista compatible driver, what did NVidia came up with that surpasses all the other 3D shutter glasses on the market(eDymensional..etc.), giving to account that all the titles you tested work with/the same(look,FPS etc.)with any stereoscopic glasses?
    Reply
  • cangelini
    TheGreatGrapeApeInteresting, but I'm surprised that this came out before an updated and finalized GTX295 review.nV's recent flurry of 3D stereo-vision and Charlie @ the InQ's pre-emptive bashing of it have been interesting, but it reminds me of Matrox's wonderful surround-view feature, which is great, but it's still niche and will remain so. Not my cuppa, but at least the tech is moving forward so who knows about the future.I'm one of those people who see the rainbow effect on Gen3 DLP screens with 360hz colour wheels, so I have a feeling these new glasses won't improve the headaches anymore than the faster wheel solved my rainbow vision. Now synch some shutter glasses on a 480hz plasma...
    Grape,

    It's coming. I sent all of the hardware to Thomas, who has a second GTX 295, which means we'll be able to deliver benchmarks of two 295s versus a pair of X2s and so on down the line. I'm over at CES, so all of this had to be finished up before the show. Should be worth the wait. I'm looking forward to see what four-digits worth of graphics horsepower is capable of, to be sure.

    I had the chance to check out Nvidia's competition tonight at the show and am currently working on a news story about it. Not. Impressed.
    Reply
  • enewmen
    This brings be back to the Asus V6600 GeForce Deluxe card I got in 1999. At that time, the 'Dagoth More Zoological Gardens' with the VR-Glasses was the most awesome sight I've ever seen on a PC. This worked with Ultima9 as well as a nice surpirse :)

    I'm surprised I havin't seen (mainstream) 3-D displays without glasses yet. I've seen some samples of this in the past with small screens.
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  • cangelini
    Totally remember that myself. That was actually one of the first video cards I ever reviewed =)
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  • This reminds me that Sony showed a stereo version of Gran Turismo 5 running on a PS3 AND that the RSX is a NVidian board...
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  • LCD shutter glasses again??? Really? Yawn. Where are the glasses that beam images directly onto my retinas or even a set of lcd glasses that are actually 2 tiny HD monitors but still light enough to wear comfortably...
    Reply
  • Fadamor
    I need to point out an apparent error in nVidia's statement regarding TV's... I purchased a Samsung 40" LCD TV (Model number LN40A650) just prior to the holidays that has 120 Hz HDMI ports (4 of them) AND has 120 Hz refresh rate. So there ARE large screens out there that should be able to support the 3D technology.
    Reply
  • GlItCh017
    gmt325ghnice... just one small problem .... what about people who wear glasses ???!!!
    I would guess that it fits over glasses.
    Reply