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3D! Where do you stand on the technology? Are you all in? [roundtable]
I've always been fascinated by 3D, because I have the mentality of a four-year-old child. Even though I realize that there's just not enough content to possibly justify early adoption, 3D tempts me, in a way that HD never did.

I was actually seriously considering getting a new 3D TV, glasses, a new computer with a compatible graphics card, maybe a PS3, the whole deal. But I don't think I will anymore. Glasses-based 3D, while it seems like a reasonable solution for solo play, seems more and more like an evolutionary step than a viable technology. I feel like it will be the Windows ME of 3D displays, and, once autostereoscopic tech is improved, it will be laughably obsolete.

So, yeah. I'm out now. I can wait it out for better, cheaper, more universal technology, and the better, more varied library of content that will exist when it comes out.

But I am still beyond pumped for the 3DS. It fascinates me, it doesn't require a multi-thousand dollar investment (I assume), and I am so happy that it will start with a healthy amount of support. (What was the last Nintendo system that launched with full third-party confidence?) The excitement for the system will allow the technology to be integrated into gaming very rapidly. Early efforts might be a bit rough, but I think that, once devs see what works and refine their techniques, the second and third generation software will be pretty mindblowing.

I am going to make an unrelated prediction that puppetry will be a prevailing theme of the 3DS. Yes, tiny interactive dioramas are perfectly suited to the system, and art design will reflect this symbiosis, with intentionally crude, paper-cutout levels of parallax in 2D games and little strings on the tops of characters. And MARIOnette will make its dramatic return, as virtual puppetry software.

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07/04/10, 22:10  
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Eh, I kinda shy away from Technology. I don't have my own cell phone. I don't have an iPod. I don't even have a laptop computer or a handheld gaming system. I liked being at the level we were at with videogames. The more technology that comes up, the worse "normal" games are going to look; and you CAN'T dispute that because it already happens.

"Oh, its got good graphics...for a Wii game." I remember years and years ago when Star Fox (the first one for SNES) was one of the coolest looking things ever. Claymates/Clayfighter; they really look like clay! Now you've got pretty-much movies on the "other" consoles, and normal "Gamecube graphics" (not my words) no longer work. They were great 4 years ago, now they're nothing.

I take a dump on [most] technology..except for wireless internet. That stuff is awesome.
07/04/10, 22:41   
I was interested in the current state of 3DTVs until I learned that the glasses are like $150 each and require batteries to work. Now I'm waiting for a better alternative before I even consider it.

3DS sounds awesome because there's no hassle or fuss, it just works.
07/04/10, 22:53   
The technology is fucking expensive. My Dad bought a HDTV a few months ago and that doesn't even support 3D. Then you add in the price of the glasses...no way am I behind this. The 3DS is nice (until the announce the price) because it escapes the thousands-of-dollars investment of its big brothers but I don't really see the whole hype machine behind the tech. I saw a 3D movie once and did not really feel like it was any better. Might have been because it was Beowulf though.

On a related note, did anyone see Sony's guy say that Nintendo should stop bashing them? He was upset that Nintendo kept saying "Glasses-less 3D" for the 3DS and that Nintendo should work with Sony to promote the technology instead of bashing them. I thought it was hilarious, especially because that PS3 ad with Move bashes the Wii pretty hardcore.
07/04/10, 23:00   

Come to think of it, the only 3D movie I've seen where it didn't feel like a lazy gimmick was Avatar. It added something legitimately special to what was otherwise a completely forgettable movie.
07/04/10, 23:09   
^ Not to mention Up, How to Train Your Dragon, and Toy Story 3. Honestly, pretty much any CG animated movie with any amount of integrity is going to look amazing in 3D, and for some it really boosts the experience. And with film-makers like Scorsese getting excited about the applications of the technology, I see no reason not to recognize the potential - for films and games alike. Especially with how sick the 3DS potential is.

That said, I'm waiting to jump on board the home theater 3D craze until the glasses-free tech is available and perfected. I see no reason to shell out for the lenses when they'll be totally obsolete in 5 years.
07/05/10, 00:22   
I was not impressed in the least by the 3D in Toys Story 3. I thought it took away more than it gave (namely, losing some of the intensity and brightness of the colors for 3D wasn't worth the trade-off).

I have fooled my brain for years into thinking the flat screen in front of me was a window with depth behind it, I don't need glasses that mute colors and "kinda" make it look more like the wall is actually some distance behind the characters.

In fact, it's after seeing TS3 that I decided I was done with 3D movies. Never paying $3 more to see a movie in 3D ever again.

I'm more interested in 3D for games, though.
07/05/10, 00:27   
Edited: 07/05/10, 00:28
I don't really care about it for movies, but then, I don't really care about movies in general. I just wait for them to hit Red Box and spend $1 here and there. I do have a kind of big DVD collection, but I haven't added to it much lately, and I rarely touch it.

In games well... honestly, I'm not sure. It seems visually appealing and it might fix perspective issues and such, but are there new gameplay applications for it? Like, stuff that just couldn't viably be done without true 3D? Or is it mostly just to look cooler?

Definitely don't have any interest in buying an expensive new TV to do it on TVs.

As for 3DS, I think I'm more excited for the tilt and camera and other such things in the 3DS, as they seem to add to the gameplay possibilities more. But the fact that they managed to get it into the handheld without adding much to the cost (I hope?) is cool, and it'll be interesting to check it out.
07/05/10, 00:35   
I wasn't that amazed by it initially, but when the point was made (I think in a Shigeru Miyamoto interview) that the perception of depth in 3D games can be helped by stereoscopic 3D, I started to think this will be something huge. If it's actually going to aid the gameplay in such a significant way (which I know it can), then I'm all for it.
07/05/10, 00:52   
@Simbabbad But lots of games just do it anyway and then people complain that the "jumping sucks" and such, right? I mean, that wouldn't be something new being done, just something being done better?

I've never actually had much trouble distinguishing depths in video games, albeit, it's more about getting used to guessing how far away something is through context clues than about actually being able to see what you're doing...
07/05/10, 00:56   
Simbabbad said:

I didn't think the movies you listed used 3D in relevant ways. In Up in particular it's barely noticeable.

I like gimmicky 3D though, or rather, I don't mind it. I like How to Train your Dragon in 3D.

Both Up and TS3 used 3D to bring depth to the picture consistently, and for films with such a focus on the vertical (in Up's case) or contrasting scale (in TS3), I think it was relevant, restrained, and artistic in its use. There are dozens of wide shots in both films that make GREAT use of the 3D's added depth, and while they still look great on BluRay, the impact simply isn't the same. There's none of the sense of vertigo or distance, which is a visual element that both films constantly employ.

Then there's the Night and Day short which played before TS3, which, quite frankly, is the best use of 3D to date anywhere. Absolutely brilliant, and not remotely the same w/out the effect.

Frankly, I'll take that over gimmicky 3D any day - I don't really like being constantly cock-slapped in the face by the lame "flying out at you" crap you get in fluff like so many Avatar-wannabe films (both live-action and even a few animated, like Despicable Me). That's the sort of shallow approach that led to the overuse of early (read: BAD) CGI in the 90's, and the films that use this as a cheap gag to put butts in seats are no better than the ass-hats behind the 3D patch jobs like Alice or Clash of the Titans.
07/05/10, 01:33   
As far as movies go, I really enjoyed the effect in Avatar and would definitely watch an entertaining movie that was built from the ground up with 3D in mind again... but the glasses are a pain in the ass for somebody like me who already wears glasses. I think it hurts the effect a little.

I don't think it's something that every movie needs to adopt, though... should be exclusive to popcorn action movies, obviously.

Video games:

I don't see myself purchasing a 3D television in the next 5 years, honestly. It's not that important and I'm too broke to make such an investment. That's why I think Nintendo was genius to incorporate this technology into a mass-market handheld device. Everybody will be able to experience 3D gaming, without the annoying glasses, to see if it is something that they enjoy... which is something I will have to answer after I actually experience it.
07/05/10, 01:57   
I have a hard time seeing the 3d effect, so I'm not terribly excited about it. But I can see why others would be.
07/05/10, 02:10   
I don't think I've seen a 3D movie since the old school IMAX movies like 8 years ago about icebergs and crap.
07/05/10, 02:37   
I'm extremely interested in 3D because as humans with 2 eyes it only makes sense to go this direction. I laugh at the hypocrisy of people who think 3D is a gimmick and yet would get in your face if you said HD or 5.1 sound wasn't important. Really it's all channels of information. If all games are going to be using 3D rendering it makes no sense that we don't invest in the Z-axis. What we have now isn't 3D, it's 3D projections in a 2D plane. I think 3D has a bad rap because of the poor uses of it, things flying at you and such. It can be more and I think we're starting to see the subtleties of that.

Like HD several years ago the tech has a long way to go. In a theater you have my full attention and I don't mind the glasses. At home I rarely have the luxury. So the glasses need to go eventually and that doesn't look like it'll be anytime soon. 3DS is a great idea and I think it'll go a long way toward advancing 3D tech but even it won't be perfect. I don't really trust camera tech for accuracy but it sounds like head tracking may be the way to go about this moving sweet spot on auto-stereoscopic displays. That's going to be an uphill battle.

In the mean time I've been experimenting myself with 3D building little applications for red/cyan glasses. It's kinda cool and actually pretty simple to get going but despite this I don't think people have really looked at it beyond special effects. I'd like to own a 3D capable computer. Maybe next time I upgrade I'll look into that. As for television, maybe when it's under a grand.
07/06/10, 02:14   
Another downside of glasses 3D is that people say that it's very uncomfortable to wear the 3D glasses over another pair of glasses (and the only time I reliably wear glasses is when I play video games). I've gotta say, the anti-glasses faction has really convinced me.

Does anyone know if PS3 in 3D requires Sony's own particular brand of shutter glasses?

That's cool. What do you mean by 'applications', exactly?

Head-tracking is an interesting solution for the autostereoscopic sweet spot, but only for one person.
07/06/10, 16:02   
To be completely honest, I've never seen a 3D movie, or had any significant experience with 3D whatsoever. The nearest theater that shows movies in 3D is 45 minutes away from my house, so my friends and I typically opt for a closer theater. I was never particularly interested either, although now that the technology is starting to spread into consumer's homes, I'm starting to take more notice.

I have no intention of buying a 3DTV at this point, because the current glasses-only situation really makes it seem like a transitional stage. I know that it's not possible now to utilize the same technology that the 3DS does to make a 3DTV without glasses, but I can't imagine it will be all that far off.

Nonetheless, I have begun toying with the idea of getting 3D up and running on my PC. I already intended to buy the GTX 470 and a new monitor, so why not buy a pair of glasses and experience all my games in 3D? I haven't looked into the requirements too much, so I don't know if it's something that's in my price range, but nonetheless I'm definitely considering it.
07/06/10, 16:52   
Meh, I had a headache by the end of Avatar in 3D. Thats the only movie I've seen with it so far. I'll try at least one more movie before I write it off forever. (hoping the non-glasses 3DS will be different for me)
07/06/10, 18:52   
I'm definitely not all in.

3D movies and the glasses they require are distracting...and i already wear glasses! If they ever figure away to display 3D visuals without glasses then I may change my perspective (pun intended).

However, the 3DS has a lot more to offer me. It has updated hardware and 3D visuals w/o glasses. My DS Lite doesn't have the extra SD card slot and online store capabilities. The statement about how 3D visuals will make 3D rendered games easier to control is a plus too. If the 3DS only offered 3D visuals alone I'd actually have to pass.
07/06/10, 19:32   
I finally got to try the shutter glasses at Best Buy. BLECH.

The effect was pretty neat (not sure how it will hold up over a long period of time), but goddamn, those glasses are uncomfortable. I mean, they were really uncomfortable. And I usually wear glasses when I play games (and ONLY when I play games), which would ratchet up the discomfort. I really think this tech is going to be stillborn, unless they just start (cheaply) bundling it into EVERY TV and giving sets of glasses away.

Still, that aquarium was pretty neat.
07/19/10, 18:12   
Edited: 07/19/10, 18:13
I am completely apathetic towards 3D. Having to wear glasses is one thing, having the eyes hurt is another. I am pretty sure I will use the 3D effect on the 3DS for the first 10 minutes or so, and then turn it off to never open it again.
12/11/10, 02:35   
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