In the future, when people write about this period in history, they will probably have to create a minor footnote for 3D. And the main reason being the top grossing film Avatar, which has brought 3D back into the forefront and placed it firmly on everyone’s mind.
You have to say “back” because 3D images and movies have been around for a long, long time. For example, not many people know the first patent for a 3D process was made way back in the late 1890s, by William Friese-Greene, who was a pioneer in British Films. And perhaps even more people would be surprised that the first 3D movie with paying customers was “The Power Of Love”, which was shown in Los Angeles at the Ambassador Hotel on Sept. 27, 1922.
However, most people know 3D from the movies of the 1950s, which is sometimes called the Golden Era of 3D films. Many will also remember many of the 3D movies which were released in the 1980s and the 1990s – but it wasn’t until Avatar dazzled and amazed movie goers last year that new 3D technology was once again on everyone’s mind.
While movies has received most of the attention, many observers of popular culture believe, it is in the area of computer gaming where this new 3D technology will have the greatest impact. This could spell the beginning of changing “HOW” people play their video games. Some pundits would go so far as to say we are at the beginning stages of a major computer gaming revolution. The fallout is still unknown, but there’s no denying 3D is loudly entering stage left and auditioning for the leading role.
Many elements are dropping into place, but perhaps this gaming revolution really started with the release of NVIDIA’s long awaited GeForce 3D Vision Kit. This 3D kit includes 3D glasses and powerful software which can be used to turn any computer into a 3D system. The one missing piece of the puzzle was a 120Hz 3D-Ready display or monitor.
However, we have quickly seen the introduction of these types of monitors from Samsung and Viewsonic. Plus, we have also seen the introduction of 3D
TVs from Samsung and Sony. And it should be noted, Sony is going 3D in a big way in 2010. First, it has announced it is making most of its products 3D – these include its Vaio PCs, Blu-ray Players and PS3 gaming systems. If that wasn’t enough, it has also said it is turning the Nintendo DS into the DS3.
Not to be outdone, Microsoft says its xBox is fully capable of handling 3D games, although some gamers do question what the quality of those games will be like? Regardless, we are seeing a movement towards 3D from these major players in gaming.
It should be noted that the Nintendo DS3 won’t use glasses which should make it more feasible. Let’s face it, in the past, it has been those awkward and those somewhat foolish looking glasses which has kept 3D from truly entering into the mainstream.
Keep in mind, there are many different kinds of 3D glasses, just as there are many different kinds of 3D systems. However, everyone is probably familiar with the Polarized glasses which gives the 3D illusion by limiting the amount of light which can reach each eye. Next we have the more advanced Shutter Glasses which uses radio frequency or a infrared transmitter to show different perspectives for each eye – it uses timing signals in perfect sync to darken one eye, then the other eye. This technique is called Alternate-Frame Sequencing and can be found in many current 3D gaming devices.
However, we are seeing the introduction of 3D systems which don’t use glasses and this is referred to as “Autostereoscopic” 3D. Some big electronic makers are rumored to be pursuing this technology and if they succeed, the potential could be endless. And not just for gaming, but for the modern workplace and for countless other applications in the real world.
But it is in gaming and home entertainment where 3D is making the most inroads. Gamers will embrace 3D (with or without glasses) but only if it gives them a superior gaming experience.
Amaze them and they will come.
That seems to be the rallying cry of this new visual revolution. Dazzle them and they will open their pocketbooks to purchase these new 3D systems. At the recent CES in Las Vegas – viewers and critics were not disappointed by the 3D displays. Just the opposite, all were truly dazzled by the 3D monitors, TVs and gaming systems.
We are even witnessing the introduction of some of the first 3D gaming laptops with 120Hz 3D-Ready screens and 3D Vision Kits from Nvidia and other makers. Both HP and Dell are said to have 3D gaming notebooks in the works. As mentioned before, both PlayStation3 and Nintendo DS are going 3D, which will further bring the 3D experience to gamers.
Plus, more and more films are debuting in the 3D format and gathering enthusiastic audiences. It is only a matter of time before those viewers want and demand ways to enjoy those same 3D experiences in their living rooms. Many critics argue there is just not enough 3D content to make customers shell out the big bucks for these new home systems.
However, give people a superior viewing system and they will upgrade their home theater systems, sooner rather than later. As for gamers, jumping on the 3D bandwagon is a no-brainer since their DNA makeup simply demands the most realistic images possible and 3D does deliver the goods. And while the lack of 3D content may slow down this train, it can’t stop it. This new 3D visual revolution is here to stay, for good this time.