3D - increasing the gaming spectacle

By Matt Greenop

How 3D games are changing the experience

Sony was pushing 3D gaming hard at E3, handing out glasses to everyone in its massive media conference to demonstrate its stunning Killzone 3 game in multi-dimensional glory.

There is a solid list of titles that will take 3D to the gaming masses - and after seeing Killzone 3 and the long-awaited Gran Turismo 5 in action, there's no doubt that it is impressive.

But whether 3D gaming is going to take off quickly is the big question. There's expensive hardware to buy - which is likely to stifle initial uptakes, especially outside key markets like the US, until prices come down.

Sony will be releasing its 3D titles - which include Tron Evolution, Crysis 2 and Mortal Kombat - on the same disc as 2D games, so buyers of upcoming games will get the 3D benefits when they upgrade, without having to pay up.

Those who have already invested, can download a handful of 3D games now from the PlayStation Network.

Microsoft's Xbox 360 also has the hardware to render 3D games - but there's nothing much in the software cupboard to hearten fans of what electronics makers and movie companies are plugging as the next great advance in entertainment.

But it was Nintendo's showing at E3 that really raised eyebrows - a 3D version of its uber-selling DS handheld, that doesn't need the silly glasses.

The lower screen on the device stays as a 2D touch screen responsible for game control, but the upper 3.5in screen shows 3D images in similar fashion to holograms. There's real depth to the images with no obvious sacrifice of clarity. The 3DS did need to be viewed from dead-on - but that's how handhelds are used, so it shouldn't matter at all.

Whether this technology would work on larger screens is an interesting question - and one likely to be answered in the coming year or two.

A great feature is a two-lens camera that allows users to take their own 3D photos.

- NZ Herald

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