Hello 3d gaming

I have now had to chance to spent a decent amount of time trying out my panasonic 3D 42″ TV. I have been intrigued by the demos of 3d content I have seen and in particular the consequences for gaming, and what prolonged gaming feels like.
3d gaming
There seems to be enough 3d content out there to warrant the upgrade. Xbox, Ps3(games and 3d blu ray), and Sky 3d all having things to offer
The first extended game I had was a few hours on Gran Turismo 5 on the PS3. Initially this was a disorientating effect using the in car view, the layers of HUD information being closer than the car details meant it was a little harder to take in the peripheral information from the HUD. After about 20 minutes though I think my brain adjusted and it became a very compelling experience. If anything it was braking that became more obvious, and some of the turn in points and reference points were more obvious. I have been playing driving games for a long while and have seen others struggle a little with the concept of slowing down for corners as unless you immerse yourself into the experience mentally you can’t feel the forces of the car. The 3d certainly helped with this. Spinning out was also a bizarre experience and it seemed to be quicker to deal with that and have the situational awareness.
Equally wearing the glasses has an odd bubble effect that makes it feel a bit more like it does when you get in a car. After the initial 20 minutes adjustment I felt no more odd finishing the session than playing normally.
Next up was Black Ops on the Xbox 360. Turning the 3d on was a bit more fiddly than in GT5 as the TV did not respond automatically and you have to select side by side 3d, the PS3 switches things automatically. (It seems Sky 3d doesn’t switch either).
The HUD crosshair is a little distracting initially as it breaks the immersion, there is an option to turn this off but that seemed to crash the machine! That aside the experience is brilliant IMHO. I had played through most of the game already but the last few chapters in 3d were amazing. The disorientated running around towards the end with the “numbers” zooming around was a stunning piece, and I am looking forward to going back and trying things like the first vietnam sequence.
However the test was really to play the online training multiplayer with bots and with @asanyfuleno. I found that I felt more in control and aware of my surroundings. I think this may be similar to the driving game mental model. I know that in FPS’s it takes me a while to feel the levels. I felt instantly connected to the environment and whilst this would still not equate to pwnage online I felt the 3d levelled me up, at least in situational awareness.
The view down iron sights and cross hairs is also remarkable.
As with the driving the glasses did not get in the way, but seemed to place you somewhere other than the room you are actually in. This was not something I was expecting to happen, but thinking about it it makes sense.
The third game was Tumble on the PS3 with Move. I have said before how fantastic Tumble is with the tactile feedback and I have to say it is very much enhanced by the feeling of space crated with 3d. The need to use the shadows of the blocks as reference points just melts away.
So a nights gaming on 3d was enhanced and from my point of view will only get better as we get more used to it and designers take advantage of it. I think being an old school gamer I will still play 2d games and with a 4 year old in the house (where the advice is to not use 3d for under 7’s) means we can’t do all 3d gaming yet. However as many of the games I end up playing are 18 rated that is not such a big issue.
There was an additional serendipitous happening when I purchased the TV from Best Buy, whilst waiting for the box to come out of the stock room I got talking to the head of the 3d TV section, who also happens to run a startup creating 3d displays(more of that in a later post). It was fascinating to be talking to someone who knew a lot about the subject. Its one of the reasons I like Best Buy, no pressure or hassle salespeople and when you do talk they know their stuff. This was by contrast with my experience when I popped into Comet to get an extra audio optical cable, the salesman was pleasant enough but when he asked if he could help me I was not expecting to have to explain to him what an optical audio cable was for. He also made the usual “pay more for cables as the signal is better” type of comment which for many digital things simply isn’t true anymore.
So…. shop in Best Buy!

One thought on “Hello 3d gaming

  1. Pingback: 184 – The Trailing Edge of the Forefront of the web | Dogear Nation ยป Podcast

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