Increasingly in the world of entertainment, 3D is everywhere. What used to show up as a gimmick to sell tickets to an otherwise terrible movie is now included in nearly half of the Hollywood releases this summer. E3 this year featured Nintendo and Sony both revealing 3D-based systems. 3D TV’s are now on sale at Best Buy. It’s getting easier and easier to get content in 3D. The question: is it really worth it? or is 3D just a gimmick to sell overpriced hardware?

At this point, 3D is still pretty expensive. A $2000 TV, plus $200 apiece for dorky looking glasses to use with a PS3? That’s a lot of money. While the 3DS price hasn’t been officially announced, it’s probably going to be pretty expensive as well. The 3D experience is definitely going to cost you.

Money is not the only factor in 3D gaming, however. Perhaps even a greater price is paid in the performance of the game. Games now have to render literally twice as much just to achieve the same level of detail in 3D; and many just can’t do it. On the HD side, a game that looks great in 1080p in 2D might have to be scaled back to 720p in 3D, and even then there will probably be some slowdown since the game has to render twice as much twice as fast. On the handheld side, Nintendo’s 3DS could easily use much higher resolution textures, more detailed geometry, and achieve better resolution and framerate if developers used that extra power for standard 2D games. It would definitely be a risk not using one of the core selling features of the 3DS, but developers could make a better game. Something for developers for the upcoming system to think about.

[Image by Mike Mitchell]


  1. I personally feel no attachment to 3D at all. I don’t want it or like it (what is there to like?) and I’m really hoping this is just a fad. The 3DS without the glasses does sound interesting but surely it’ll have serious implications on your eyes?

    • I actually wouldn’t expect there to be serious implications to the eyes. 3D does sound cool, but right now it feels more like a fad than an actual useful tool. I think it might be several years before we see anything in 3D that is more than an expensive gimmick.

      • Eating rice gives you diabetes, drinking tea gives you osteoporosis, mobile phones give you cancer…

        So like I take it that we are all suffering from at least one of those?

        • You said it!

          I think 3d tvs are stupid to be honest. I wouldn’t want to have to wear big clunky 3d glasses watching tv- watching tv to me is usually a relaxing experience where I am lying down at the other corner of the room. But that is just my opinion.
          The 3DS sounds great though. I like that you don’t have to wear the glasses, nor have it 3d all the time, but when you do I simply think the gameplay will be more captivating. I am mostly in it for the enhanced graphics, the awesome games, and the reason to upgrade my old, original DS.

    • Ok so I was in the market to get a new TV -and all new 2010 TVs have the 3d – so if your getting a new one your set, I got an AWESOME deal 2300 for the 55inch 3d LED TV, 3d Bluray player, 2 glasses and a movie. After watching the movie and playing Wipeout and MotorStorm pacific rift in 3d on that TV all I can say is WOW! I’m a fan and keep them coming. It definitely adds to the experience, the depth in the movies that it gives makes you miss that depth when it isn’t there. I will say I think the tech will get better and better as it always does but it is off to a great start. Now my wife wants to upgrade her TV to a 3d one (She has her own TV, PS3 and 360.

      Also I can’t see it a fad because to me it adds as much to TV viewing as the introduction to color TV, widescreen TVs and HD and I don’t think anyone would want to go back to BnW TV in the square aspect ratio at 420i once you experience the alternative. However, it will be up to the industry to evolve the tech into something we want everyday.

    • There is no absolute medical research that proves looking at 3D images will have serious implications to your eyes. I don’t think that’s going to be a problem.

  2. speak for yourself warrka, i want a 3d tv bad. im looking into buying another tv soon, so im saving for a 3d tv. gonna move my 42 inch lg to the bedroom. in the movie theatres i dont like 3d because the picture quality sucks in 3d. but at best buy i checked out 3d blu ray and it looked really good. i was sold right there, 3d bluray fixes what i hate about the 3d in theatres. wich makes me think poor 360 owners when the 360 gets 3d they will be stuck with dvd 3d and probably get the same crappy pic like in the theatres. prices on 3d tvs and glasses will come down big time this holiday season. im sure sales arent great at all already and sony will drop prices on tvs and glasses. what i dont understand is why the hell dont they throw in like a set of 4 if were paying top dollar for the tv. at least 2 glasses or something.

  3. Might be nice to have a better understanding of spatial relationships between objects depicted on screen in games which take place on a three-dimensional axis, or for additional effects (weather, etc.) in those and other games. Otherwise… well, I’ll have to admit, I’d need to play/see Kid Icarus: Uprising or Star Fox 64 on the 3DS for myself before I outright say I can live with or without it.