Back in early 2010 the first affordable 3D TV’s started to roll out of the manufacturing line and into the retail stores. We didn’t know it at the time, but the 3D movement was set to fail from the start and so was 3D gaming.
At face value it sounds amazing; the ability to play video games in 3D was a gigantic leap forward for the gaming experience. The announcement of 3D gaming pretty much started the next technological era in video games. The upside was so huge that the downside was not even considered. Even 3D movies and TV shows (mostly sports) were going to be revolutionized by the 3D experience. So what happened?
Nintendo had the right idea with the development of their 3DS. Imagine having to wear 3D glasses in order to enjoy playing games in 3D on your 3DS. Not only would that be a really bad idea, it would have set up the 3DS to fail in a “peripheral” hating market. Not only is the 3DS struggling now as is, a 3DS unit with 3D glasses would have put the 3DS into a Sony-esque, PSP Go, mountain of failure.
No one likes to wear 3D glasses to watch TV. I don’t care how cool they look, how light in weight they are or how much they cost. 3D glasses suck. I promise you, I won’t even use the excuse that a minority of people experience dizziness or some type of motion sickness from watching anything 3d as a reason for its failure. I just really believe that 3D glasses are one off the main reasons gamers won’t game is 3D.
You see, when you play a video game lighting and picture are really important. So placing an object between your eyes and the screen is a big no-no under any circumstance (mostly, hot chicks are exempt). I’ve tried playing games in 3D and sooner or later it gets to the point that I am happier playing without 3D just to have a cleaner gaming experience. The effects gained in-game from 3D are not big enough motivators to keep me wearing the glasses. I would much rather toss them aside and see a clean screen. In all honesty, maybe the 3D effects in video games need to be amplified to the level of a major motion picture in order to warrant the user a reason to wear the damn glasses. My feeling is that most video games are already played in a rendered 3D space, so adding 3D rocks or trees isn’t really to appealing to the average gamer let alone a hardcore one.
When the switch from standard television to hi-definiton television began, there was no question in the consumer’s mind that the TV viewing experience had improved exponentially. Watching a baseball game in 1080i ruined you for ever! No longer would man or woman accept anything less then 720p. So without any doubts present in the mind of the consumer, the switch to HD was merely a matter of finances or logistics. They were thinking, “How soon can we get an HDTV?” HD gaming was also set as the standard and although Nintendo didn’t feel HD had penetrated enough households to include HD graphics in their Wii, they smartly went after the market that wouldn’t require HD graphics as a pre-requisite for purchasing a gaming console the old people and the soccer moms.
At this point one could argue that even with a 3D glasses-free experience, consumers wouldn’t care and they are totally happy with their HDTV’s. They don’t have that need to want to upgrade to 3D. That need we had for HD hasn’t carried over to 3D. We are perfectly happy watching/ gaming on a 1080p, 240hz , 72 inch screen then on anything 3D. One could argue 3D makes the viewing experience worse not better. So what could possible make anyone want to move away from HD? Well lucky for you I have the answer.