HardwareCanuck Review Editor
- Feb 26, 2007
The Future of Stereo 3D Part I: Nvidia GeForce 3D Vision
At this year’s Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas, many people remarked that there really wasn’t much to capture the imaginations of the show goers. While the glitterati of the tech journalist world meandered from booth to booth in their search of the Next Big Thing, I couldn’t help but notice there were certain areas of the showfloor which attracted droves of journalists and industry insiders alike. No, these weren’t crowds of pimple-faced “bloggers” getting shots of another show-floor booth babe. Rather, people –man, woman and geek alike- were congregating around the booths which were showing various stereoscopic 3D technologies. Whether it was the out-of-this-world 3D trailer for the upcoming Dreamworks movie Monsters versus Aliens at the Intel booth or the amazing 52” Samsung 3D monitor, stereoscopic 3D seemed to have captured the hearts and minds of many a jaded professional at an otherwise drab show.
Unfortunately, neither the InTru3D-rendered Intel display nor the Samsung screen were interactive which brings us to where this article is heading; two of the stereo 3D technologies out there that are supposed to bring a new level of immersion to the PC games we play. One of these technologies is Nvidia’s recently-released GeForce 3D Vision which garnered immense exposure at CES to the point where there were actually lineups forming of people who wanted to play their favourite games in stereo 3D. The other technology comes from iZ3D, a company many of you are probably familiar with since they have been marketing their proprietary panels and glasses for some time now and have met with reasonable success. While many will state that Nvidia and iZ3D are not competitors due to their different approaches to stereo 3D, it is crystal clear that they are both concentrating on selling their product to the same type of consumer which in effect means they will end up butting heads. As such, while they may not be the only players out there when it comes to stereo 3D gaming environments, their products are the only ones readily accessible to would-be buyers at major retails and etailers.
When it comes to an emerging technology, the thin red line between widespread availability and niche-market status becomes increasingly blurred. There will always be those early adopters who are more than willing to hand over immense amounts of money but both iZ3D and Nvidia are fighting tooth and nail to make sure stereo 3D makes its way into the general gamer mindset. Since neither uses the red and blue paper glasses of yesteryear, the first step to increasing the “cool factor” has been achieved. However, wrestling with the technology involved in getting a smooth stereoscopic 3D image to the eyes of a paying customer and minimizing cost is a hurdle of epic proportions. Once a company achieves this, stereoscopic 3D will be accessible to the unwashed masses of this world instead of it being a niche product which is accessible to the select few. Therein lies the money that Nvidia and iZ3D are after.
To be honest with you, this article started as quick rundown of my (at the time) short experience with Nvidia’s Geforce 3D Vision. However, the more I looked into the technology, the more I knew that writing about a few weeks’ experience with a product such as this would do a huge disservice to anyone who is genuinely interested in stereo 3D. This goes doubly for the fact that not showing iZ3D’s side of the coin would mean you would only get half of the true story. So here we stand with an all-encompassing rundown of two stereo 3D technologies which has been a good 3 months in the making. This first part will detail Nvidia’s entry into the market while Part II will show what iZ3D has to offer.