The “Bane” of 3D Gaming


I have played 3D games, and they were glorious.

In fact, I spent almost entire weekend playing almost exclusively 3D games. From PlayStation 3 highlights like Super Stardust HD to Xbox 360 winners like Halo Anniversary, the gamut of 3D gaming is larger than most people probably realize.

But, if you’re a fan of popular media, you likely don’t know this. In fact, you probably believe 3D is some sort of scourge that should be eliminated from the face of the earth. Maybe you flirted with poorly calibrated 3D set-ups at Best Buy. Seeing it right? Everything changes.

What are the usual complaints? It’s expensive. Okay, that is legitimate, more so if you recently upgraded. The glasses? I have yet to find an uncomfortable pair. I tried, from different manufacturers to different types (active and passive), and after a minute or two, I forgot I was wearing them?

The concept has caveats. Some people can’t see 3D. Everyone sees it differently too. Let’s face it: Any methodology for the images to “pop” is doing something to your vision. It is understandable if you struggle physically.

What of those then who are capable? What is the barrier? To be honest, I have no idea. I find it comical when tech sites salivate over the next Apple innovation (a smaller iPad!?!?), yet take all opportunities to bash on 3D. The negativity is rampant, and after truly experiencing the breadth of 3D, I simply don’t see the reason for the hate.

I’ll soon be rattling off the list of the best (and yes, some of the worst) 3D games to look for, but for now, you might ask what 3D adds. In most cases, 3D is as powerful a tool as surround sound or HDTV was. The impact is immediate. Games take on (pardon the obvious pun) a new dimension. Depth becomes unrivaled. Objects no longer feel flat but feel rounded in the middle of a space. This is not always about the “pop out” effect so much as it is a “pop in” effect. Distant objects truly feel distant. It is richer than standard play, and done well, it can only add to the experience, not take away from it.

Proper set-ups take work. They need calibration, tuning, and sometimes a sweet spot. With the exception of the sweet spot, two of those should be done to any new home theater-like equipment. Most don’t however, and a bad 2D experience turns into an even worse 3D experience. Best Buy? Their set-ups are offending in the extreme. You can no longer just bring in equipment and let it be.

In conclusion, if you have a chance to view 3D correctly, do so. As much as people want higher resolutions and frame rates, we have something already available that can add more than either of those. Don’t go into the concept negatively, but accept it. All current hardware (Xbox 360, PS3, Wii U) have the capability for 3D, although the Wii U has yet to realize any software with the feature. The games are not hard to find, so no excuses.