Take note, Rainier Wolfcastle, because these goggles may actually do something. Nvidia’s latest visual computing venture is a serious foray into stereoscopic 3D, a technology that has not found success among mainstream consumers (or even enthusiasts) in recent history. 3D movies and gaming at home have always been seen as gimmicky, a perception that can largely be attributed to the fact that you have to wear some pretty goofy glasses to experience the effect. In fact, past iterations of 3D stereographic technology (including efforts by the now-defunct company ELSA) have been especially troublesome because they required bulky headgear (that had to be tethered to your PC) that had a tendency to give gamers headaches after just a few minutes of use. Nvidia wants to reinvigorate the 3D stereoscopic market by developing its own glasses hardware and driver software, which they hope will avoid the pitfalls of previous efforts.
Do we have the technology to make stereoscopic 3D tech practical? And more importantly, is this something that, as a gamer, you’d be open to embrace?
You’re not going to be convinced unless you try these in person, which we did at last month’s NVISION festival. Nvidia gave us several opportunities to try out the tech, once during their CEO’s keynote address (on a cinema-size screen), on a 73” Mitsubishi DLP television, and also on a new 120Hz Viewsonic LCD display. The three-dimensional effect is definitely incredible, especially with the larger displays. We saw Call of Duty 4, Age of Empires III, and the racing game GRID demoed on these units, and each game was significantly enhanced with the use of 3D.