Super Stardust HD’s Stereoscopic 3D Will Be Full 720p Resolution

Another day, another 3D story. Just as HD was big news a few years ago, expect the advent of 3D gaming to feature in more than a few stories between now and when the technology is due to become widespread. Today the guys behind Eurogamer’s wonderfully esoteric and mind-numbing Digital Foundry series have interviewed Finnish developers Housemarque about the upcoming 3D remake of Super Stardust HD.

It’s an intriguing interview as, hidden among the usual technical nomenclature associated with game design and graphics in particular, we also get an – albeit complex – insight into how Sony’s plans for the 3D revolution are not based on what you’ve perhaps already experienced in the likes of the 3D found in Avatar – The Game. The salient point of the article is that, unlike Ubisoft’s average sci-fi tie-in, Sony are planing on supporting new protocols found in the HDMI 1.4 standard.

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What this means is that the new version if Super Stardust HD is running at an eye-melting 120 frames per second – 60 for each eye – and at 720p resolution. This is opposed to the technique used by the aforementioned Avatar and the likes of Invincible Tiger; games that incorporate low-resolution buffers to achieve a similar effect. What Housemarque are doing is literally rendering twice the original amount of frames to achieve the true 3D effect. What this also suggests is that not all games are going to suit the new technology – especially when you consider the PS3 sometimes struggles to deliver a consistent 30 frames per second*.

The implications of this new tech is remarkable, however, as such a technical leap is, as Eurogamer puts it: “a definite unique selling point for the Sony platform.”

* It should be stated that Housemarque probably chose this method as they were using less than 50% of the SPU in the original game and could afford to. There are other reports that 3D gaming, using the new HDMI 1.4 protocols, will not require games to output at double the frames per second in order to achieve the 3D effect. Instead, the depth information will be sent to the 3D TV which, in turn, will handle the processing. As we’re still learning about the new technology and how Sony will support it, the full details of how future games will incorporate 3D are not yet known.

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