Weekly Discussion: 3D

Ah, the third dimension. So much more enticing than the first or second dimensions, those boring old horizontal and vertical axes. Axes of evil, more like. No, it’s the third dimension that gives things depth, makes us see how far back something goes. It’s the third dimension that really makes having more than one eye worthwhile.

Alright, that might be a bit strong. I mean, we’ve been viewing electronic games in the home for almost four decades using only two dimensions. Before that, for eighty years, we were viewing movies in only two dimensions.

Sure, there were the ill-advised attempts to introduce the third dimension to movies going back as far as 1903 but it has never really taken off, until recent mega-budget hits have forced it down our necks. Even before that, photographs have spent a happy hundred and eighty five year history stuck in the two dimensions that nature and science intended.


Even further back than that, by four hundred years, Gutenberg’s press didn’t require fancy expensive eyeglasses. No, a duo of dimensions were more than enough to bring an informational revolution to the poorer classes of Europe a good one hundred and fifty years before anybody had any notions of paddling westwards to ‘discover’ the Americas.

Well, yes, I know some of you are probably shouting at your screens right now pointing out that the great ancient civilisations of the world made many a bas relief or tridimensional sculpture. And you’re perfectly correct. But they were niche. They weren’t as popular as two dimensional artwork, were they? It stands to reason, if 3D reliefs and sculptures were so popular then how come they just left it all lying around? All the two dimensional art was hidden away. It’s probably still in an Egyptian safe right now, treasured beyond comparison.

I guess what I’m trying to point out, in among my overly laboured attempts at humour, is that the merits of three dimensional art and entertainment are yet to be firmly proven as superior to those utilising only two dimensions.

Now we have video games making another run for the 3D flag that makes our experiences more immersive, more involving. Or does it? Do you think we need 3D in all our games or are you happy to play in two dimensions and keep your face shamelessly free of ocular adornment?



  1. You know the absolute best part of 3D? All the Sony PS3 exclusives that have 3D, the developers are going “Well, we’re already rendering 60fps for 3D, why not do 30fps per player and slap split screen in there?”

    Without 3D, KZ3 would be single player only during the campaign, I have no doubt.

    • I wish they’d do 60fps 2D single player for KZ3….

  2. Im hopefully getting my 3DTV the weekend so will let you know what i prefer 2d or 3d cant wait to try out Killzone and Crysis 2.

  3. Like most consumers, I care very little about 3D television/gaming. Let’s be honest. It’s 2D with added depth. When we’re enjoying a truly virtual world, then you’ll have my full attention, although we’ll still have headsets to worry about.

    • snap….it also proves with the latest Disney that came out, it has been the biggest flop ever for 3D, losing so far nearly $150m. People are fed up with it already for films, so no doubt it will happen with games. I have seen it in the SOny shop and it didn’t do much for me, but then again I wasn’t playing it.

      Until something comes around that makes me feel like I am in the game, then I wont be buying it. 3D is still the gimmick it always was IMO.

      • Wasn’t the latest disney 3d film Tangled? That has gone on to become disney’s 2nd most successful animated film ever.

  4. I recently finished playing through the single player of Killzone3 using 3D (and using Move), it was excellent, probably the best 3D game I’ve played through so far. The 3D did make it more immersive, and you do find yourself looking around at things you wouldn’t have noticed before.

    Looking forward to more 3D gaming.

    • I started playing it in 3D and with Move as well and thought it was excellent. Following day I started in 2D and quickly switch back to 3D. It’s only once you start playing in 3D you realise how much you want to keep using it.

      I found I was spotting Helghast in the distance far more easily in 3D than 2D. I was less convinced by the Move controls than the 3D.

  5. Really want a 3D TV, but what do I do with a perfectly good 42″ plasma (no I’m not going to give it away.) If the retailers offered trade in on plasma or LCD TV’s I’m sure more people would up-grade, until then I just have to wait until my TV breaks (soon, please be soon……)

    • Your better off waiting for the 2nd generation, or even 3rd, of 3D TVs. They’ll be a lot better with a lesser chance of getting eye strain.
      By then there should be glasses-less 3D TVs and the same will apply to them.

  6. 3D is simply a gimmick…and currently a ruddy expensive one at that! I’ve only seen a couple of 3D movies/games and I can’t say any of them felt more immersive, engaging and than their 2D counterparts.
    I’m usually a big fan of technology and it’s developments, but I’m really hoping that this 3D phase dies off pretty quickly.

    • lol, forgot my comment was in html format! I’ll try that again *ahem*:

      3D is simply a gimmick…and currently a ruddy expensive one at that! I’ve only seen a couple of 3D movies/games and I can’t say any of them felt more immersive, engaging and (insert another similar word) than their 2D counterparts.
      I’m usually a big fan of technology and it’s developments, but I’m really hoping that this 3D phase dies off pretty quickly.

      • How expensive it is depends on what you get and when you get it. Mine only set me back £615 for a 40″ Samsung.

        Having played around 20 3D games now I’d say it is far from a gimmick. I’m not sure I could say the same about 3D films yet.

  7. 3D in the home will only take off if some clever chap invents a way of seeing 3D without the glasses. Apart from being rather irritating and clunky, families have to buy multiple pairs… and at £100 each, that quickly mounts up. Once we have glasses-free 3D, and the price goes down a bit, then, yes, I can see 3D becoming the next big thing.

  8. I will watch the occasional 3D movie at the cinema and quite enjoy it, I wouldn’t want any significant percentage of my overall viewing to be in 3D though.

    I think 3D is still a niche tech because it is so inaccessible (having to wear the 3D glasses, some people being unable to view, price). Having said that, I also think it’s a load of crap and hope it dies away (unless they make some technological SERIOUS leaps forward with it I simply won’t be purchasing anything 3D for my home).

  9. If you are sold I urge you to play the following gmes in 3D [the Sony TV is the best I have seen so far – no shizzle]

    Motorstorm 3
    Killzone 3
    Gran Turismo 5

    Then you will know its completely the way forward for games. It is defintely the next step forward and will offer longevity [spelling?]to this Gen as well as Devs getting better and better.

    For Films and TV Alice in Wonderland, Tron or Football just further solidify my argument.

    3D is the future [along with Garlic Bread]

  10. I’ve seen a few reports where people are suffering eye strain while using the 3DS on the move (on buses, trains etc.).

    • Funny you say that, I had a quick go on the 3DS playing street fighter and it gave me a splitting headache after only a few minutes.

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