NVIDIA has a kit for making some video games “3D.” You will, of course, have to purchase a special monitor in addition to the 200 dollar kit. Has anyone actually bought and tried this out? It’s too expensive for me but I’d like to know what I’m missing.
That I don’t have, though I’ve been waiting for such a technology to come along. From time to time something comes out which gets no support, so I don’t hold out much hope, but if it’s an official nVidia product it might get somewhere. I wonder how they’re going to get around the problem of working with video games not designed with the system in mind. I mean, the iZ3D drivers produce a nice 3D effect, but image separation has to be constantly adjusted (I tried it out in Fallout 3 and The Witcher). It doesn’t seem like a special monitor is the point – the point is that the games have to be designed to support stereo vision natively, otherwise by what standards will you judge how to handle image separation so that the different images are the right distance from eachother to resolve into a 3D image?
You aren’t missing much. I have it and virtually never bother to use it.
My main complaints in order of annoyance:
The glasses shutter doesn’t go completely opaque so bright spots on the screen get a triple vision after effect. In Fallout 3, for example, the Nuka Cola Quantum bottles blue glow effect appears on the bottle and faintly to the left and the right of the bottle. Bright horizons end up looking like a chaotic mess unless you turn the brightness & contrast down. This is exacerbated a great deal by most modern games grossly exaggerating lighting.
The driver doesn’t work with anything that runs in window or pseudo fullscreen(where the window takes up the whole screen, hides the border and start bar, but doesn’t actually initialize fullscreen mode in directx/opengl) modes. This is something that can probably be fixed in a driver update. But I don’t know if nVidia is actually working towards that.
The mouse cursor is typically drawn in 2d on top of everything else. This makes it very difficult to accurately click in 3rd person games. In first person games there are replacement targeting reticles you can enable in nVidia’s control panel that render in 3d automatically at the depth of whatever they are drawing on top of which works fine. But there’s nothing like that for third person games. Warcraft3 looks great in 3d but the mouse drawing at a different depth than what you’re trying to click on ruins it.
Many common effects don’t work very well with this. I’ve yet to play a game in 3d where the water didn’t look terrible. Usually the reflections have a different convergence than the surface of the water which is positively dizzying. And in some games, such as Oblivion, the culling will sometimes hide blocks of water for one eye but not the other, especially when the water is far away and near the edge of the screen. Virtually no shadows in any game I’ve played look good in 3d.
None of the movies that have come out in 3d are sold in a format that you can use with this. They’re all just anaglyph. I’ve seen some torrents that try to merge the original colour version of the movie with the anaglyph to produce a colour 3d format but I haven’t actually downloaded any to see how good that works(I’m guessing not very).
The glasses become unsynched for a frame or two once an hour or so giving a distracting flash in your vision. This seems to happen more often the lower the battery gets so you only get a few hours of good use out of them before needing to recharge.
They’re pretty much impossible to wear comfortably while wearing a headset.
It’s been months since I used it though so the drivers may have gotten better and newer games may take better advantage of it. And there are good things too. The chameleon effect in Oblivion and Fallout3 looks absolutely fantastic in 3d. And I love having the game’s UI rendered in front of everything else.
I also found it interesting to learn that your eye focuses on a depth with more than just convergence. I never realized it before but when you use these 3d systems your eyes are still focused on the monitor’s depth so objects in a different depth in game don’t get blurry the way things in the foreground/background do in real life. It took me a while of wondering what looked so odd before I realized what was going on.
The games feed the 3d data to the graphics driver so nVidia basically just has to render it with the camera slightly to the right of where the game positioned it and than again slightly to the left. The image separation is fine unless the game does something tricky in the rendering process. Like rendering the scene to a buffer and then blitting it to the screen. Most games don’t do anything like that though. The only game I’ve played where this is an issue is DDO.
It’d be much better off using the technology that’s being uses in some HDTVs: it uses polarized light, like at the movies. (Though, the movies do use the shutter effect, it just happens at the projector, which alternates between two different polarized lenses. I believe the TVs are interlaced.)
I thought there were only two games which are currently optimized for 3d. I believe these are Batman: Arkham Asylum and the latest Need For Speed? If possible can you try it with those games and report back? There is a demo of Arkham Asylum on Steam, if that helps.
Personally I find it a pain to wear glasses on top of my normal glasses. Throw in a headset and…
The format that’s delivered to theaters should work fine with this-- It’s just the home sales that are lacking. But if this or other home 3D technologies gain even a small toehold, it wouldn’t be difficult at all for the movie studios to accommodate it, and they’d probably be able to charge a significant premium for the true-3D discs.
nVidia’s glasses are pretty much unwearable above glasses. I’ve got two old pairs of glasses from before I got laser eye surgery and neither of them fit under the shutter glasses.
I tried the Arkham demo. It looks alright but it suffers from the triple image issue surrounding bright spots that all games have. It doesn’t really look any better in 3d than any other game I’ve played. Though it doesn’t, in the demo at least, have any large bugs with it that most other games have at one point or another. And none of the cut scenes are in 3d.