Original Post

When at the early 90’s the first LCD stereoglasses came out, I thought there will be a game revolution and 3d will sweep the market. It didn’t happen. In fact, 3d remained virtually unknown, except the few “crazies” like we are. Okay, the first round of these glasses were “slow” for the computer, for the monitor, the vibration may have given headache to those who tried (although it never gave me headache). Also, games had to be specially written for 3d. So, it didn’t become popular.

Then came Virtual Boy. Fine, it wasn’t color, you couldn’t share games, but the 3d nature made it fascinating, but again, for that “few” people who were into 3d. VB failed big time as we all know, despite that it could have been the first step toward more advanced virtual reality. It didn’t happen.

But the real mystery came to me, when the new generation of LCD glasses, fast computers, and hundreds of games which didn’t have to be written specifically for 3d, they were 3d by the virtue of the fact that DirextX contains all the 3d information, and a simple driver can convert any of those DirectX using programs into true 3d. Computers and monitors became fast enough to provide a perfectly flicker free spectacular 3d.
At that point I was convinced that “now, it will become popular”. And I was wrong again. One could buy even today an LCD stereoglass, drivers, dongle and even 15 (although lousy) games, all under 100 bucks. Nada. One company after the other went under trying to manufacture and sell the LCD stereoglasses. Edimensional is the only one still hanging on, probably by the smart move to link up with the flight simulator community (interestingly enough, one program which doesn’t work very well with the stereoglasses).

So, almost two decades passed since the first cheap but great 3d came out (Descent 1 was fantastic), and 3d is still just as unpopular and unknown as it was back then. What gives? The high tech uses the terms “3D” and “virtual reality” for even soap and detergent and things which has nothing to do with 3d or virtual reality, yet the real thing doesn’t sell. What could be the reason for all this?

Perhaps that the enjoyment of 3d is a “special privilage” of a few.
When I invite some new guests, I try to insert a short 3d demo. I bought from a german guy an absolutely fantastic set of underwater 3d pictures ($50 for over 400 spectacular, I mean SPECTACULAR under ocean pictures in flawless 3d). My eyes popped out when I first looked at them. I show some to guests. Most people react with a “okay, nice”, look at a few more, than stands up with obvious boredom on their face.
For younger people I show a driving game or an FPS in great 3d.
They usually react to the game, but not to the 3d.

I was forced to draw the conclusion, that the problem is the perception and enjoyment of 3d itself. Few of us gets a great kick out of it, but most people don’t, for reasons totally unknown to me.

Anyone has any good ideas? Or any ideas?


2 Replies

Well. At the year before last year’s Games Convention in Leipzig (2005), there were special screens there. Some firm manufactured a driver that could tell apart and stuff. Then they had these cool displays and 0.5 to 1 meter away from it, you could really see these things STICKING out of the screens. They had some low-end games on display running the driver (you could play them in real 3d even). However, to me, it was just all in the works (kinda that feeling, you know). Nevertheless, one thing that struck me as totally off was that there were slight inaccuracies as well as the driver being slow (that’s why they used the low-end games).

So yeah, that’s about it. It was really impressive (they had like 5 17″ screens and 1 big 20″ screen on display), however, never heard of them again :-/ Kinda makes one wonder, doesn’t it?



I always like to show my VB to friends and they are always pretty impressed by the 3D features of the system. So its not that ppl arent interested in 3D in my oppinion the cause of the lack of popularity is that there are no good devices on the market. Companies fear to bring out new 3D systems due to failure of previous devices in the past. To be successful with 3D you will need a good system and a huge marketing budget. Good system + good marketing + good games = 3D will become popular 🙂


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