I have written before about 3D gaming. The effect is more impressive than it sounds when you see it done properly for real. Having depth is like going to the theatre when all you have seen in the past is the cinema. It is just so much more realistic. More importantly for games it is also more immersive And soon you will be able to see for yourself in major game releases.
Disney lead the way, as an extension of what they are doing in 3D movies. First up are the PS3 and 360 versions of G-Force, coming next month, just before the movie debut. 3D is achieved using the bundled coloured glasses and has impressed journalists. Toy Story Mania! for the Wii follows this autumn. These are mass market titles that have the potential to give 3D the breakthrough that it needs. But, unfortunately, the Disney marketing people are not going to town with the breakthrough they have, instead relying on halo effect from the crossover of the movie IP.
Avatar, from Ubisoft is a different matter and is being touted as “the first 3D stereoscopic title in gaming history”. Once again it is a film tie in but this time it is a co-development, with the game developers having input into the film and vice versa. The director is the famous James Cameron who will bring the highest creative and production values to the whole project. Already under development for 2 years it is scheduled for Q4 ’09. Ubisoft probably have the finest reputation of the global games publishers so this whole enterprise will have massive credibility. History could look back on Avatar as being the defining moment when gaming made the step change to 3D. Just as the movie industry looks back to 1927 and The Jazz Singer when it made its step change to incorporating dialogue with the invention of the “talkies”.
As I explained at the beginning 3D makes games massively more immersive. But there is another upcoming technology that also massively enhances the experience, which is Microsoft Natal. And the very clever and very interesting thing that most people have missed is that Natal is also 3D. So we are talking about gaming with a 3D input and a 3D visual image. Can you just even begin to imagine how revolutionary this will be?