3D has been making a bit of a comeback with 3D films and now televisions that support 3D. As such there has been a large amount of clamoring over the addition to 3D support for consoles. Something which Sony revealed they would be adding to the PS3.
Earlier people had been demanding this, claiming it’s the next big step for gaming. It’s easy to understand why: we’ve hit a graphical brick wall. We have reached a point where our games can, potentially, look as good as a CGI movie. Our characters can now look practically real if we so desire. Even early in the 360’s life we were rendering the pores on a character’s skin! As such, 3D seems like the next logical graphical step, right?
Well, the answer is no. Not only can it be added with a mere patch and suddenly our existing consoles are capable of 3D; but it’s not viable for most people. There’s currently at least 5 different kinds of 3D, each requiring different brands of TVs and glasses and all expensive. This is a fact that still boggles my mind: why do we need both a special TV and glasses!? If we have the glasses, can’t we just use them with our HD TV we just bought? If we have a special 3D TV, shouldn’t it be able to work without requiring glasses? Quite frankly it’s all preposterous. What’s more, it will add nothing of value to games. Look at the Virtual Boy. During it’s brief one year lifespan, developers tried desperately to produce a game that required 3D graphics and yet they couldn’t come up with anything. To this day I have played exactly one game (Sin & Punishment 2) that I think would have benefited slightly from 3D visuals. It’s not that I wouldn’t like them and as a nice little patch for the PS3 they’re nice, but they’re hardly as necessary as people liked to make them out to be.
Then Nintendo unveiled the 3DS. Suddenly, 3D visuals have gone from “the necessary next step in the evolution of gaming” to a “gimmick”. I am not even joking. The very same people who were clamoring for 3D support on the 360 are now rolling their eyes at Nintendo’s “gimmicky” 3DS.
This is especially funny as the 3DS is the first system to make 3D actually viable! Not only does it not require glasses, but the fancy 3D TV you need is built-in! The fact that Nintendo announced that there will be movies on it made me happy. I look forward to buying a copy of Avatar for my 3DS.
And yet, this is the gimmicky one. Is it purely because it’s Nintendo, or is it because people refuse to take portables seriously regardless of how many fantastic games they have? I’m not sure, but all I know is that the gaming populace is a bunch of fucking morons sometimes.
“But wait!” you say, “didn’t you just call 3D an unnecessary gimmick? Aren’t you just doing the inverse, saying 3D is a gimmick on consoles but revolutionary on the 3DS?”. Good eye there, but no, not quite. I never claimed it was revolutionary on 3DS either. It’s equally unnecessary there. However, having an affordable portable 3D viewing option will be nice. Not revolutionary, just nice. No, the 3DS is awesome because it’s more powerful then the DS (and supposedly even the Wii!) not because it has a 3D screen. Even then I think it’s somewhat unnecessary and I worry about the unit’s battery life (especially after the horrendous battery life on the original DSi). But you know what? I want that Starfox 64 remake.