Features & News

Hands on: Nvidia Geforce Vision 3D

October 29, 2009, Author: Andy Corrigan

Looking back now, two of the major highlights for me from the Eurogamer Expo were the 3D demonstrations of Need for Speed: Shift and Batman: Arkham Asylum on PC. Older games yes, but this was my first chance to sample Nvidia’s exciting new 3D technology, however I did have a little reservation at first, and me trying it out was pretty much an experiment.

You see, I suffer from a heavy scarring on the inside of my right eye from a childhood football accident, not only leaving me with a blind-spot and generally blurry vision in that peeper, but also unable to do one of those blasted magic eye pictures… Going by traditional 3D standards you can probably already see (unintentional joke, go me!) my concern of how this tech would affect my gaming experience in the future, especially considering how excited people are for it.

Thankfully my fears were instantly waylaid upon sampling NFS: Shift and it’s now something I can’t wait to play a bigger part in the industry. It’s a strange feeling getting a great feel of depth in the cockpit of the car, with the HUD floating eerily above the screen. On Batman, the 3D effect made the already-quite-cool inverted takedowns look even more spectacular, with Bat’s and his victim almost jumping out of the screen. Looking on without the groovy sunglasses, the image on screen does actually look slightly reminiscent of the old-fashioned 3D images you might have experienced in your younger years; only here red and green are nowhere to be seen. So how does it work? With my visual stigma, I was probably more eager to find out than most.

Speaking to the Nvidia representatives, aside from the compatible graphics card and shutter glasses, there’s not a great deal more you actually need to experience 3D gaming on the PC. That is however (and here’s the catch…), providing that you have a display that can achieve 100hz or more. This is becoming more common in PC monitors than TV’s at the moment, but the list of compatible displays is already steadily growing. The need for the high refresh requirement is the key for this system to work. In simple terms, the glasses lenses quickly alternate to block the images between your two eyes, left then right, left then right, and it’s this that gives the 3D illusion. Possibly the best part of this for PC gamers right now is that it works with any game (you have to download a 3D driver though), as it’s the hardware that does all the work.


Look like Albert Wesker.

Upon questioning the reps about the future of this in consoles, they were quick to mention that at this point they are partnered solely with Sony for demoing 3D gaming to the console market (there were some PS3 games in 3D demoed over the last year at various events), however I wouldn’t rule out both Sony and Microsoft joining the party when the next generation rolls around.

I’m extremely excited for what the future will bring with this, although I have to hope that playing games in this will be a choice for gamers and that developers don’t force this upon us as an industry standard. This was a major fear of mine leading up to trying it, but sampling and hearing exactly how it works means that it shouldn’t be a fear we have to worry about too much just yet. Considering that developers are claiming that we’re are nearly bottomed out in terms of graphical capability, this could be just the ticket to keep visuals at the forefront of peoples minds.

*We hope to have an interview with Nvidia on the site soon, so they can tell us about the system in more detail.