Despite choosing film as his output to push forward the merits of 3D as the next step in visual technology, James Cameron - of Terminator and Avatar fame - believes it is videogames who will drive three-dimensional displays forward. Speaking at NAB 2011, a digital media event for filmmakers and technophiles alike where he was once again promoting 3D, Cameron told the assembled conference hall "videogames are going to be the drivers".
"The consumer electronics companies introduced these screens last year," explains Cameron, "so we're a year into this and it takes 18 months to two years to author a high quality video game. So you're going to see a stampede of video games and then that, in turn, is just going to catalyze more broad scale adoption in the home of these big 3D screens". While I'm glad Cameron acknowledges the length of time it takes to create a worthwhile videogame tailored for 3D, I don't think he's quite aware of the widespread apathy towards 3D in general. Whether it's films or videogames, I'm hearing a lot less excitement, and a lot more meh.
However, Cameron goes on to explain that 'glasses-free' 3D devices, like the recently released Nintendo 3DS, can be a gateway towards inviting customers to 3D, without having to shell out on expensive displays and slap stupid utensils over their eyes. "These single-viewing devices that are engaging the person to play these video games will drive a lot of investment in autostereoscopic displays for that very reason," he said, "That technology will trickle up to the larger 3D displays that will be used for home viewing and gaming".
The big turn-off for most people when it comes to 3D is wearing the big glasses that allow each eye access to one level, if you will, of the image being displayed. 3D shoots two images at your eyes, with the stereoscopic glasses housing two independent frames that limit access from one image but allow in the other, vice versa for each eye. Cameron admits in order for 3D uptake to increase, "getting rid of the glasses will be a big deal".
I admit, once the prices come down and the glasses disappear, my attitude towards 3D will lighten. As it stands, I see 3D being adopted by Hollywood so they can capitalize upon the higher ticket prices, and by videogame manufacturers like Sony so they can help sell their company's new televisions. Once it becomes less of a gimmick and more of a worthwhile feature - Avatar is still the only 3D experience I've enjoyed - then maybe I'll be more interested.
Let's hear your side on this, Dealspwners! Are you for or against 3D? [Eurogamer]