Wednesday, September 12, 2007


I've mentioned on numerous occasions that the next "big thing" in gaming is going to be 3-D technology.

I was fortunate enough to see a 3-D plasma display at E3 one year (it was 2003 or 2004). I don't even remember what was coming out of the screen--it was something mundane--but the effect was jaw-dropping. It was so fantastic that I just started laughing.

Since then, I've been waiting for the first effective implementation of 3-D technology in a monitor or HD screen. There are plenty of different monitors available now (see here list), but most of them are extremely expensive, and the 3-D experience is uneven. Also, most of these monitors require the red/blue lense glasses that guarantee they'll never be widely accepted by consumers.

Now, though, there are two products out there that look very, very interesting. The first is by Philips and is called the "3DWOW." It's initially targeted for commercial use (to attract consumers in malls, for example), and while $15,000 seems outrageous for a 42" display, it was less than ten years ago that you'd pay that much for a 42" plasma screen that now costs $1,000. There are also no glasses required to see the 3-D effects. There's more information here.

Next, a 3-D display from Samsung based on TI's DLP technology was introduced at CEDIA last week. Yes, you still need to wear glasses, but this set is still very impressive (see the product page here.

If you're thinking what I am, then you'd like to see some kind of bridge technology that would emable all your existing games and movies to be viewed in 3-D.

Something like this: the "3D Entertainment PC." It's basically a dedicated conversion unit that takes 2-D images and translates them into 3-D for viewing.

How well does it work? I have no idea. But whether this product gets it right or not, the point is that someday soon, someone will, and when they do, it's going to be mind-blowingly fun.

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