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NVIDIA Offers 3D Glasses For the Masses 261

Vigile writes "A new stereoscopic 3D gaming technology has hit the street today from NVIDIA, though demoed earlier in the year, that promises to bring high quality 3D gaming to the PC. The GeForce 3D Vision technology utilizes active shutter glasses and a 120 Hz display (either 120 Hz LCD or 3D-Ready DLP TVs) to bring an immersive 3D effect to PC games. Using the depth buffer information stored in DirectX, the NVIDIA software is able to construct a stereo 3D image out of existing game content while the 120 Hz requirement gives each eye 60 frames of motion per second negating the physical detriments that were known to occur with previous 3D offerings. The review at PC Perspective details how the technology works, the performance hit your games take while using it and the advantages and disadvantages to the user's gaming experience with 3D Vision."
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NVIDIA Offers 3D Glasses For the Masses

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  • Oh boy. Not only does this add a whole new dimension to porn, it also means people will be walking and porning. Yeesh.
    • Re:Uh oh (Score:4, Funny)

      by LilGuy ( 150110 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @11:50AM (#26372557)

      Just wait until someone figures out how to make them wireless. 3D mobile porn while driving...

    • by billstewart ( 78916 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @01:56PM (#26374369) Journal

      These aren't the kind of video glasses that display the image right in front of each eye - these are shutter glasses that alternately black out the left and right sides, synchronized with your monitor that's alternately showing right and left images.

      So if you're walking around instead of looking at your monitor, unless the real world is blinking on and off in sync with your glasses, it'll just look a little dimmer. And if the real world *is* blinking on and off in sync with your glasses, you've found Owsley's Secret Lost Acid Stash... let me help you with that :-)

      (My first question when reading the headline about new 3D glasses was to wonder what resolution they are, since I'm not happy reading text at less than 800x600, and most gamer glasses have been 640x200 or less, , but of course they don't work for that either, so no gargoyle mode for me yet.)

      • Not just that (Score:5, Informative)

        by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @04:45PM (#26376733)

        Nvidia fucked over the consumer with these.

        I've had a pair of shutter glasses (as have a hell of a lot of other people) for years. For years, I was a fan of Nvidia because they included shutter support in an add-on driver release. I played Portal with my original-series VRStandard glasses and it was AMAZING.

        Six months ago, Nvidia entered into a monetary partnership with people who make some shitty, half-assed "3d compatible" lcd monitors. All of a sudden, the latest version of the add-on driver (a) is Vista-Only (fucking bullshit) and (b) dropped support for anything but anaglyph, these "3d compatible lcd monitors", or "official Nvidia shutter glasses."

        I'm not about to infect my computer with the Vista Virus to have this, much less have to go spend money on buying more new hardware that, internally, is exactly the fucking same as I already own except for having the monitor-sync bit use a different one of the 14 VGA pins to hide its left/right signal.

        Fuck Nvidia till they start putting the consumer first again. And if they don't fix this and give us back the driver support, then I won't buy their cards anymore.

        • by Moryath ( 553296 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @05:02PM (#26377031)

          This isn't a "review", this is a paid-for advert disguised as one.

          A few examples:
          Active glasses for stereo 3D viewing are not a technology created by NVIDIA and in fact they have been around for some time as well. However, the quality of the glasses and the user experience has been low due to low frame rates (30 Hz to each eye usually) and bulky hardware.

          Reality: Existing glasses solutions (from companies like EDimensional and preceding them, VRStandard) are just as slim as the NVidia offering and run at the same framerate (100-120 Hz).

          As of today, NVIDIA's 3D technology will work with only two types of displays: true 120 Hz LCD monitors and 3D-Ready DLP projection televisions.

          That's only because Nvidia has a monetary interest in forcing people to buy new hardware; the old glasses solutions worked just fine with true 120-Hz monitors, DLP projection TV's, and even standard CRT monitors until recently when Nvidia deliberately broke the drivers and made 3D-support only available on Windows Vista.

          I feel it is also important to realize that while the 3D effects we are seeing today are really cool and well worth the investment of $199,

          A pair of EDimensional glasses six months ago ran you $60-80 depending on where you bought them, and were exactly the same technology inside; all NVidia's done is changed which pin they're hiding the monitor/glasses sync signal in on the video cable. Charging $200 is fucking highway robbery and they know it.

          It's a pity that "PC Perspective" ran a shitty, paid-for "review" and are trying to fool everyone. I call Scam because I see one.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Chatsubo ( 807023 )

          They couldn't have fucked this up better if they tried. I am outraged by the whole thing.

          First they patently drop support for a perfectly good (I ran it with a 100Hz CRT), cheap 3D solution, very blatantly doing everything they can to kill 3D. Then they get to a point where you have to buy their buddies' high-priced 3D LCD monitors. Now they're making their own hugely expensive solution, once again forcing you to go out and buy a special special LCD when most old CRT's are more than up to the job. That does

  • Retinal Projection (Score:3, Interesting)

    by minginqunt ( 225413 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @11:48AM (#26372541) Homepage Journal

    It's wouldn't be susceptible to parallax error. They had it in the Star Trek future, why can't we have it in our proper future?

    Man is annoyed by this.

    • There are companies putting research funds into the subject, but it's far to expensive for home use so far. The only applications that I have heard being anywhere near release are for heads up displays for commercial airliners.

  • by Mikkeles ( 698461 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @11:50AM (#26372563)

    Does it come with Aspirin?

    • Re:Accessories? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:19PM (#26372981)

      If RTFA :), you'll notice that previous systems used refresh rates in the 30Hz range for each eye, which indeed would lead to severe headaches. This system uses 120Hz total (for 60Hz to each eye) which is much more tolerable and shouldn't cause as much eye strain. 80Hz to each eye would be eve better, but we'll see.

      Overall though, the general effect shouldn't cause any headaches aside from the refresh rate problems. Afterall most of us walk around all day seeing in 3d - it's just that the objects aren't coming off a screen :).

      • Re:Accessories? (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Conspiracy_Of_Doves ( 236787 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:32PM (#26373195)

        The problem is that when we are walking around all day seeing in 3d, we can focus on things at different distances by flexing the lenses of our eyes.

        In a 3d movie, everything is at the same focal length (the distance from your eyes to the screen) regardless of how far away it appears to be.

        That's going to cause some degree of eye strain no matter what.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Fri13 ( 963421 )

          I even get headaches when playing Far Cry 2 longer than 10 minutes. Reason is that the view is all the time swinging littlebit. My brains register that movement but because I am not moving but staying still, I get headache. Only game what I am suffering from this. Not even the legendary Aliens Versus Predator (1 & 2) did not give this when playing as Alien and running all over places with fullspeed and going 360Â all the time. Far Cry 2 is bad game for me because of that. I wanna find the option to

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Moryath ( 553296 )

        No, previous systems worked just fine. I had a monitor capable of 1280x1024, 120 Hz (60 for each eye) and it was fan-fucking-tastic. I still have the hardware and would use it today if Nvidia hadn't fucked the consumer over by stripping their "3D system" driver add-on down to Vista-only and "buy our new hardware".

  • New? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by grub ( 11606 )

    A company named Elsa had 3D shutter glasses for NVidia cards in 2000-2001 or so. I still have a wired and wireless pair. I think NVidia bought them out ages ago and put the 3D stuff in the Detonator drivers. I remember playing Thief 2 with those glasses (it was AWESOME). No idea if they still work, my current game rig has an ATI card.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Yvanhoe ( 564877 )
      Yes, I don't feel particularly old but I remember seeing these shutter glasses on GeForce 2. The contrast ratio was not awesome but it worked okay and was provided for free with the card. I wonder why it didn't succeed then. Maybe the lack of support in games. Here the novelty would come from the automatic mode that the driver provides, not from the old tech shutter glasses.
      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        Games did not provide support for the glasses. I remember using my Asus TNT2 Ultra [] on final reality and tomb raider 2. I thought this would not work on an LCD monitor though since most of them work only at 60hz. Kudos to greenzilla for playing on the fact that these monitors have a ridiculously high resolution and halving it to maintain the performance while losing sharpness. I don't think this will work for twitch gamers. but for casual gamers, if they can
        • by Skinkie ( 815924 )
          Games did not provide support? That is non-sense, it was part of the DirectX/OpenGL driver interface within Windows.
          I still remember I was playing Tony Hawk Pro Skater 2 with my glasses on. I was way cool back then!
      • As other have mentioned, games did not need to support the glasses -- they just worked, because the 3d data is in directX.

        They didn't succeed because they gave people headaches due to the refresh rate being something like 30Hz for each eye. The new tech/glasses in this article are 60Hz/eye, which is why it requires special 120Hz displays (which is why these new ones probably won't succeed.)
        • by Skinkie ( 815924 )
          I still have the same 19" Sony CRT monitor, which does 120Hz for the lower resolutions without a problem. That is not really an argument. Since even older glasses of Crystal Eyes even worked with adapted games as Wolfenstein 3D at 320x240 it was also at least 60Hz per eye because for that game they used interlacing.
          • While that monitor may do 120Hz, the glasses that came with GeForce 2 / ASUS hardware was 30Hz/eye max. Isn't that what we were talking about? I'm unfamiliar with older Crystal Eyes systems.
      • "... I remember seeing these shutter glasses on GeForce 2. The contrast ratio was not awesome but it worked okay and was provided for free with the card. I wonder why it didn't succeed then."

        The reason it didn't succeed then was because it wasn't well designed, it did not work with all games equally well. Next the fact that it ONLY worked for games is something often overlooked. If we ever finally do move to 3D UI in regular appplications outside of games and such apps become ubiquitous, only then I can s

    • Re:New? (Score:5, Informative)

      by AKAImBatman ( 238306 ) * <akaimbatman&gmail,com> on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:01PM (#26372727) Homepage Journal

      My Asus GeForce 2 shipped with a pair of shutter glasses. The darn things did frak' all on the pack-in game. (Soldier of Fortune) I pretty much tried them out once, then stuck 'em into storage. Shutter glasses are highly overrated.

      If manufacturers really want 3D gaming with true depth perception, monitor and GPU manufacturers should work together to create polarized computer monitors. Simply turn on the 3D effect, put on a pair of stylish shades with mismatched lenses, and BAMMO! Instant 3D.

      • monitor and GPU manufacturers should work together to create polarized computer monitors.

        LCD monitors are already polarized. []

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by wjh31 ( 1372867 )
          they are polarised one way, i think you parent means that it displays two polarisations each with a different image, then glasses with a different polarised lens in each eye will let through different images to allow a 3D effect
      • Re:New? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by vadim_t ( 324782 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:29PM (#26373113) Homepage

        I've got a Zalman monitor that does precisely that.

        It's great. Unlike anaglyph, it doesn't suffer from ghosting and color problems. Unlike shutter glasses it doesn't require any special support: If you have the monitor, and the glasses, all that's needed is to produce a correctly formatted image. So it can work with any video card without specific support, and you can view 3D photos by just opening the image in the web browser.

        The only disadvantage is that horizontal resolution is halved. But it's still much better than the other options.

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by mrjimorg ( 557309 )
        Actually, this is a pretty new initiative. It involved working with monitor companies to create 120 Hz monitors that could do 1920x1200 and they spent a lot of time/money making glasses that would eliminate a lot of the ghosting effects, etc that were in prior versions. As for the polarized lenses, many reviewer report getting headaches, etc.
    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:34PM (#26373213)

      But a new and more likely useful implementation. First off it's wireless which makes them much more practical for general use. The big deal these days is the faster monitors. Back when they first came out, you had to use them CRTs, LCDs were too slow. However even good CRTs had real hell doing refresh rates high enough not to produce severe flicker. 85Hz was fine for a normal image, too slow for this sort of thing to work well. It took a top of the line CRT to do 120Hz at even 1024x768.

      Well that's not a problem now. DLP screens update way, waaaaaay, faster. They cycle colours thousands of times per second. So doing 120Hz, or rather 60Hz per eye, is no problem at all.

      Nothing revolutionary, but it is practical now. I remember playing with it when it first came out. It was kinda cool, but not all that usable and only really worked when I tried it on a professional CRT at work. This sounds like I could make it work in my living room on a normal DLP screen.

    • Ran a computer store in `97 or `98 when we had the same sort of thing. Hooked it up to a 21 inch Mag Innovision that no one could afford. It was LCD shutter lens, came with Descent, and was infected. As it turns out, the Epilepsy was hard to wash off.

  • Gaming? (Score:4, Funny)

    by Thanshin ( 1188877 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @11:53AM (#26372603)

    Who thought of selling a 3d display system for gaming?

    Let's see. How many gamers watch porn regularly?
    Now, how many non-gamers watch porn regularly?
    And finally, how many games get so greater for being in 3d as porn?

    How hard can it be to sell a product with "Full 3D titties. $X. Pay here."

    How hard? I ask you.

    • by aliquis ( 678370 )

      I can't see the big deal with 3D porn?

    • Re:Gaming? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Toe, The ( 545098 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:01PM (#26372721)

      It is often the case that "gaming" is code for "porn." That's just how they have to market it to the mainstream.

      Same as how "home video" was code for "home porn."

      Same as how "internet access" was code for "porn access."

      Same as how "broadband" is code for "more porn."

      Same as how "high-def" is code for "clearer porn."

      You get the picture.
      (Which is code for "you get porn.")

    • by Hatta ( 162192 )

      The Sega Master System had 3d goggles 20 years ago, so it's not a new idea. Consider that NTSC only displays 30 fields per second, and half of them would be shown to each eye. That's a headache inducing 15 frames per second. Still kind of a neat effect.

  • I can imagine this being an epic fail, if your specs aren't good enough. You'll need top of the line to make sure that the refresh rates don't jitter and your framerate doesn't die.

    So, I definitely want one, but I'm not going to pretend that this would be remotely useful until I upgrade to a brand new machine.
  • by astrodoom ( 1396409 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @11:59AM (#26372705)
    Seems like those glasses would not fit over mine. So I guess this product is going purely for the good vision and contact lens market?
    • by Andy Dodd ( 701 )

      At least older generations of these glasses (as others have said, lower refresh rate versions were available with even the original GeForce, many were bundled by Asus) fit just fine over glasses.

    • Perhaps in the future they will make such 3D glasses with your prescribed dioptres for the lenses.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Reapy ( 688651 )

      Gamespot has an article on these 3d glasses as well. One of the screenshots shows the 3d lenses fitting over a pair of standard eye glasses, so unless you have giant coke bottle glasses, you should be good to go.

  • by Flentil ( 765056 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:02PM (#26372747)
    The glasses work great. Any direct3D will show in full 3D. The only reasons I don't wear them all the time (or ever really) are bad 3d driver support from nvidia in the past, and more importantly, every game I've ever played in 3D has used some weird visual shortcuts for displaying explosions or gunshots or something that breaks the whole immersion. For example, in Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, it's all full 3D except the streetlights and headlights. Those appear to be painted on a 2D window in front of you because they don't really appear in the 3D space. Anyway, it's weird enough to make me not want to play it that way. So if this is going to ever work in the mainstream, game developers have to meet halfway and stop using graphical shortcuts like that.
    • by Actually, I do RTFA ( 1058596 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:59PM (#26373573)

      Any direct3D will show in full 3D

      Any Direct3D application will look good and 3D. However, there is a flaw . While it will show the pixels adjusted for each eye, the occlusion testing is only done once. That is, your right eye cannot see slightly around a barrel, or both eyes will perceive you rounding a corner at the same time.

      if this is going to ever work in the mainstream, game developers have to meet halfway and stop using graphical shortcuts like that.

      It's not worth it to use until these devices become mainstream, or have reached a pricepoint where they can become so easily. Then they will rush to do so.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Hurricane78 ( 562437 )

        It's not worth it to use until these devices become mainstream, or have reached a pricepoint where they can become so easily. Then they will rush to do so.

        Yeah. The same stupid argument, that's used all the time. It's not worth to create games for 3d-glasses, until they become mainstream. And it's not worth to create 3d-glasses, until there are enough games for it. How stupid are those arguments?

        In reality, there only ever will be 3d-glasses and games using them, when someone creates them anyway. No matter if they are actually needed right now.
        For example: It's pretty easy to create a game that just watches out not to create problems with 3d-glasses that beha

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Chabo ( 880571 )
      I think this is fixed nowadays, with most developers no longer using sprites for steam, explosions, etc.

      Example: Valve, as recently as Half-Life 2: Episode 1 (June 2006), was still using sprites for fire and explosions. However, by the time The Orange Box (October 2007) was released, they were using full 3D models for those entities.

      I imagine any game made in the past year or so will be full-3D, with no sprites.
      • by azorian ( 1448005 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @02:27PM (#26374789)

        I think this is fixed nowadays, with most developers no longer using sprites for steam, explosions, etc.

        And you would be wrong. Most games still use a lot of alpha blending effects (smoke, halos, hair, windows, etc.). The problem with using the depth buffer for depth/3D position extrapolation is that alphas don't Z-Write, so the alpha pixels will pick up the same depth as what ever solid geometry is behind it. This is the same problem that plages other post processing effects such as depth of field, depth buffer based motion blur etc...

        • Apologies, it's been a long time since I took a DirectX course. Aren't there already translucent textures? Why can't these appear to be at the correct depth?

  • by Qbertino ( 265505 ) <> on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:11PM (#26372861)

    Nothing new. I got these with my Asus V7700 GFX card (a very good card, btw!) - but they had a cable rather than wireless sync. The GFX card had an extra connector for these. The glasses worked but needed calibrating and were a guarantee for headache after playing for 10 minutes or so. But Dark Reign 2 and simular games looked really cool with them. For 3D RTS I think something like this can even give you an advantage - if you can raise your monitor refresh rate enough, that is.

    • No, you did not get these in 2001. You got headache-inducing 30Hz/eye glasses. These are 60Hz/eye, which is why they require a 120Hz display.
  • by CaptainPatent ( 1087643 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:13PM (#26372885) Journal
    ... I expected the Slashdot story to be something like:

    3 young lasses from Manassas made glasses for the masses rendering 3d in two passes. Currently the glasses are omitting noxious gasses and they're receiving an action lawsuit in classes so they really need to cover their asses.

    more as time passes.
  • If anyone has ever worn sunglasses while looking at an LCD monitor, you quickly discover that tilting your head causes the screen to go black in specific orientations.

    Hasn't anyone tried to manufacture an LCD with alternating LCD polarity between adjacent lines of pixels? Mounting cheap polarized films on any frame is all you'd need to split the monitor image between left and right eye. No shutter frames needed, the video card merely splits an image into stripes for the left and right eye at normal refesh

  • Clipping (Score:2, Funny)

    by loocas ( 1345525 )
    So will graphic clipping issues poke you in the eye?
  • It would be great if cheap glasses leads to the development of cheap stereoscopic digital cameras. Why should 3-d photography be limited to running only on your grandpas antiques?

    • by Yvan256 ( 722131 )

      I've got two words for you: duct tape!

      Actually, digital cameras have gotten so small, I bet some models could be simply attached to a dual-mount tripod or something.

  • OpenGL support? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:32PM (#26373197)
    After reading the article, I notice they make mention that this works by utilizing data provided from Direc3D....does anyone know if this works with OpenGL-based games as well?
    • Re:OpenGL support? (Score:5, Informative)

      by pak9rabid ( 1011935 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:37PM (#26373279)
      Welp, to answer my own question, it looks like it does not. That's a shame, as the only game I really play is ETQW.
    • It seems that nVidia is still stupidly keeping the OpenGL support as a Quadro-only feature. There is no good reason to not support it across the line - 3D in a window is actually a really cool feature, much better than having to run "full screen".

      Come on, guys. If you want to sell the stuff, quit being asshats and do it already.

      • It seems that nVidia is still stupidly keeping the OpenGL support as a Quadro-only feature.

        Huh? So it's just my imagination that my GeForce 9800gtx (as well as all other GeForce cards) can run OpenGL applications natively?

  • 60 still hertz (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Eil ( 82413 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:43PM (#26373355) Homepage Journal

    the NVIDIA software is able to construct a stereo 3D image out of existing game content while the 120 Hz requirement gives each eye 60 frames of motion per second negating the physical detriments that were known to occur with previous 3D offerings.

    Well, except that some of us can still see the 60Hz flicker. I want to gouge my eyes out looking at anything less than 75Hz, which would work out to 150Hz combined for this technology.

    • the NVIDIA software is able to construct a stereo 3D image out of existing game content while the 120 Hz requirement gives each eye 60 frames of motion per second negating the physical detriments that were known to occur with previous 3D offerings.

      Well, except that some of us can still see the 60Hz flicker. I want to gouge my eyes out looking at anything less than 75Hz, which would work out to 150Hz combined for this technology.

      I am guessing they are banking on LCD being fairly slow.

    • by jandrese ( 485 )
      Where the heck are you finding 75Mhz LCD displays?
  • by Forkenhoppen ( 16574 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:45PM (#26373375)

    To understand why this may be a poor choice for 3D glasses technology for consumers, as well as some thoughts on why NVIDIA might have gone with it anyways, here's an article [] that gets into the nitty gritty. Brief summary; headaches and batteries.

    (Insert usual disclaimer about the Inquirer not exactly being an enthusiastic supporter of NVIDIA here..)

    • Oh no, not batteries. You mean like the things that are in ps3/360 remotes that have to be recharged by simply plugging them in? The horror!

  • Can these glasses be worn over prescription glasses?

  • I've played it all (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShooterNeo ( 555040 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @12:53PM (#26373487)

    I've owned and used heavily 2 stereoscopic 3d systems.

    One used a large CRT monitor that could run at 150Hz. I had two different 3d shutter glasses I used. I remember having to do quite a bit of tweaking with each game I wanted to play, but eventually I was able to get 'perfect' effects that were completely and totally awesome.

    You can't really know til you try it, but 3d can make games feel dramatically more real. It can make even older games look a LOT better. Deus Ex was pretty darn awesome looking when your weapons actually have depth to them, and so do the enemies.

    I then built a passive stereoscopic rig using polarized glasses and 2 LCD monitors, as well as a half-silvered mirror. Total cost : about $650. That one also ruled, and worked better than the shutter glasses. I found that the killer app game for it was World of Warcraft.

    This was 18 months ago : I was playing WoW in full 3d. I had to disable just 1 effect to get it to work perfectly, all of the time, smooth as glass. Again, a lot of the graphics of that game look amazing when they have depth, because your brain automatically fills in details that aren't really in the low detail graphics.

    Why did I quit? Time, and the fact that Nvidia basically abandoned stereo 3d for a while. My 8800GT did not work at all for a long time. Stereo 3d IS worth it, but it requires heavy driver support or it doesn't work.

    Also, I never could eliminate "ghosting". That is where the images from one eye leak into the other. One game in particular, a horror game, was AWESOME and VASTLY more scary with depth. The problem was, the dark shadows and flashlights would create various halos on the screen from ghosting which was very unrealistic and distracting.

    Ghosting is inherent to shutter glasses. The only 3d tech that completely eliminates it is a headset with a separate display for each eye. However, no affordable, high resolution headsets are available on the market today. (and when I say affordable, I mean for any reasonable price. You cannot get a high resolution head mounted display for even $2000)

    • They always do. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by radarsat1 ( 786772 )

      Why did I quit? Time, and the fact that Nvidia basically abandoned stereo 3d for a while.

      That's the problem. They always do. 3D glasses have been in and out of favour with manufacturers for years and years. They keep trying it, and then giving up. Maybe it's just too invasive to require people to use special glasses, but for whatever reason it never seems to catch on.

      I remember that the Sega system had 3D glasses. I think there were about 2 games for them. I even bought (and still have) a pair for my Amiga computer. I literally only ever used them with the demo game that came with them.

    • by Aladrin ( 926209 )

      When they abandoned the 3D support is when I stopped caring about 3D from nVidia. If it's not there when I want it, what good is it?

      As for this new offering, 'for the masses' is an asinine thing to say. The $200 glasses are as expensive as ever (if not moreso) and the special monitor needed to go with them is hardly going to be a cheap one.

  • I'm not a gamer, so I immediately began to think of other 3D exploration uses:

    • Flying around Mount Everest
    • Flying through Manhattan
    • Flying over the Hawaiian Islands

    But I *didn't* think of porn. I should go see a doctor, there must be something wrong with me.

  • And they gave me terrible headaches. Playing Descent in real 3d was pretty durned cool, though. Too bad 15 minutes of play left me hurting pretty badly.

    I'm guessing the old ones probably shuttered at 60Hz. I'm doubtful that the 120Hz rate solves the issues. I bet it still looks a bit flickery, because I know I can't look at a 60Hz display without eye strain and headaches. They'll need to hit 150 Hz before it really looks smooth.

  • "DirectX".

  • Duke Nukem Forever? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by mcgrew ( 92797 ) * on Thursday January 08, 2009 @02:23PM (#26374723) Homepage Journal

    I may be responsible for the fact that Duke Nukem 4ever has yet to be released.

    A year or three (a long time ago, I don't remember exactly when) after Duke Nukem 3-D came out, there was a gaming discussion site called Planet Crap. It was a low visibility site, and most of the folks who posted there tried to keep it that way, not mentioning or linking it on their own sites.

    It was a site shared by gamers, game webmasters (who were of course all gamers), and industry insiders. Warren Marshall posted there (he was a pirate in his college days, which is why he fears pirates so badly), as did several of his artists and programmers. People from ID posted there, and Charles Broussard and his people posted there as well.

    There was a discussion one day, I don't remember the topic, but Mr. broussard was posting. I wondered out loud why Duke Nukem 3-D was not really 3-D at all, but 2-D perspective. Charles said something to the effect of "we don't yet have holographic displays". I mentioned stereoscopic viewing and suggested red/green glasses.

    Duke Nukem 4ever became more and more a joke as time went by, but I've always wondered if they were working on a true 3-D game. These glasses in TFA would do the trick far better than the red/green glasses.

    I also wonder when we're going to have truly holographic displays? All one would need would be a high enough resolution LCD, with instead of a white backlight, a mirrored back and a laser frontlight. It would be monochromatic, but I think you could work it out with three lasers each firing in turn and tied to display different diffraction patters so that it could be true color, true 3-D. It would be more than stereoscopic viewing as these glasses are, but true 3-D, so you could actually see around the displayed objects by moving your head (if you've ever seen a real hologram you know what I mean).

  • If I want to run OS X on my "Beige G4" because it's got a better video card than a Mac mini, or run 3d at 85 Hz because that's what my monitor can handle, that should be on me.

  • So, will this enhance my FreeCiv [] experience?
  • by GameMaster ( 148118 ) on Thursday January 08, 2009 @03:10PM (#26375347)

    I've had this question since the tech was shown last year. Can you choose to run this on older displays? Some people still have older 120hz+ capable CRTs that should work just fine. Other people, like myself, have never had a problem with eyestrain on low refresh monitors and would like to try it on their existing monitors. Mine is a brand new 28" LCD with ~85hz max refresh. I have no intention of spending more money on a new monitor after having just purchased one, especially not a monitor significantly smaller than what I have now.

    The article, however, suggests that the drivers are designed to check for (not just the 120hz capability) but for specific models of monitor that are "approved" by Nvidia. What I think is going on here is very similar to what happened when they released their first Stereo 3d drivers for Vista and I consider it a product tie-in scam as well as poor treatment of their customers.

    Nvidia sold people on the 3d shutter glasses tech years ago. When CRTs died and the first generation of LCDs couldn't handle decent refresh rates Nvidia dropped support for the drivers. They didn't do it in a classy way, they just stopped talking about it and left their customers hanging. They never made it clear that they weren't going to update them and when rumors spread about stereo support being planned for the 8800 series people bought the new cards expecting the drivers that never came. Again, Nvidia kept quiet.

    When news of the upcoming Vista stereo drivers started leaking, with what seemed to be tacit confirmation from Nvidia, people that had spent money on the hardware were excited. They were in for a rude awakening when it turned out that Nvidia had gone as far as to remove support for any stereo hardware they had pushed in the past and tried to require specific models of 3D monitors sold by their business partners. Basically, my understanding is, they had screwed over their past and present customers by handy-capping their drivers in exchange for payment from the monitor company. Here is a company that wants us to buy their video card (and now their shutter glasses) but is also trying to force us to throw out our present monitors, whether we need to or not, before we are allowed to use their 3d features and the only real justification is an artificial software block they put there themselves.

    This is what I think is happening here again. I think they've probably made a deal with the monitor/projector manufacturers to be paid for the "Nvidia Approved" status which is why only two displays are allowed regardless of all the older CRTs still existing that match their supposed justification of high refresh rate. I'm smart enough to understand that it took extra work to go out of their way to take the power to decide for myself away from me. Nvidia needs to remember who their actual customers are and stop treating them as an afterthought. They're already on shaky ground with their present generation of cards competing poorly against ATI for price/performance. I, certainly, don't need Nvidia trying to force a Mitsubishi (or any other specific company's) monitor down my throat before I'm able to use a Nvidia product).

  • Someone said NVIDIA is making a winning bet, because video cards will now need to deliver much higher frame rates, and thus the specs required to play games comfortably will be even higher. This is true.

    However, 120 Hz doesn't mean you need your game to render at 120 FPS. It simply means you need to be able to display 120 images per second (60 per eye per second). Most likely, the implementation will involve using two frame buffers in the video card instead of one. The video card will render one frame fo

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