Ryan Wilson

3D Game Potential on PlayStation 3 Could Disappoint

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PlayStation 3 owners were welcomed a few days ago with a notification to update their firmware to version 2.30.  The update included the ability to sort trophies by date earned along with title, an audio bitstream option, and the highly anticipated support for 3D stereoscopic games. However if you are expecting to be able to play upcoming titles in both 1080p and 3D, think again.
Next time you go to see a 3D movie, take off the glasses for a moment. While some areas of the scene will be perfectly clear without the glasses, you’ll see an extreme blur on certain parts (usually around special effects). This is because the image at these parts must be processed at multiple levels to achieve the illusion of depth.

Now bring this into game context.  To achieve a similar effect, the game must render the graphics in certain areas at least twice.  The PlayStation 3, while a powerful console, simply does not has the processing power to handle this additional load without sacrificing some image quality.  Games like Wipeout HD, which originally ran at 1080p, are now stated to run at 720p in their 3d counterparts.  Games running natively at 720p may dip as low as standard definition.

Tune in next week when I tell you your baby just isn’t as cute as you think it is.

[UPDATE: It appears that Gran Turismo 5 is slated to feature 3D abilities right out of the box.  Strangely enough, they still claim it’s coming out this year.  We’ll see.]

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