|NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Gaming Kit|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Video Cards|
|Written by Olin Coles|
|Friday, 09 January 2009|
Page 7 of 8
Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Final Thoughts
Unlike some other stereoscopic 3D solutions which rely upon a driver "wrapper" which can dramatically decrease performance and adversely affect compatibility, GeForce 3D Vision makes use of NVIDIA's own graphics driver. In doing so, NVIDIA is able to leverage the same resources and relationships from "The Way It's Meant to be Played" program to ensure the best possible stereoscopic 3D gaming experience. The most interesting integration example is the one I received during the initial start-up of a game, where an on-screen text message prompted me to adjust game settings to those specified for the best experience.
In the same manner that NVIDIA's driver has SLI profiles which have the ideal settings for a specific game, GeForce 3D Vision relies upon a custom profile for each game. Because no two titles are identical, NVIDIA has researched the optimal stereo settings for each game and made it a default within the driver. When you install a game and want to see what it looks like in stereoscopic 3D, you do not have to waste time configuring settings and trying to figure out what looks best. When gaming with GeForce 3D Vision, you simply start the game and begin playing in stereoscopic 3D.
The NVIDIA Stereoscopic 3D control panel includes a compatibility list that specifies the level of stereoscopic 3D compatibility for hundreds of games. At the time of this writing (nearing the 2009 New Year), this information was not available online. NVIDIA Has since indicated that an online list will be maintained at www.nvidia.com/ged3d. I recommend that users take the NVIDIA Stereoscopic rating lightly, because it really depends on your expectations. The only non-'Excellent' rated game I played was Crysis, which had a score of 2, and really did nothing for me. Then again, I don't care much for this game without 3D Vision, either.
Ultimately, my worries are with the development of "NVIDIA GeForce 3D Vision Ready" game titles. Sure, NVIDIA's TWIMTBP program has done well enough, but I want out-of-screen effects on EVERYTHING! It's like candy to children; once they've tasted chocolate, they'll forever want to taste it again. This will be the biggest hurdle for NVIDIA, because it means more work for software developers, and more money spent on testing. These days, it's all about money, and the wonderful experience I've had with out-of-screen effects with GeForce 3D Vision means nothing to corporate suits.
Putting this experience into perspective, you have to think of other examples of great idea's held down (or lifted up) by consumer dollars. Remember that text messaging has been around for over a decade already, but it wasn't until the Apple iPhone launched that suddenly everyone needed a keyboard on their phone. Electric and hybrid vehicles available in 1992 (I know this, because I wrote on the topic during my Senior year), and yet nobody wanted to promote them until fuel was reaching $5 per gallon (which it did here in Reno, Nevada, where gasoline is always fifty cents higher than the national average for some reason). Since I already see PC video games losing ground to consoles, perhaps backing 3D Vision will be exactly what the enthusiast computer hardware and PC gaming industry needs.