News: Adding Depth to Your Game
Amid all the racket and rumble on the GDC expo floor last week, a few vendors were focused on expanding gamers' visual experience. Specifically, several companies are manufacturing gear that will add a 3D experience to the games that you're already playing.
Different companies are taking different approaches to creating 3D games. For instance, iZ3D is building an LCD monitor that does the work by actually incorporating two LCD screens, one in front of the other, but offset slightly to create the 3D effect. The user wears a pair of polarized glasses that screen the images to the left and right eyes and create the stereoscopic effect. The company is offering a 17? and a 22?model, and the larger of the two is at 1680 x 1050 with a 5ms response time. So far, they've certified over 60 games as working with their equipment, including Battlefield 2, Rome: Total War, and Fable: The Lost Chapters. The experience won't be cheap, though, with the 22? model running close to $1000.
On there other hand, there's Icuiti's VR goggles which include built-in headphones, 3D depth, and even head tracking and a microphone in one model. Like the iZ3D monitor, the Icuiti goggles use their own drivers to add 3D to existing games?they were demoing World of Warcraft and Unreal Tournament 2004. The goggles place a 640 x 480 pixel LCD display in front of each eye to simulate a 62? screen in 3D. The headset is light, weighing in at about three ounces, so prolonged wearing shouldn't be a problem. The higher-end model features a built-in microphone and three degrees of freedom head tracking that allows the user to look around in-game independent of mouse or keyboard movement.
At $350-395, Icuiti's offering is a bit more reasonable than iZ3D's. Maybe that will help offset the distinctly TRON-ish feeling of wearing them.