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The Nuts and Bolts of PlayStation 3D

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the wait-till-the-bayonetta-guys-get-ahold-of-this dept.

Graphics 154

The Digital Foundry blog took an in-depth look at how Sony is introducing 3D technology to PlayStation 3 games. They give a step-by-step description of how the system generates a 3D frame (or rather, a pair of frames), and the graphical hurdles that need be to overcome to ensure the games look good. The article also discusses some of the subtle effects 3D technology can have on gameplay: "'One interesting thing came through in the immersion aspect was that in the first-person camera view, it felt so much more like being there. Typically when most people play MotorStorm, something like 90 per cent play in the third-person view,' Benson explains. 'As soon as we put the 3D settings in place, the first-person view became a lot more popular, a lot more people were using that view. This could indicate that 3D could perhaps change the standards, if you like.' ... 'We found that in the first-person view the game is giving you all the sorts of cues that you're used to in normal driving: speed perception, the ability to judge distances, things like that. It's far easier to avoid track objects.' The insertion of true stereoscopic 3D into MotorStorm also brings about a new sense of appreciation of the scale and size of the game world and the objects within it."

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first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31907906)

But seriously, 1080p60 games downscaled to 720p30 in order to get 3D.

Hope the 3D is worth it!

Re:first post! (2, Informative)

ShadowRangerRIT (1301549) | more than 4 years ago | (#31907980)

There's a reason 120 Hz TVs have been pushed lately. That solves the frame rate issue. As for resolution, you shouldn't need to use much more processing power to get 3D from most games; after all, modern graphics are modeled in 3D then flattened. All 3D requires is that you flatten it from two slightly different perspectives; the incremental cost should be small, on the order of 10% or 20%, not enough to require you to drop from 1080p to 720p. One of the few things those extra processors on the PS3 can be used for without requiring a lot of work on the part of the game programmer is "free" stereoscopic 3D.

Re:first post! (4, Informative)

Fackamato (913248) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908006)

If you read the article, you would know that many games requires going from 1080p to 720p because the PS3 can't push enough pixels in 3D to maintain 30 FPS in a 1080p resolution.

Re:first post! (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908056)

Well, technically, Wipeout's creators couldn't make the PS3 do it. That doesn't mean it's impossible.

Also, Wipeout went from 60FPS at 1080p to 30FPS at 720p for the 3D upgrade. From the article, it sounds like they did it because they were lazy and didn't want to spend time optimizing their code any further to keep the FPS up.

All the hype I heard about Wipeout mentioned the 60FPS specifically, so I think that's a mistake.

Re:first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908136)

I have a few PS3 games. Modern Warfare 2 is the only one that plays in 1080p. I wonder how many others there are.

Re:first post! (1)

minasoko (710100) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908312)

A good list here [beyond3d.com] .

You'll be disappointed about MW2.

Re:first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908950)

I always thought it was because you need the exact hdcp numbers to actually get it to work.
mgs4, demon's souls, wipeout, mw2, rock band, and fat princess all work in 1080p on my setup.
the ones that were supposed to run in 1080 put don't are dead space
folklore and oblivion were just 720p
haven't tried out final fantasy or star ocean so I don't know what to say from the square side

Re:first post! (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908954)

Don't forget that the PS3 only has an HDMI 1.3 connector, not an HDMI 1.4. That means that at best, the 3D experience will have 1080i to each eye. Maybe 720p was a good compromise.

Re:first post! (1)

BoogeyOfTheMan (1256002) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909240)

I was assuming the same thing as well, but when the 3D Samsung display was set up at the store I work at, the cable was 1.3a.

When I hit info on the tv, it said 1080p@60. So I am wondering if its maybe just a lower bitrate on the picture quality or something.

Re:first post! (1)

Malc (1751) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909490)

Do HDMI 1.4 cables have different connectors/pins, or is it just that one is guaranteed to work at a higher rate? If the latter, then I don't doubt that shorter HDMI 1.3 cables will suffice.

What was your source of the 3D content? Were you actually showing 3D content at the time? Is it a passive or active screen? Active 3D content is actually going at 120Hz (60Hz to each eye) for 1080p@60 (i.e. the display's info might have been accurate in a sense.)

Re:first post! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909718)

I'd guess it's effectivelly indeed doing 60, but since each of your eye only sees half of those...

Re:first post! (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908598)

For the price at the time something had to give on the MS and Sony side. It was any real hope of computing at 1080p.
Both consoles have lists of epic PR BS trying to get the end losers into thinking they where gaming in the future.
The only thing that has changed is the 3rd party dev teams can get a bit more out of the units.
Next gen will solve all they promise - they understand 1080p at MS and Sony now and the 3d chips for your 2d 1080p displays are so cheap now.
This new 3d glasses fad and 3d games with 3d glasses might take a while ... start saving up for all your old favs in Carl Zeiss 3d quality glass ...

Re:first post! (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910090)

And Most PS3 games arent even 720p. Many of the graphically intense ones run at a odd resolutions that are scaled to 720p.

There are very few if any 1080p PS3 games. The GPU really cant handle it.

But looking at God of War 3... they have finally managed to pull off a nice post processing anti aliasing filter that really improves image quality at 720p. It looks like 4xFSAA but has absolutely no impact on framerate.

If they can pull that off... They might be able to pull of 3D :)

Re:first post! (2, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908016)

The new Samsung TVs are 240Hz, too.

As for the rendering, it's not 20% of the processing time. It's a lot more than that, especially when you work in all the reflections and other eye-candy that PS3 games are expected to have. I would guess it's pretty close to 90% of the time is spent rendering. (And that's an educated guess, as I've fooled around with 3d game programming on the PC for a while now.)

Of course, it also depends on that game. A game with thousands of AI opponents takes a lot more CPU between renders than a game with just 5.

Re:first post! (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908072)

As for the rendering, it's not 20% of the processing time. It's a lot more than that, especially when you work in all the reflections and other eye-candy that PS3 games are expected to have. I would guess it's pretty close to 90% of the time is spent rendering.

The PS3 has a dedicated graphics chip. It can be running graphics at 100% and still not use up 100% of the CPU, which only hands data off to other components to be rendered.

Of course, it also depends on that game. A game with thousands of AI opponents takes a lot more CPU between renders than a game with just 5.

There is no "between renders". The GPU is working on rendering while the CPU is doing something else.

Re:first post! (2, Informative)

Alphathon (1634555) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908210)

That actually depends on the game. The PS3 doesn't have a traditional CPU, and most of the really nice looking PS3 games use various parts of the cell for graphics (be it texture processing, or physics, or whatever). The cell isn't used for actual rendering, but it does affect many games graphics.

That said, some of those functions will be irrelevent, as the calculations will apply to both frames (or both views of the same frame if you want to look at it like that). Physics for example is, if I'm understanding it correctly, is related to object position per frame (and effects like motion blur) so would apply largely, if not completely, to both frames. Texture processing on the other hand may not, depending on the game. Your point certainly holds up for AI, in the same way as physics, but you can't say for every game that the CPU has no effect.

Re:first post! (1)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908574)

The cell does have a standard cpu, and then it has speciality spu's also. There is 1 PPC in the cell and 6 spu's.

Re:first post! (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908842)

That actually depends on the game. The PS3 doesn't have a traditional CPU, and most of the really nice looking PS3 games use various parts of the cell for graphics (be it texture processing, or physics, or whatever). The cell isn't used for actual rendering, but it does affect many games graphics.

The PS3's CPU has one PPE and eight SPEs, one of which is disabled, and one of which is used by the operating system, leaving six for game development. The PPE is a PowerPC and its main job is to shovel data to the SPEs... if they are being used. Some of the weaker titles use the PPE for almost everything (except graphics, being handled by the GPU) and use one or two SPEs as if they were a math coprocessor... which I guess they are.

Physics for example is, if I'm understanding it correctly, is related to object position per frame (and effects like motion blur) so would apply largely, if not completely, to both frames. Texture processing on the other hand may not, depending on the game.

There's certainly games with procedural texturing. Creating these textures is going to be more or less done with the SPEs by anyone competent. It involves shoveling code and data at them and then standing back and waiting for the results to come back, then once they have returned, retrieving them and shoving them into a buffer in graphics memory, which unlike on the Xbox is a distinct and physically separate region/block of memory. So yes, the PPE will have something to do in this context, but it's just acting as a switchboard operator.

Your point certainly holds up for AI, in the same way as physics, but you can't say for every game that the CPU has no effect.

If the PPE is doing much with the graphics, then what you've got is a bad port to the PS3 that underutilizes the SPEs.

Re:first post! (2, Interesting)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909088)

The PS3 has a dedicated graphics chip. It can be running graphics at 100% and still not use up 100% of the CPU, which only hands data off to other components to be rendered.

That doesn't change his argument - PCs have had "dedicated graphics chips" for 3D for 10-15 years. This is hardly new information.

Yes, so the GPU does most of the rendering. So if it's running at 100% running a normal game, how exactly do you magically make it render twice as much information, with only a 10-20% slowdown as the OP claimed?

There is no "between renders". The GPU is working on rendering while the CPU is doing something else.

You're being overly pedantic. Firstly, it's still correct to say "between the rendering calls that the CPU makes", which is what he presumably meant. Secondly, yes you could run the CPU rendering calls in a separate thread, but that doesn't really change his point - yes, a game with large amounts of AI might be CPU bound rather than GPU bound, thus you could get extra fill rate with little noticable slowdown. But this doesn't apply to all games, is the point.

Re:first post! (1)

Targon (17348) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908618)

Rendering when you have a powerful graphics chip should not take all that much CPU power, since the rendering is offloaded. Now, keep in mind that since 3D displays with the glasses are a new technology, the current hardware is not really designed for it, so you are putting a huge burden on the system to make it work. With a new graphics chip that is designed with 3D output in mind, that additional processing drain will disappear with proper hardware support for 3D displays.

Re:first post! (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909122)

Rendering when you have a powerful graphics chip should not take all that much CPU power

Yes, but it takes more GPU power. I'm confused by this argument - that because the CPU isn't being used much, the GPU can suddenly do twice as much work for free? That's backwards. The only thing you can do for free is more stuff on the CPU.

Re:first post! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909244)

OK, I can imagine a chip built to do "3D 3D" more efficiently (for example, two essentially independant renderpaths in the style of hyperthreading, with some logic between them that allows using roughly the same graphical assets from VRAM & caches at the same time (since they use nearly the same assets)). But you still want raw processing power to be roughly two times more than if you'd just render the same image once. There's still drain.

Re:first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908764)

They aren't 240 Hz panels. Just some light tricks and 120 Hz panels.

Re:first post! (0, Flamebait)

supssa (1789172) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909470)

But samsung are gooks. Thats like suggesting people buy a Hyundai or Kia car...

Re:first post! (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908476)

120Hz doesn't solve the framerate issue, it just allows you to actually deliver those frames to the user. You still have to run at double the framerate of a 2D game, which is non-trivial.

Re:first post! (1)

Amarantine (1100187) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908536)

modern graphics are modeled in 3D then flattened. All 3D requires is that you flatten it from two slightly different perspectives; the incremental cost should be small, on the order of 10% or 20%, not enough to require you to drop from 1080p to 720p.

I'm not an expert on the subject, but this "flattening" you speak of, isn't that the actual rendering? I always thought that this was the bit where the biggest part of numbercrunching is done. This is were for each pixel in the 2D plane of the screen is calculated, based on the position of objects, textures and light sources. Doubling this task would probably mean more than a 10-20% increase in load.

Re:first post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909432)

I think the OP means rendering yes. As for what would happen when you double this, it's not as easy as simply saying it'll be X% slower (It will however be significantly slower i must admit!).

The simplest way would be to update the game once, then render render a frame for each eye. This will wont quite halve your framerate, but it will be as near to that as makes no difference.

I'm guessing one option would be to use a transform feedback mechanism to try and pre-process the vertex and geometry shaders for a single frame and cache the results in a vertex buffer (i.e. compute skinning deformation once, and compute the lighting vectors for both eye points). This would add a slight overhead to the rendering pass, but probably closer to 20% -> 30% extra in most cases. The fragment shaders will still have to be run for both rendered images though. That will be an immediate 100% overhead for the fragment shaders. The C++ execution time wouldn't have to change.... At a complete guess, each update step for the game may take approx 50% more time to complete.

There is however one downside to the above. Memory, or rather the lack of it. The PS3 just doesn't have the memory resources available for that, so forget about it.

The only viable option left for the PS3 then is to take a game that runs in 1080p. Set it to 720p. Knock the texture resolution down a little bit.

1. Render the right eye.

2. Update the game.

3. Render the left eye

4. Update the game

repeat.

If you pray to the gods of graphics programming, you might have enough fillrate left to give each eye something that isn't jerking too much. The only problem is that I have yet to see a PS3 or 360 title that manages more than 30fps.....

Re:first post! (1)

mdwh2 (535323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909046)

Where are these numbers pulled from? To describe the whole 3D graphics rendering pipeline as merely "flattening" is rather an understatement. It also makes no sense to compare that with "modern graphics are modeled in 3D" - modelling is not part of rendering, and doesn't factor into the performance.

"Flattening", i.e., vertex processing; as well as rendering every pixel, has to be repeated for each viewpoint (unless someone knows they're using some kind of shortcut?). Depending on the game, this can be far more than 20% of the time. Other things don't have to be repeated - for example, some kinds of hidden surface removal, as well as obviously non-rendering things like AI. But you can't make any kind of blanket statement of the bottlenecks of 3D games in general.

Re:first post! (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909178)

3D gfx doesn't work by constructing the scene and then simply taking a snapshot of what "camera" sees (so no big overhead if you add second "camera", moved a little to the side, right?)

It goes "backwards", draws each frame from the point of view of the camera. If you have two cameras, that means doing it two times. Sure, it's not complete doubling of work done by GPU - for example the same assets in VRAM or local caches can be used at the same time, if done smartly. Or the far background and skybox probably could be made to render only once. But it's still very considerable overhead.

Re:first post! (1, Flamebait)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908292)

Hope the 3D is worth it!

It doesn't matter to me because I won't buy anything with a Sony brand on it, ever again. Or if the platform is hacked. Whichever comes first.

I'll switch to (gasp) Microsoft xbox before I buy another Playstation.

Apparently, Sony didn't learn anything from their rootkit experience and needs to be taught another lesson in manners when it comes to dealing with customers.

Re:first post! (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908514)

Despite the fact that 3D is just a fad, I completely agree with you. Too bad Sony completely disrespected the early adopter tech geeks with the other OS removal. They're the ones who would have or will be buying in to this technology and will make or break the technology in the first few years it's available. Hopefully people remember how Sony treats their customers.

Re:first post! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908964)

It doesn't matter to me because I won't buy anything with a Sony brand on it, ever again. Or if the platform is hacked. Whichever comes first.

To those who modded this troll: I bought a Playstation. Then it died, and I bought a PSOne. Later, I bought a fat PS2. It died, and I bought a slim one. I still have it. I also bought an Xbox 360, and a Wii. And though I can afford it, and though there are actually more games I would like to play on the PS3, I have not bought one, and will not buy one. I thought I might buy one someday down the road, to run Linux on it, if the Hypervisor were ever compromised such that you could actually use the GPU... But now even that is off the table. Buying one used removes it from the used channel and increases the odds that Sony will make a new sale, and I don't want that to happen. Personally, I decided Sony must be destroyed during the Lik-Sang debacle, but the rootkit and disabling Linux on PS3 pretty much make a perfect triangle of hate.

Re:first post! (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909714)

Personally, I decided Sony must be destroyed during the Lik-Sang debacle, but the rootkit and disabling Linux on PS3 pretty much make a perfect triangle of hate^H^H^H^Hcrazy.

FTFY.

Really, it's just a corporation. An entertainment one at that. Expending any energy beyond deciding whether the products contain value for you or not is highly irrational.

Re:first post! (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909844)

IMHO, I think the parent might be being a bit dramatic, but they're not too off the mark. Sure this is an entertainment company, but when they get away with treating customers like garbage other companies follow suit.

Re:first post! (1)

feepness (543479) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910322)

It's not up to the OP to determine how the customers are being treated. It's up to the customers. The OP can only decide for themselves.

Goofy glasses (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31907912)

3D will never really take off until they can figure out a way to implement it comfortably without requiring the ridiculous glasses.

This fad will pass soon, hopefully, and we'll stop thinking about how cool the technology is and be back to thinking about making playable games.

Re:Goofy glasses (4, Interesting)

anarche (1525323) | more than 4 years ago | (#31907960)

3D will never really take off until they can figure out a way to implement it comfortably without requiring the ridiculous glasses.

I dunno, I think we're seeing a new market emerging for designer 3D glasses for this specific purpose..

Re:Goofy glasses (3, Informative)

Malard (970795) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908050)

The thing is, designer 3D glasses are still avoiding the underlying issue that its a hack on the eye. The real issue is not stereoscopic picture but accomodation of the eye. The eye is not being strained to adjust to the varying depth and that causes headaches as your brain is not used to it. While some autostereoscopic displays are emerging such as the Ninentdo 3DS, displaying the source content on a 2D service will always leave you with the issue of accomodation [wikipedia.org]

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

TheLink (130905) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908552)

I bet it affects different groups of people differently.

For me, the eyestrain issues are more due to movies (3D or 2D) having scenes where some parts of the scene is blurry, and my eyes trying to focus on something that can never be in focus. I had that unpleasant experience when I watched Avatar in both 3D and 2D recently. It's fine as long as I looked at the nonblurry bits of the scene.

I doubt I'll have problems as long as everything is in focus - "far" or "near". No blurring especially artificial blurring (often the motion blur is too much).

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909120)

The real issue is not stereoscopic picture but accomodation of the eye.

Although you are correct when it comes to physical (and in some aspects, psychological) aspects of glasses, I'd like to point out that GP suggested designer glasses to deal with a -very real issue- in adoption of 3D that requires glasses... "goofy glasses", "ridiculous glasses", "Can you imagine sitting in your living room with friends all wearing those stupid glasses?", etc.

There will always be people who have issues with things like stereoscopic 3D, just as some people can't handle rapid bright flashes and some people are color blind. But for those who have no physical nor true psychological issues where the only barrier is the "goofy glasses", some nice design glasses could go a long way.
( Though the vast majority of people who complain about the glasses complain about glasses no matter how good they'd look. Circular polarized contacts for that lot, I say ;) )

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

bemenaker (852000) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908586)

Until we have holographic displays, I don't see how you're going to get past the glasses.

Re:Goofy glasses (2, Interesting)

Vylen (800165) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908042)

But there are a few companies/places/whatever that have gone about developing 3D technology without the need for 3D glasses.

Nintendo is supposedly doing it with the 3DS, with two companies lined up that are suspected of providing the screens that allow it. IIRC, Sharp was one of them.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908054)

Having seen such 3D screens that don't require glasses, I'm not sure those are going to sell well either. They will cause some people to have epileptic fits and others to have migraines, though, so that might be good for a laugh.

Then again, who knows? Those screens may actually not be vertigo-inducing by the time they get to market.

But I doubt it.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

SimonTheSoundMan (1012395) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908102)

They will cause some people to have epileptic fits and others to have migraines, though, so that might be good for a laugh.

It never really affected the sale of cheap, single chip DLP projectors with 4x or slower colour wheels.

Re:Goofy glasses (4, Insightful)

Aladrin (926209) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908048)

Yes, people like you said the same thing about the theatres as well.

Turns out that all you need to do is convince people it's good enough. Avatar was the 'killer app' for theatre 3d for many, many people. (I was hooked long ago.)

And now that there are TVs that support it natively, home adoption will spread as well. The cheapest Samsung 3D LCD TV is $1800 MSRP and it's 46". I bought a Samsung 46" 2 years ago for $2500. (MRSP was $2800, I believe.) So anyone who could afford a 46" TV 2 years ago can now afford a 46" 3D TV and a few pairs of glasses.

And the 'killer app' for home 3D TV seems not to even be movies or games. Everyone I've talked to about it says something like 'I don't care much about the movies, but have you seen football in 3D? It's just like being there! I don't want to buy stadium tickets anymore, I'll just watch from my house!' I'm not a sports fan, but the video I saw of volleyball in 3D made it pretty clear how cool sports look in 3D.

Re:Goofy glasses (2, Insightful)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908068)

Gerardo made a song had one really catchy lyric. Even today, just saying the word "Rico" will get people to at least think "Suave", even if they don't know *any* of the other song lyrics.

Avatar is the Rico Suave of 3D technology.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908972)

Don't you think it's a little early to be saying that? You might end up being 100% correct, and Avatar could be the only movie in the history of 3D movies to do it 'right'. But it could also be like claiming the generation 1 Prius in 1997 was the one-hit wonder of hybrid vehicles. Ten years later, that's definitely not the case.

Re:Goofy glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908182)

Avatar may have been the killer movie to generate 3D excitement in the movies, but that excite is long gone. Clash of the Titans may be the nail in the coffin.

The large hurdle facing 3D at home is that you need to replace your equipment. Maybe your blu-ray player will be lucky and get an update, maybe you have a screen that will handle the dual signals, but your receiver will need scrapping because you need HDMI 1.4. Almost every HDMI implementation in the home is 1.3. Most people aren't going to replace their 2 or 3 year old HDTVs.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

GNious (953874) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908214)

And the 'killer app' for home 3D TV seems not to even be movies or games.

PlayboyTV in 3D?

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

karnal (22275) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908278)

See, that's part of the problem. I wouldn't mind buying into a plasma at today's prices - but I think for your typical household, anything at or above the $1000 mark is a little tough right now.

Of course, I'm always on the look out for a good deal - I'm almost thinking that saving $500 and going with a 720p over a 1080p plasma model would be a better financial decision (1300 - Panasonic 50" g25 vs a u2 or c2 model) as I probably won't see the difference at 12' away.

Back on point, for true adoption you're still spending a lot of money for what is probably seen in most eyes as a gimmick. If it comes with the TV as a "freebie" - or every TV automatically has it built in - then you'll see adoption rates soar.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

misexistentialist (1537887) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908932)

volleyball in 3D

Sold!

Re:Goofy glasses (2, Interesting)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908962)

Still a gimmick, even if it generated some publicity lately. Where is the stream of big, good releases? Oh, could it be that we just had another "must see" 3D movie, just like it happens once every few years?

To see better what it is...where's the huge uptake of 3D photographs? I mean, "3D photography" (stereography) is here only slightly shorter than "normal" one - over 150 years. Surely it would be more by now than gimmick of novelty, gimmick for trade shows, gimmick for world expo, or Yugoslav-made toy that collects dust on top of bookshelf? Heck, with cheap CMOS sensors some P&S 3D digicam should take over the world by now...after all it would be only slightly more expensive in production, but so much better...

Chicken, meet egg (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909230)

To see better what it is...where's the huge uptake of 3D photographs?
As a stereophotography amateur (using a custom dual-camera rig so I can create exaggerated depth perception - much like binoculars), I would have to say it's very much a chicken-and-egg problem.

I can shoot a hundred stereo photos today and have them all be.. well I wouldn't say awesome as I don't take notice of composition, lighting, etc. much ..fairly good. But in the end, how am I going to display them to people?
Right now I use a cross-eye side-by-side presentation. That works for most people, but not all. Some of them I get printed at a lenticular 3D lab. That works OK for a lot of people, but only those that hold the print.

Now if 3D TVs and monitors are going to be more ubiquitous, I could run a little program that would send the correct signals to the 3D display to have the photos displayed properly on those. HTML 5.something or HTML 6 might even add support for 3D displays.

But right now those displays aren't ubiquitous.. so why would anybody who isn't already mildly enthusiastic about the prospects be convinced to buy a 3D P&S like the Fujifilm FinePix Real 3D W1?

opening tag, meet closi... hey where'd it go!? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909338)

yeah I botched the closing blockquote tag, apparently. mea culpa

We had many chickens and many eggs already here (1)

sznupi (719324) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909542)

People don't have much means to see 3D photos "correctly" because they just don't care much beyond short amusement value, a gimmick. Take this 3D Yugoslav toy that I mentioned; I can't quickly find it via google, but it was essentially a cardboard disk with dozen or so pairs of small cliches (photos of various landmarks), which you put into small handheld viewer. From the 70's.

It worked really good, the effect was very convincing (of course minus usual inability to focus naturally and natural paralax...). No obvious faults with it. It would be trivial even back then to give people the opportunity of making disks with their own set of photos; making those photos would be a bit of a problem of course. Now making such viewer + disks is even more trivial, and 3D digicam could cheaply and easily provide source photos. Nobody has done it; perhaps because such technology can't work as a one time gimmick (returning every few years), but must be sustainable in photolabs around the world. Which it can't really do, people are perfectly satisfied with boring 2D photos.

Re:We had many chickens and many eggs already here (1)

bws111 (1216812) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910434)

I think you're thinking of View-Master. Not sure what it has to do with Yugoslavia though.

Re:We had many chickens and many eggs already here (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910438)

Take this 3D Yugoslav toy that I mentioned; I can't quickly find it via google, but it was essentially a cardboard disk with dozen or so pairs of small cliches (photos of various landmarks), which you put into small handheld viewer. From the 70's.

Might have been a View-Master like device?
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/View-Master [wikipedia.org]

You can't really compare it to a 3D display, though. Only one viewer at a time, and it's a device you have to store away / get out all the time. You also can't look at the images 'as is' (well you can if you hold them up to a light and look real closely).

Think e.g. of the lenticular prints. I can store those in any photo album the same way I do regular 2D photos. The only reason I don't print many of those is because it is such a small audience (myself, family, friends) as opposed to any viewer with an internet connection.

That said - I absolutely don't contend that people are satisfied with 'boring' 2D photos - and movies. On the up side - any 3D photo can easily be a 2D photo (just take left or right.. done.) going the other way yields Clash-of-the-Titans muck ;)

I think it's rather akin to HD video cameras. There's plenty of HD video cameras, from 720i to 1080p. There's also certainly people purchasing these and enjoying the HD quality. But for most people, the upload to YouTube in 360p with artifacts up the wazoo is good enough. But that doesn't mean there isn't an HD market for consumers.. same thing applies to 3D.. though there is that chicken-and-egg thing :)

Put differently... 3D is a niche - undoubtedly - but I don't think it will be a short-lived 'fad' as it has been in previous pushes. Future events may prove me wrong - and I wouldn't have any problems with that :)

Re:Goofy glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909204)

Beach volleyball is available in 3D? Well that nearly sells it for me. If only they could get rid of those crazy glasses.

Why, if I was found masturbating while wearing them, I'd just die of embarrassment.

Re:Goofy glasses (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31910564)

So what your saying is that - like many other now home-entertainment staples - 3DTV's killer app will be Porn.

I agree wholeheartedly.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908158)

Nintendo is planning on glasses-free 3D on the next DS. Apparently that's more feasible for small, single user screens.

Re:Goofy glasses (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909460)

Yes, it only works if you keep your eyes in a specific position relative to the screen. This is much easier for people playing a hand-held gaming system.

Re:Goofy glasses (2, Insightful)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910124)

I disagree. I think the time for 3D glasses are now. I wear a comfortable over the ear high quality headset with a mic while i play Modern Warfare 2 on the PC... So why not throw 3D glasses into the mix? Hell make it a nice headset where the glasses slide up and down like a visor. I dont care.

I'm alreadyd wearing a headset.

So headgear really isnt a problem. Many of us are already wearing headphones and mics.

nuts and bolts? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31907932)

more liek muh dick [slashdot.org] amirite?

Need to ween people on to it (1)

angularbanjo (1521611) | more than 4 years ago | (#31907948)

Any chance they might implement a colour anaglyphic option for the 100% of PS3 owners who won't be owning 3DTVs for some time? At least then we can get a feel for the extra value path to 3DTV.

3D Glasses That Don't Look Like Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31907978)

Maybe we'll see 3d glasses made like regular eye glasses. I for one, would not be able to game in 3d UNLESS I had prescription 3d glasses because I would not be able to see the text clearly on the screen, even from a modest distance. And I sure as hell am not going to start wearing contacts for a gimmick like 3d.

Re:3D Glasses That Don't Look Like Shit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908110)

You can wear most 3D glasses on top of prescription ones.

Re:3D Glasses That Don't Look Like Shit (1)

GameMaster (148118) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909494)

I have glasses (relatively large frames too) and have never had a problem getting the 3d glasses to fit over my normal frames. For home use, you could also get clip-ons.

What ever happened with VR? (1)

spxZA (996757) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908032)

It was the "next best thing" back in the mid-90's. But, it almost completely died out. I would think with the incredibly more powerful consoles we have nowadays, someone would re-look at VR again. It's be a whole helova lot cheaper than buying a new TV, etc.

Re:What ever happened with VR? (1)

l0stmage (1268502) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908062)

It was the "next best thing" back in the mid-90's. But, it almost completely died out. I would think with the incredibly more powerful consoles we have nowadays, someone would re-look at VR again. It's be a whole helova lot cheaper than buying a new TV, etc.

Didn't the Nintendo Gameboy VR system give people seizures, besides being amazingly bulky and requiring its own tripod?

Re:What ever happened with VR? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909516)

VirtualBoy was not virtual reality. It was a bulky headset with a small red screen in it.

Re:What ever happened with VR? (1)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910518)

The problem with VR was hardware *power*, it was the *amount* of physical hardware needed. Even a basic VR setup requires a headset with two small widescreen monitors (and the price of those never really scales down, since resolutions are ever increasing) and headphones. And don't even THINK about what it would cost to build a walking rig if you wanted to go that far. VR started out expensive and it would still be just as expensive today. It just never really came down in price enough for anyone to try to market it for consumers.

And how long? (2, Informative)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908066)

Seems to me the PS3 has been in a constant spiral of removing features since the PS3 Launch, and I'm not just talking about the recent Other OS removal. So how long does anyone think Sony is going to let a novelty feature, i.e. 3D, fly before they pull the plug on who knows how many thousands of people who buy into this.

1) people are wowed by it right now. The only reason Sony's trying to get this in the PS3 is to capitalize on the fad before it disappears.

2) I've been to several 3D movies, Avatar being the most recent, and think it's a nice trick for a once in a while show. That being said, I know several people who have gone to 3D movies and complain about headaches, motion sickness, the 3D glasses are uncomfortable and they don't fit well over regular prescription glasses and some people can't see the 3D at all or find it just plan not impressive.

3) It's just another way the movie industry is going to get people to re-buy stuff they already own. Pretty soon you're going to be able to by Star Wars and Lord of the Rings digitally remastered for 3D.

I can't tell others what to do, but I recommend avoiding 3D for home theater and especially on the PS3 for gaming.

Re:And how long? (2, Interesting)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908152)

How long do you think this feature will last on PS3 once PS4 comes out? :)

Re:And how long? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908264)

You should have stated that as an answer not a question.

E.G. "Once the PS4 comes out, the feature will no longer be supported on the PS3."

After all how is Sony going to get people to buy the PS4 at launch? Everyone already knows what they've done with the PS3. So offering fancy features probably won't work as well as it did last time. The other option is to completely obliterate the PS3 so people that have money vested in PS3 3D games and movies will have to buy a PS4. Disable the feature, brick a few machines basically force consumers to buy new product.

Re:And how long? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909082)

that would be suicide. otherOS loss was infuriating but touched so few users to be a statistical anomaly. remotely bricking the console would be action for lawsuits.

EULAs be damned that would be suicide for the platform. Sony may be arrogant bastards but they are not suicidal

Re:And how long? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909224)

/Tinfoil hat on

There is no real proof the 3.21 update is bricking PS3s; however, tons of users are reporting their machines aren't working after they do the update. According to post in the PS3 forums, PS3s 1) aren't playing games (FF XIII is a big one), 2) disks are getting stuck in the drives and 3) for a lucky few the consoles won't start at all.

Sony's solution, buy an new PS3 Slim or pay them $160 + shipping and handling to fix it for you

EULA "protects" them from being sued for damaging a console during a firmware update. So unless a court rules the EULA isn't legal there isn't a lot the "small minority" of people having these issues can do, except not to buy Sony products.

/Tinfoil hat off

Re:And how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908272)

How long do you think this feature will last on PS3 once PS4 comes out? :)

LoL PS4 that is a long way off. How long till another generation of consoles is required to keep up with developers?

Re:And how long? (1)

Barny (103770) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909290)

Well, we are using consoles with 4-5 year old video hardware.

Re:And how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908246)

Proper 3D required HDMI 1.4, the PS3 is 1.3 on the original models and 1.3a on the newer ones. I.e. the PS3 will never do proper 3D in home-theaters. Check the table at the bottom of this page [wikipedia.org] .

Re:And how long? (1)

HoppQ (29469) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908592)

It's my understanding that Sony can update the HDMI capabilities through firmware updates.

Re:And how long? (1)

Animaether (411575) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909062)

Correct. Nothing in the HDMI 1.4(a) specification precludes the ability to send 3D content from an HDMI 1.3 device. There is no form-factor or cabling change related to 3D in the HDMI 1.4(a) specification. The only cabling change is for Ethernet-over-HDMI, which is not a requirement for 3D.

The only requirements are:
1. the HDMI device must be able to send the correct signal. This is typically a firmware thing but it depends on the device whether it can handle e.g. framepacking/etc. Shouldn't be a problem for the PS3.
2. the HDMI cable must be able to (reliably) carry that signal. Not a problem there either as there's no relevant cabling change.
3. the receiving device must be able to decode that signal. This is separate from the transmitting device altogether.

Similar information is in the HDMI spec.

However... that doesn't mean that SONY wouldn't say "too bad, so sad" and reserve the feature for the PS4. Similarly, there isn't really anything technically (agreements aren't 'technical') stopping a receiving device (TV, motnitor) from checking for the Ethernet lines in the cabling and if it hasn't been detected, disable all HDMI 1.4(a) features.. including 3D.

Re:And how long? (1)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908486)

You're right, the last thing Sony wants to do with 3D is use it to actually sell some consoles. They're going to want to get that lucrative trade-show and press-junket dime instead.

Re:And how long? (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909330)

Pretty soon you're going to be able to by Star Wars and Lord of the Rings digitally remastered for 3D.

How? Seeing as they (probably) weren't recorded by 3D cameras in the first place, how can they simply take the frames and render new viewpoints? I think we're a long way from being able to do that.

Re:And how long? (2)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909424)

Already covered

http://tech.slashdot.org/story/09/07/09/1512259/Software-Converts-2D-Images-To-3D?from=rss

Re:And how long? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909456)

Didn't mean to submit that. I was going to say, It's only a matter of time before they can use lighting effects and shadows to create a 3D model from a 2D image, with a single image.

Re:And how long? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909662)

I know this much, about that console from those lying cheat bastards : I'll choose Linux on it, over 3D bluray on it, any day of the week.

Re:And how long? (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910182)

"Constant spiral of removing features since launch"

huh?

What features have they removed?

They removed ONE feature. The Other OS feature. Every firmware update has ADDED features since launch.

Re:And how long? (1)

Vanderhoth (1582661) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910606)

On top of the Linux support removal, I know at least the PS3 Slim doesn't have the Backward Compatibility with PS2 games and no card readers; The PS3 fat did. The PS3 Slim is slower when starting up and loading movies although it is slightly faster with game loading (http://www.tomsguide.com/us/PS3-Slim-Slower-Faster-phat,news-4539.html).

Why do I need a special TV? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31908288)

Can't the game just render an anaglyphic red/blue image?

Re:Why do I need a special TV? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908876)

The Sony 3d on your new display with have to match the Sony 3d logo on your new console and on the 3d glasses for the best gaming experience.
Dont forget the new HDMI 3d ready cable with extra quad-layer shielding and new gas-injected dieletric for the extended 3d frequency response.
For every 20 back yard "anaglyphic red/blue" 2d hacks sold, the terrorists fund a new "Omar" IED.
Cable news also warns grandparents that the 2d anaglyphic red/blue hack allows socialism to enter the home, the gateway ideology to incurable communism or national socialism.

And what about... (1)

CornflakeJustice (1733128) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908362)

Those of us who wear glasses as part of our day to day vision requirements? Wearing a pair of glasses over top of our regular frames is not only bulkier, but significantly more uncomfortable, annoying, and even difficult as a result of only having so much viable nose space to properly hold them on. Sure contacts are great and wonderful for the people that want them, but for some of us, they are neither a viable option, or comfortable, not to mention that I for one don't really want to pay for more eyewear than I need. 3D is great and all, but a huge chunk of gamers wear glasses. I've enjoyed the three movies I saw in 3D in spite of the glasses, and to be frank, that has been almost enough to warrant avoiding the 3D films. (And that's not even getting into the asinine pricing scheme...)

Re:And what about... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#31909002)

Those of us who wear glasses as part of our day to day vision requirements? Wearing a pair of glasses over top of our regular frames is not only bulkier, but significantly more uncomfortable, annoying, and even difficult as a result of only having so much viable nose space to properly hold them on.

Maybe someone will make clip-on 3d glasses [google.com] . Er, wait...

It's weird to think (1)

NotSoHeavyD3 (1400425) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908432)

That the Sega Master System had 3D games using those same liquid crystal shutter glasses and it had them over 20 years ago. Oh, and you didn't need a special TV to use the glasses. (Although the frame rate was 30FPS and not 60FPS like this thing.)

Lower frame rate for 3D? (1)

MobyDisk (75490) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908674)

he 3D version of WipEout HD is locked to 720p, but due to geometry issues, frame-rate is halved to 30FPS. Note that all screenshots in this feature are derived from the 2D versions of the games.

Other posts have alluded to this, but let me state it explicitly. You cannot get away with lowering the frame rate when adding 3D. The additional parallax effects will make it look stuttery. 30fps is not great for a high-speed game, but 30fps with 3D will look like 15FPS with 2D. For some people, I bet the two images won't even converge. Headache city.

Drop the geometry, but don't drop the frame rate!

Will this delay Gran Turismo 5 (1)

ndavis (1499237) | more than 4 years ago | (#31908986)

My only question is will the makers of Gran Turismo 5 go back to the drawing board to make the game 3D?? I have been waiting for year for this game to come out in its full form and I can see them delaying it longer to add 3D. If this is the case please wait until the game is released before the update. I don't want this to be a repeat of Duke Nukem Forever.

Re:Will this delay Gran Turismo 5 (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910234)

Its possible that the 3D could be added as a feature via DLC.

of course i prefer on disc.. but.. if they didnt want to delay the game further.. they could do it as DLC

Rad Racer! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909294)

Sweet, now they can finally make that "Rad Racer" game I've been hearing about for the last 20 years!

FUCK SONY (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#31909786)

I wont take it up the ass. Im staying on 3.15 and wont update unless a CFW comes out. I was buying and actually enjoying some of the latest games and it makes me sad that the least BAD system was killed by the dumbasses at sony.
No more support or recommendations from me. I wasn't even interested on playing backups or native homebrew as having the PSN cheat free was worth it. Now I can only hope the PS3 goes the way of the PSP and we get to use to the fullest extent what we paid for. Once the PS3 dies remembers it was Sony who killed the PS3, not hackers,modders or cheaters

It's NOT 3D! (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#31910482)

The insertion of true stereoscopic 3D

Sorry, but it’s stereoscopic 2D!
Stereoscopic 3D would be two cubes.
This is just two fixed 2D planes in 3D space. The same thing as two flat panel displays in front of you.
That the images on it are ortographically projected, does not make it 3D. The rest of the 3D volume still is out of focus for that very reason. (= It all lying on the same plane.)

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