The lights are on
In case you haven't heard, gamers are really, really
interested in playing video games in 3D. At least that's what we're constantly being told by PR reps, anyway. From Nintendo's newly debuted 3DS to Sony's line of 3D-ready
HDTVs, a large portion of the industry believes 3D will play an important role in the future of video games. But for veteran gamers the promise of 3D gaming is nothing new;
developers have been trying to create stereoscopic games for more than 20 years, to
varying (though usually dismal) levels of success. Join us for a look back at
the best and worst attempts at 3D gaming.
(NES, 1987):The first time I saw 3-D WorldRunner, its forward-scrolling action and surreal
landscapes blew my adolescent mind - and that was before trying out the 3D
glasses. The game used anaglyph imaging to create its 3D effects, which is
really just a fancy term for those red and blue cardboard glasses that seemed
way less dorky in the '80s. Developed by Square, WorldRunner
had some major star power behind it: Hironobu Sakaguchi, Nasir Gebelli, and Nobuo
Uematsu all reportedly had a hand in creating the game before moving on to
Square's staple franchise, Final Fantasy.
Rad Racer (NES, 1987):
If you couldn't tell by the visual similarities, Rad Racer was Nintendo's
answer to Sega's Out Run. It was the second NES game developed by Square to
feature anaglyph-based 3D, which helped set the title apart from Sega's popular
racer. The game was also featured in the
1989 Fred Savage classic, The Wizard,
further legitimizing its use of the word "rad" in its title.
Space Harrier 3-D (Sega Master System, 1988):Space Harrier 3-D's
checkered floors and fleet-footed protagonist may look strikingly similar to
what WorldRunner delivered, but don't blame Sega: the original Space Harrier
was an arcade game released over a year before Nintendo's knockoff. The Sega
Master System installment of the series is the only title to feature a 3D mode,
thanks to the system's SegaScope 3-D peripheral.
Other SegaScope 3-D Games (Sega Master System, 1988):Although it never gained widespread popularity, the SegaScope 3-D was an impressive peripheral. Unlike tinted
anaglyph glasses, SegaScope 3-D employed actual LCD shutter glasses, similar to
those used with modern 3D-ready HDTVs. Shutter glasses get rid of the
discoloration caused by anaglyph glasses, resulting in a better image quality.
Despite this advantage, SegaScope was a colossal failure, and only a handful of
games were released for it, including Zaxxon 3-D, Missile Defense 3-D, and Out
Virtual Boy (1995):
Speaking of colossal failures: Possibly Nintendo's most infamous flop, the Virtual Boy was a short-lived console
that used LEDs and oscillating mirrors to create a projected 3D effect. While the sense
of depth was impressive, the console was only capable of projecting a
monochromatic image, its one color being red, much less. The system also had to stay in a fixed
position, requiring players to hunch over a table in order to play it correctly. The Virtual Boy had
the potential to cause severe eyestrain as well, to the point where the system would
automatically pop up a message every 15 minutes encouraging the player to take
a break. Nintendo also warned that children under the age of seven shouldn't
play the Virtual Boy, because their eyesight hasn't fully developed yet, and the
console could cause permanent damage - much like getting punched in the eyeball
by a cybernetic boxer:
"Move your child's underdeveloped eyeballs closer to my fist, please."
proved fatal for the Virtual Boy, and Nintendo abandoned the console the year
after it was released. Only 14 Virtual Boy titles were released in the US,
including 3D Tetris, Mario's Tennis, Teleroboxer, and Virtual Boy Wario Land. The
failure of the Virtual Boy is also rumored to be the reason legendary designer
Gunpei Yokoi left Nintendo in 1997. If there was any good to come out of
the Virtual Boy, perhaps it's that Nintendo learned from the doomed console's
mistakes and made the 3DS far less intrusive.
Email the author Jeff Marchiafava, or follow on Google+, Twitter, and Game Informer.
haha some of those earlier titles just look ridiculous compared to what we have today
i dont want 3D at all especially with glasses, the glasses just remind me of "i wear my sunglasses at night"
I have two main issues with 3D as it currently stands. One, I'm not shelling out for a new TV, a supported system/Blu-ray player, 3D enabled titles and a pair of glasses for anyone who wants to watch. Second, and this is more important for me, is that I'm not all that impressed with the current 3D. To me, Avatar looked like it barely popped a few inches off the screen. If I'm going to play in 3D, I want to look like a hologram, they way it's always advertised but can never deliver on.
wouldnt pay for 3D gaming
I'll pass, thank you. I'm more interested in just STANDARD HIGH DEFINITION, rather than 3DHD.
You can now buy 3D projectors for under $900. Both Mitsubishi and Optima have some good ones. Optima even has one for $680. It's called the HD66, I think. This will be my upgrade to 3D gaming and movies at a screen that is about 12 feet in diameter. I can't wait!
lmao interesting article. i love imax 3D, but i havent tried a 3D video game yet. and i love how the tags say "migraine inducer" and "dan looks silly"
I really don't care for how companies keep pushing 3D onto consumers as if we actually want it. In small doses, when watching a good movie like an Avatar or Toy Story, it's fine. But 3D just isn't something that works, for the most part. The inconvenience of it is just too much. Even the 3DS has a requirement that you stay in a fixed position to the middle of the screen in order to properly view the 3D.
And I have to wonder what this obsession is with 3D anyway. 3D is just an illusion, and our brains know it. We already see in 3D, even when watching a movie on a flat screen. If we couldn't already percieve depth while playing shooters on a flat screen, we wouldn't be able to aim correctly at enemies who are at various depths within the world. So we already see depth in the "2D" offerings we have now. 3D is just something unnaturally popping out at you or going deep into the screen. That's why people are so impressed by the illusion: it's an effect they normally don't see.
Dan : "I thought you said you deleted those pictures!"
Haha, Dan does look ridiculous.
I still have my virtual boy. Lol.
Thank's for the look back Jeff, i wish i could have tried out a few of these. If for no other reason then to mock them relentlessly.
Seriously though, if it's handled correctly i think there is a good possibility 3D could be an awesome advancement in gaming.
I knew someone who had a virtual boy when I was a kid...I still remember the headaches...
those 3d glasses that come with the tv are hella expensive like 350 a pair. so no thank you
virtual boy used to give me nauseau.........now i just use a emulator to play the 2 vb games actually worth playing those being teleroboxer and the wario game---thats it
whats the big deal about 3d gaming?95% of my friens are gamers and NOT ONE of them is even slightly interested in 3d gaming,besides we already have seen 3d gaming back in the early 90's sega released a 3d game in the arcade called time traveler and it sucked.most ppl including myself are perfectly happy with 1080p gaming
Lmao the virtual boy looks absurd
Virtual Boy = worst system ever.
I remember i would go to the local blockbuster store just to try this thing out, and i always remember wanting an eyeball massage afterwards
3D gaming is evolving and becoming more complex that its now going to be possible to play it without the use of glasses like the 3DS and become so much popular we can now experience it with PS3
Eh, regular gameing now is just fine. It would be cool to play something like Left 4 Dead or Halo in 3D...