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The Nuts and Bolts of PlayStation 3D 154

Posted by Soulskill
from the wait-till-the-bayonetta-guys-get-ahold-of-this dept.
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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The Nuts and Bolts of PlayStation 3D

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  • 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 (Score:4, Interesting)

      by anarche (1525323) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @06:43AM (#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: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Malard (970795)
        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]
        • by TheLink (130905)
          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 blurrin
        • 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 st

          • by sowth (748135) *

            What does psychology have to do with 3D glasses? Unless you are talking about people being afraid of glasses (ocuphobia?), you probably meant to say neurological.

            Neurological means a physical or chemical problem with the brain (among other things). You can have a neurological problem which causes psychological issues, but they are different things. Something which causes seizures is most certainly neurological.

            To use a crappy computer analogy, think of psychological as a problem with the software, and n

    • Re:Goofy glasses (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Aladrin (926209) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @07:02AM (#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: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by BadAnalogyGuy (945258)

        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.

        • by Bakkster (1529253)

          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.

        • Even today, just saying the word "Rico" will get people to at least think "Suave

          Not me. I think... "[Ric]ooolllaa..." Damn you, our advertising corporate overlords. Damn you.

      • by karnal (22275)

        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 s

      • volleyball in 3D

        Sold!

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sznupi (719324)

        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 th

        • 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-

          • 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...). N

            • by bws111 (1216812)
              I think you're thinking of View-Master. Not sure what it has to do with Yugoslavia though.
            • 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 'a

              • by sznupi (719324)

                Yes, it seems it was essentially a copy of View-Master.

                And c'mon, only one person at a time usage shouldn't be much of a showstopper in the area of typical personal photos...certainly not when you want to remember something all by yourself ("relive your memories like you're again there!") or showing them to somebody. Upcoming 3D screens have similar limitations - you need to have 3D glasses for everybody ("a device you have to store away / get out all the time"; quite delicate to boot; and how weird will be

      • I call BS. 3D goes in and out of fashion every couple decades. Maybe this time is different, but if history is any indication, my guess is no
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      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.

    • 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.

      I disagree. It's just part of the evolution towards neurally connected computing. Realizing that each eye is a distinct input is an important step.

  • And how long? (Score:3, Informative)

    by Vanderhoth (1582661) on Tuesday April 20, 2010 @07:09AM (#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: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Barny (103770)

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

      • 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 machi

    • by Sockatume (732728)

      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.

    • 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.

      • Already covered

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

        • 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.
    • "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.

      • 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).
        • ah. I have an early 60GB fat PS3.

          Forgot about the backwards compatibility removal.

          I'm sure they wouldnt have removed it, if the PS3 had actually sold well. Unfortuantely it was terrible for 2 years. Sony lost a too much money on the damn thing.

          • The loss of the BC is tragic and I don't see it's loss as big of an issue as the other os, because I still have access to BC on my PS3. People buying a new PS3, if they were informed, would know the new product didn't come with it. That being said I know several people who bought the PS3 on my recommendation and found out after the fact the BC was removed. I found out from them and originally thought it was just a defective system, but after looking it up I found out what had really happened. The difference
    • eems 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.

      Right. [xkcd.com]

    • by IrquiM (471313)

      And now they're removing 2d!!! :/

      • If I wasn't commenting in this thread and had some points, I'd mod you funny for that.

        What I was trying to get at is Sony will update the PS3s and allow 3D, then in the future they could, and given their track record probably will, remove the functionality in order to force people to buy the next latest and greatest thing.

  • 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.)
    • by raddan (519638) *
      And, as a person who had a pair, they gave me terrible headaches/nausea after long periods of playing. Also, there were very few 3D games, and the Master System in general really started to suffer when the original Nintendo became the de facto console-- I remember that the one place I could get Master System games (KB Toys), stopped carrying them. I had to mail-order them after that, and at the very end, when the Genesis came out, a couple mail-order vendors took my money, but never sent me a game. It su
      • Really? I had them too but it didn't give me headaches/nausea or anything like that. (I got that from Doom and Wolf 3d.) It did work better for some games than others didn't it? (I mean Missle Defense 3-d looked nice but I didn't think it added much to Space Harrier 3d)
  • 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!

  • 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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