NVIDIA 3D Vision has been out for a while now, unlike Surround technology. How about trying them out together with three affordable ASUS monitors?
Why use a monitor when you can carry your display around in your pocket? Today we look at something a little bit different: video eyewear that promises to add another dimension to your gaming experience.
We take a quick look at a couple of LG's displays and give our general impressions.
We take a look at a new product from Matrox -- the TripleHead2Go. This device enables you to combine three monitors to create a single widescreen display, allowing for immersion not yet fully realized in the gaming world until now.
Neoseeker Reviews the AL1916W widescreen 19 inch monitor from Acer
John Carmack was showing off an incredible virtual reaility headset at E3 this year, and now it has arrived on Kickstarter with a new name.
The VR headset is now a pretty sweet looking unit called the Oculus Rift. The Rift has arrived on crowd-funding website Kickstarter with a $250,000 goal but has already surpassed that. The project is set to expire on September 1, so the potential is certainly there for the funding to reach new heights. Donations start at $10, but you need to shell out $300 to receive the Rift. There was a $275 tier to receive an unassembled headset, but that has already sold out.
A $300 donation or higher will net you the Rift, a copy of Doom 3: BFG Edition, and full access to the Developer Center for the SDK, documents, and more. Lower tiers get you everything from a special "thank you" to signed posters and t-shirts, so even if you don't have $300 lying around you can still help out. A $5,000 donation will even earn you a trip to Oculus to check out the labs and maybe play some games; however, only two spots were left at the time of writing.
Carmack is the co-founder of id Software and an engineering wizard, so it is only fitting to have him leading the way with VR headsets. The Oculus Rift produces a stereoscopic 3D image with a 110 degree field of view, which means you will not see the screen while using the headset. Resolution and latency problems of older VR headsets have also been eliminated with the Rift to make this headset ideal for gaming. You can check out the video below to get an idea of what the Oculus Rift will bring to gaming.
Traditional displays have not changed much over the years, but there have been some advancements such as stereoscopic 3D and improved resolutions. Researchers at Microsoft’s Applied Sciences division are looking to change this however, as they have developed the first see-through 3D display.
The clear display works by utilizing an internal 3D grid to create a virtual desktop while depth cameras detect the user’s interactions, allowing them to manipulate the images on the screen. Additionally, the screen tracks and captures the head motion of the user to giving them the most appropriate perspective of the images on the display.
Of course it will be quite some time before displays like this are available in the market, but the video above does give us an idea of where display technology is headed.
For those of our readers residing across the pond (specifically: UK & Ireland), you can now catch up with the rest of the world and stream movies and TV through Netflix and your device of choice. As ever, a one-month free trial is available; after that, you've got to fork over a whopping £5.99 or €6.99 each month.
The benefit of this once seemingly eternal wait is you can take advantage of the progress the company has made over the years: advanced streaming technology means almost no waiting to watch almost ever, you'll be given recommendations based on viewing history and ratings and social networking, and there's a "Just For Kids" section for when you just can't take it anymore (we jest).
Hit the source to get started.
Dragon Age II, the highly anticipated sequel to Dragon Age: Origins was released just a couple days ago alongside AMD’s dual GPU behemoth, the HD 6990. Turns out both go well together, thanks largely to the game's excellent Eyefinity support.
The original Dragon Age was the first game to take advantage of Eyefinity, at a time when the technology was still in its early stages. Dragon Age II expands that support by utilizing AMD’s latest five-display gaming configuration. While playing Dragon Age II using five monitors, the field of view is greatly enhanced, as is the case with other Eyefinity settings. However, where the 5 x 1 configuration stands out is in its ability to scale to resolution up to 5822 x 1920, and its improved bezel placement, both offering more immersive gameplay.
In addition to the Eyefinity support, the game also includes advanced DirectX11 features (see here for more, and screens):
- Contact Hardening Shadows – A new technique for rendering more detailed and realistic shadows without lowering your frame rates.
- Gaussian Blur – Yeah, you’ve seen Gaussian blur a hundred times before, but in Dragon Age II, DirectX 11 makes use of special computing techniques for bloom effects around the sun and when magic spells are used that make them look great without degrading your game performance.
- Diffusion Depth of Field – This is a high quality depth of field effect that’s closer to the same depth of field effects they use in movie special effects.
- Tessellation – Remember when a lot of mountainous terrain looked like jagged triangles? Tessellation automatically smoothes that out.
To better highlight the Eyefinity support and show off all the in-game eyecandy, we took Dragon Age II for a spin using a five monitor configuration as powered by a HD 6990. Enjoy.
Sony Electronics Inc. today hosted its Connected Products Brief for Netshelter technology sites (including ours, of course!) where a major focus was the electronic/console giant's plans for HDTV and content for home entertainment over the coming year.
You know that Sony is already big with pushing stereoscopic 3D displays into households with their Bravia HDTVs, but we're at the point in the technology's lifecycle where extra eyewear is required to properly view the effects of 3D. Console competitor Nintendo touts its upcoming 3DS as bringing stereoscopic 3D to console gaming without the need for eyewear, so what are the chances that Sony will be able to accomplish something similar for HDTVs?
Speaking in light of concerns over eyewear being a possible roadblock to widespread acceptance of 3D HDTVs in homes, Phil Molyneux, President and COO of Sony Electronics, reminded press that Sony was in fact able to demonstrate a glasses-free 3D display at this year's CES exhibition. However, he conceded that the prospects of being able to view stereoscopic 3D on their HDTVs without need for eyewear is still a little while in coming.
Molyneux explained that his company has recognized the demand to bring stereoscopic 3D as it stands now to HDTVs, so the priority is to cater and nurture their market for 3D HDTV products before they can even begin to start making glasses-free 3D mainstream. They're certainly exploring glasses-free 3D, but it's just not commerically viable at this stage, especially while Sony is still getting consumers to accept that 3D HDTVs are not an expensive step up from "regular" HDTVs.
Nintendo explained to Neoseeker last week that its brand of glasses-free 3D was made possible on the 3DS thanks to the smaller screen sizes inherent to the handheld, so that was their way around eyewear. Sony naturally will need to find its own "reasonable solution" to making glasses-free 3D both viable technology-wise and commercially. So keep those Active 3D glasses handy for your Bravia for the time being.
Watch Blu-ray films on compatible 3D displays with the PS3 starting September 21st
Sony is expanding the PS3's ability to further take advantage of stereoscopic 3D HDTVs, announcing all-new support for 3D Blu-ray disc playback which will delivered to the platform via the upcoming firmware update v3.50 due next Tuesday. Step one of Sony's 3D on PS3 plan was already completed earlier this April when the PS3's firmware update v3.30 introduced stereoscopic 3D display support for PS3 gaming.
Gaming in 3D is only possible if the game was designed to support such a feature, and of course you'll still need a 3D HDTV and special eyewear to benefit from any 3D technology! With the upcoming 3D Blu-ray media playback support, Sony hopes to make the jump to this new technology much more attractive for a larger target audience with the PS3 as their springboard.
Apple has invested heavily in its touchscreen technology and to-date has some of the best devices utilizing this function. Still, its use has mainly been implemented in portable devices such as the iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone. This appears likely to change as a touch screen iMac is reportedly being developed.
The evidence comes from a PCT Application in which an iMac is shown supporting both a touch-screen interface and standard mouse configuration. The means to switch between the two appears to be done either via the adjustable flex base, or sensor. This will allow the screen to function as a touchscreen when positioned at an upward tilt, but when the screen is positioned vertically a mouse and keyboard can be used. This will enhance the end-user's interaction with their iMac, however, it will also allow it to work better with programs designed exclusively for touchscreen devices.
Additionally, the touch-screen design seems likely for Apple’s MacBook line. This might seem redundant with the iPad on the market, but it instead would service as a means to enhance both types of computing. There are programs such as word processing, photo editing and other standard work applications which are better suited for standard peripherals, so, with the ability to switch back and forth on-the-fly, it could greatly enhance the MacBook’s ease of use.
These products are still too far off to know any internal specifications or time frame for release, but when more info becomes available we will be sure to bring it to you.
A new tool developed by the Tangible Media Group in the MIT Media Lab called “Beyond” allows users to manipulate objects in 3D space.
Beyond is a collapsible input device supporting direct user manipulation via extending a virtual 3D image into a touchscreen, which can then be controlled. The input device is held in one hand and an optional glove can be used in the other. This allows for the creation of an object by the Beyond tool and direct changes to the dimensions of the object by the interactive glove.
The design consists of the collapsible tool, a table top display, an infrared tracking device, and a camera for tracking the user's face. This all makes for the illusion of 3D. However, exactly how the object is seen in the space depends on the position of the user.
The Beyond tool is still in the early stages, but this could someday prove to be a great device for modeling 3D images and showcasing 3D design.
ATI’s Eyefinity technology has been one of the largest selling points for the company’s current GPU lineup, and has definitely sparked some excitement in the PC gaming community. Equally impressive are the current developments in 3D computing which give a full 3D effect to supported games, movies and even images. Each of these technologies is amazing on their own, and are highly sought after by gamers that can afford them.
So, the only logical thing to do next would be to combine them into one package. This is exactly what Sapphire did using a single ATI Eyefinity supported graphics and a combination of Eyefinity and 3D drivers from iZ3d. The setup was connected to three Zalman Trimon 3D displays with a 120Hz refresh rate. The end result was a 5760 x 1080 image of Resident Evil 5 spanning across three screens of 3D awesomeness.
Additional games that were displayed include Tom Clancy's HAWX, Left 4 Dead 2, Battle Forge, and Dirt 2.
"This technology demonstrates that games and applications can be displayed in 3D on multiple screens, and run smoothly, without the need for multiple graphics cards or expensive shutter glasses," said Sapphire's Global PR director Bill Donely.
Now we’ll just have to wait and see how nVIDIA counters this development, as surround 3D gaming is something they have been talking about for some time.
Bravia 3D HDTVs to begin shipping later this month
Sony issues a friendly reminder that its initial batch of PS3 game downloads ready for stereoscopic 3D displays will finally go live starting tomorrow. The PS3 is already capable of supporting stereoscopic 3D technology in new and upcoming HDTVs since its free April firmare update. Of the initial four 3D-ready titles to be released tomorrow on the PSN, only two are actually full games: WipEout HD and Super Stardust HD. MotorStorm Pacific in 3D will be a demo, while the PAIN download features the new 3D-supporting portions of the original release.
They certainly won't be the last PS3 titles Sony intends to release in stereoscopic 3D. GameTrailersTV's Geoff Keighley reports from Sony's 3D press conference today that the company is planning to release no less than 20 titles supporting 3D display tech by the end of the current fiscal year. No other details were made available, and whether or not this provides the incentive gamers need to actually make the jump to 3D HDTVs will depend on what games end up being on the horizon.
As in Europe, Sony will be bundling its upcoming Bravia 3D HDTVs in North America with a voucher good for grabbing the initial four PS3 3D game downloads from the PSN at no extra charge.
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