Looking Through The Telescope

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Neil
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Looking Through The Telescope

Post by Neil »

Hi Guys,

While I don't know how popular this editorial is going to be, I think certain things need to be said for everyone's benefit. Are my observations correct? Does the industry have a strong enough pulse on gaming?

http://www.mtbs3d.com/cgi-bin/newsletter.cgi?news_id=94" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Share your thoughts.

Regards,
Neil

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cybereality
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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by cybereality »

I have to disagree with asking developers to support every 3D format that ever was. I mean look at a game like Avatar. They supported a decent amount of formats, but then you still have people complaining that they didn't support stereo mirror or the VR920, etc. So this is not an easy task to ask developers to do. I would rather we just get a standard and stick to it. If what Sony is doing is to become a defacto standard, then so be it. Otherwise it just muddies the market and makes things confusing to new consumers. Having 5 different standards is not good for consumers. It just prolongs a Betamax/HD-DVD style format war.

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Neil
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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by Neil »

It's not necessary to support every format at all. In fact, many 3D TVs internally support multiple formats as a precautionary measure, and it's not that difficult for game developers to implement game engine support if they are so inclined.

What matters most from the editorial is that display makers need to take an active interest in gaming and build relationships with game developers directly. S-3D gaming is going to impact them on several levels very quickly - even in the cinema space, and they just aren't prepared. Standard or no standard, the whole industry needs to move product fast enough, and compatibility should not be a barrier for this.

Regards,
Neil

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DmitryKo
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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by DmitryKo »

Looking Through The Telescope wrote:A study just went out recently by IGN.com showing that 90% of IGN readers see 3D as a major development in game quality. The leading concern by 51% of the respondents - yes, their leading concern - is that video game violence would be more lifelike. Forget the enhancements offered by DirectX 8, 9, 10, and 11. It’s stereoscopic 3D that actually raises the possibility of making things too lifelike.
It would sure scare the hell out of me to play something like Doom 3 in stereo 3D... it was the last first person shooter game I ever played (in mono) and I think I've got so much adrenaline in my blood that it will be enough for another decade.
Looking Through The Telescope wrote: the Blu-Ray specification has a requirement for PS3 compatibility, and it is also true that the spec requires a means to detect the capabilities of the television beyond whether or not it has HDMI 1.3 or 1.4. So Blu-Ray should work whether you have HDMI 1.3 or 1.4
It's not about Blu-ray spec, it's rather about the fact that HDMI 3D capabilities are not really tied to the version of HDMI standard - both 720p60 stereo and 1080p24 stereo can be done even with a HDMI 1.0 port, since they only require 148.5 Mhz (3.56 GBit/s) of bandwidth, and HDMI Licensing allows legacy devices to support any HDMI 3D format - of course, provided that the device manufacturer updated the firmware to support the signalling part of the HDMI 3D specification.
Neil wrote:The point of all this is display manufacturers need to place a stronger focus on S-3D gaming, and to stop trying to ignore and downlplay it. The industry is dependent on S-3D gamers more than they realize, and its time they took steps to be prepared
Sure. The problem is, HDMI 3D will be largely irrelevant for stereo 3D gaming on the PC, since 1080p60 stereo is entirely optional. More than that, even if PC games support HMDI stereo formats, they can't support HDMI 3D displays without having low-level acces to the HDMI ports from the video card drivers, and this is probably not happening any time soon.

3DTV makers do need to address the PC gaming issue somehow. I'd suggest they would employ half-resolution formats (like TI's checkerboard and RealD's side-by-side checkerboard which pack stereoscopic signal into standard 1080p60) which require manual activation of stereoscopic mode, just like older 3D Ready sets did. In the long term they would probably start using DisplayPort 1.x which directly supports frame sequential 1080p60 stereo 3D, but that would also require driver support from graphic card vendors, and they might choose to only support HDMI... I just don't know, there are too many questions that have no answers. I wonder what Steve Venuti (President of HDMI Licensing LLC and a recent member of S3DGA) would say about his company views on PC stereo gaming...
cybereality wrote:I would rather we just get a standard and stick to it. If what Sony is doing is to become a defacto standard, then so be it
Sony is clearly going HDMI 1.4 route with the PS3, however PC gaming has different requirements (see above). A standard format that any device can accept would surely be nice, but I'd also have a standard driver model that could handle format conversion for multiple stereo solutions, and that would require stereo API support from Microsoft and Khronos. It's a pity to see that little progress has been made since my original posts from 2 years ago.

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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by cybereality »

Yeah, I agree that on the PC there is much more room for multiple standards. It would be pretty straight forward to have game developers just render 2 full res views to memory and then have 3rd party drivers that could hook into this and convert that into a proprietary display format. But as you say, this is mostly on Microsoft to implement into DirectX or it has no chance of becoming a standard. So I think the PC sector will mainly remain with proprietary solutions for the near future. When I was talking about a "standard" I was thinking more about the console/HT space.

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DmitryKo
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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by DmitryKo »

Console stereo gaming (that is PlayStation3 stereo gaming) will most likely be based around HDMI 1.4 mandatory 720p60 "frame packing" format, which is basically a top-bottom format specifically taylored for 120 Hz displays.


BTW, the lack of responses in this thread may indicate that the PC stereo gaming communitry is not really interested in solving all the various interoperability and usability issues. The end users shouldn't even be concerned about this, these problems must be solved by the display makers before they market their displays, or they just won't fly off the shelves. So far, it looks like they just ignore PC stereo gaming because they don't see it as a viable market, and this is surely a mistake. Offering $200 "starter packs" and trying to collect per-game licensing fees for unlocking stereo support is just not going to work when video games already passed US $35-50 mark.

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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by Neil »

I was really thinking more about consoles than PC gaming - though this is equally important. Display manufacturers should not be in a position of reacting to S-3D gaming, they need to take an active role in developing it.

The companies that get it, really get it. I should have listed Panasonic too - I think they get it, as demonstrated by Avatar: The Game. Sony gets it. Jeffrey Katzenberg gets it. He repeated "gaming leading the way in the home" two years in a row! Katzenberg! Moses practically gave all these bigwigs a heads up for two years running, and they ignored him. James Cameron: "At least as important as 3D film". $2+ billion dollars later, I'm sure he'd say the same thing.

I've been exhibiting at the Canadian Film & Television Production Association's Primetime in Ottawa. I speak tomorrow, too. The feedback I keep hearing is "gaming is going to lead the way" and "everything including cinema in the home, is riding on gaming". These are all the top TV and film producers saying this, by the way.

In contrast, just as an example, I read an article about BSkyB saying they are going to have a gaming strategy, but don't know what it is yet. Congratulations! You're a step ahead of all the guys that don't even have a clue that they need a strategy.

One of the keynotes here talked about Hollywood being "top-down" in film, that what Hollywood says, goes. He then went on to say that this is old school thinking, and no longer jives with customers. I wish I had it on tape.

Standard or no standard, there is a very basic disconnect between manufacturers and customers. You can't have movies without gaming, though you can have gaming without movies. I don't think enough people have grasped this yet.

Regards,
Neil

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DmitryKo
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Re: Looking Through The Telescope

Post by DmitryKo »

Neil,

you see it from the marketing point of view, but most users look at it from the usability point of view - they would like their displays to "just work", and this is where standards should step in. Panasonic and Sony may realize the value of tying display promotions with stereo 3D games, but do their displays setup more easily and work better with the games they are promoting? No, it's just that, a promotional tie-in.

The good news are, most 3D TV makers have at least licensed some half-resolution format like TI's checkerboard or RealD and Sensio side-by-side checkerboard for use with the PC, and that probably was inspired by "Avatar: The Game" which does support these formats. So they probably are not entirely ignoring the PC gaming, however support comes through non-optimal and proprietary solutions which are too cumbersome for a typical user.

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