It seems to be more recently, games and movies in 3D were the last words of science and technology, and giants like NVIDIA put on this format. But 10 years have passed — and once the advanced technology is sent to the scrap as unnecessary. But why did the company decide to do it only now? Let's try to understand.
To blame "Avatar"
NVIDIA made a bet on the three-dimensional image simultaneously with the boom three-dimensional movie. Released a little later, "Avatar" James Cameron only confirmed the forecasts: the film was so successful that it would be foolish to pass by technology. Manufacturers rushed to produce appropriate TVs and inspire that the cinematic effects at home — it's cool. 3D sang constant praises and find a top TV without the fashionable at the time technology has become difficult. But for it demanded money — not to squander beauty just like that!
However, movies and gaming — different things, and with NVIDIA miracle did not happen. Gamers do not pounce on fashion glasses — and enthusiasts still decided to join the beautiful, faced with a lot of problems.
How does it work?
The technology was presented in 2008, at the same time rolling out the technical requirements, many put in a stupor. First, to run the program in 3D, an NVIDIA graphics card was required. And not just any, and a new, eighth series. For a moment, then to GeForce 8800 treated about the same as today — to RTX 2080: for what to pay such wild amounts, if the new-fangled effects for DirectX 10 day with fire cannot find?
Second, the effect worked only with DirectX 10, that is to be attached to the tech it was not enough to buy an expensive iron had yet to put the abominable Vista. You think that's all? Ha!
It also required an impressive list of equipment: 120 Hz monitor, 3D Vision glasses and IR transmitter, which was connected to the computer via USB-port.
NVIDIA glasses used the shutter method — when a separate picture with a frame rate of 60Hz is formed for each eye. Therefore, to synchronize with the image on the screen, you needed a monitor with a scan of 120 Hz, connected via HDMI or Dual Link DVI. 3D Vision supported some models of laptops, Full HD TVs and projectors, but... not so simple. Most of the monitors that now that in 2010 gave only 60 Hz.
At the start of sales in 2009 for a set of 3D Vision asked for $250, two years later — already $99, and for the updated and improved version. Now points can be bought on eBay or Amazon for about 120 bucks. You know, a ticket to a brave new world many still can not afford. Especially ten years ago, when people still not was detached from another financial crisis.
Difficulty settings and a lot of bugs
Three-dimensional mode did not run on its own (just like RTX and DLSS today) — to support it required the joint participation of developers and NVIDIA specialists. The profile system was built into the video driver, and special patches were released for the games.
Favorite entertainment updated? Lost compatibility with 3D-Vision — download new drivers from the official website.
If you don't see the problem here, remember that at that time there was no auto-updater. It was necessary to pump and put a patch manually each time. In addition, everyone's eyes are different, so for each release, the user independently set the stereo rendering parameters. Where to find them? Choose by trial and error — to achieve the correct balance of depth and parallax of different plans in the frame. It was also possible to calibrate the display colors, change the view of the sight for FPS and configure hotkeys to quickly switch stereo effects.
Most of the problems created action. Often, with the correct parameters of the depth of the scene "broke" HUD and sight settings: it was drawn at the wrong distance from the hero, then doubled — in such circumstances, it is inconvenient to just play, not to mention the shooting.
But the enemy was "in tride"!
The picture really looked three-dimensional, as in the movie, but with its specificity: due to errors with scaling objects seemed too small, the picture often resembled a diorama and looked like a doll.
Apart from the tedious adjustment, 3D Vision had a few more drawbacks: the image became less bright, and the contours of objects blurred and flickered. Because of this, very tired eyes: many gamers even complained of nausea and headaches after a few hours in 3D.
There will be no revolution
NVIDIA stopped the development of 3D Vision profiles back in 2013. the Last commercial product with official support for the technology was the action movie Batman: Arkham Origins. But the manufacturer did not refuse the release of drivers and updated them together with the graphics card SOFTWARE.
Why? What was not appreciated by the masses, had to taste enthusiasts.
They started making their stereoscopic mods based on OpenGL. Soon there were patches for popular games such as Minecraft, Rainbow Six: Siege and Overwatch. Naturally, in the Amateur code was found to contain errors — the blur around the arms, problems with the setting of the sight, flickering textures.
But fans still have something over 1000 games. Moreover, the official forum 3D Vision — almost the most popular on the NVIDIA website, not counting the discussion of drivers for graphics cards. Still, find and fix bugs in 3D and roll out their own patches for new products. Popular resources such as Steam and Discord also did not stand aside — everywhere there are groups dedicated to 3D Vision, although less lively than the official forum. Oddly enough, the activity boils mainly on English-speaking resources, while our gamers seem to have long resigned to the death of 3D.
The market played a cruel joke with NVIDIA. At the start to support innovation, few people wanted to, because the price was high, and the benefits — is questionable, because the high-quality implementation of 3D was not available in all supported games. And when the developers more or less understood the settings, released the second points and fixed bugs, the relevance of the technology went down — the era of VR.
Poreshal and market TVs: the demand for 3D-models began to fall in 2012, and in 2017 their production stopped altogether. Now TV and monitors focus on high resolution and HDR.
All hope for VR?
As soon as it became known that NVIDIA will stop supporting 3D Vision, the company explained this decision: the manufacturer will focus on more promising VR systems.
We see how the industry and our users are moving to new forms of immersion in the game, such as virtual reality, and focus our attention on new technologies. We are proud to support 3D Vision for more than 10 years, having launched it in 2009.
NVIDIA's press service
in a comment to Engadget
3D Vision technology could make a revolution in gaming, but it turned out to be too complicated and expensive for most users — so often happens with fashionable novelties.
Now fans are switching to VR — it is much easier to put on virtual reality glasses than to adjust 3D parameters, and the effect is much stronger. It is hoped that at least virtual reality will be more accessible to ordinary gamers.