9 things that suck about 3D

One of the latest buzzwords these days is “3D”. Sony is planning on pushing their new 3D firmware update hard at the upcoming E3, Microsoft is rumoured to be working on enabling the 360 to play 3D games, and Nintendo’s next generation of handheld console (the 3DS) revolves around 3D. In short, it seems to be the next big thing in gaming – or so the hype wants you to believe.

The truth, as usual, is hidden somewhere below the surface. If we scratch a little deeper, we will see the reality behind the blurry images, and see that 3D actually sucks. Here’s why:

1. You have to wear dorky glasses. They weren’t cool during the original 50s hey-day of 3D, and their modern revamping to look like cooler, more normal sunglasses are still not cool. Nobody wants to have to wear something stupid on their face just to experience the pseudo-thrill of films, television and games in 3D.

2. It downscales your games. Two games that have experienced the 3D treatment so far, and which have been played by various members of the gaming press, have markedly downgraded graphical performance to their 2D counterparts. Wipeout HD, which originally ran at 1080p and 60 frames per second, gets a downgrade to 720p and stutters along at barely 30 FPS, while MotorStorm: Pacific Rift is confined to a sub-HD resolution.

3. Headaches. While not considered “true” 3D, an implementation of 3D did exist in the Game of the Year edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum. In addition to having to wear cardboard glasses with funny coloured lenses, the game gave me a wicked headache after only a few minutes of playing. No thanks.

4. Expensive. Just bought your shiny new HD-TV, and think you’re on the bleeding edge? Get ready to throw that piece of obsolete tech in the garbage, because there is a new toy that you will need. Its 120Hz, LED, will set you back approximately R19 000 (if you shop around) and will be needed to experience the truest 3D experience.

5. Widespread adoption is far away. The PlayStation 3 is almost set to deliver, and from there we will be able to watch select Blu-Rays in 3D. Aside from that, and a few games, expect to wait a while before there is a decent amount of content for your expensive 3D setup to get any use.

6. People reaching out in real life. The story goes that when the very first movies were shown in 1895 by the Lumière brothers, the audience stampeded to escape the runaway train that was about to crush them. Even now, people reach out and try and grab the scenery that is seemingly right in front of them, seemingly unaware that the train is not going to actually crush them.

7. The current generation isn’t powerful enough. Linked to my second point above, it seems that the current console generation isn’t powerful enough to generate awesome graphics AND 3D graphics at the same time. Oh well, there’s always the next generation…

8. Confusing terminology. Ok, so we had 2D games, and then they started looking like 3D, but they were really 2D. And then they came out with seemingly better 3D, but in reality it was only a kind of 2.5D, which was really 2D. Then they introduced “real 3D”, and even then some were still only really 2D. Now, everything is 3D, even the 2D games, although they are not dedicated 3D. Eventually, everything will apparently be in 3D, all 3D and 2D games. Confused yet?

9. The pile of stuff that you’ll be left with when the fad dies. Let’s face it, it’s only a matter of time before everybody gets over the whole 3D fad and finds something else expensive and overhyped to cram down our throats. Super-HD, only on Xbox 720 and requiring a new, Super-HD compatible TV and special solid gold cables, coming soon!

That’s my take on the whole 3D trend that is happening in the audio-visual world at the moment. What are your thoughts? Let us know via the usual channels.


Join the conversation

  • SpoOkie

    6. People reaching out in real life. The story goes that when the very first movies were shown in 1895 by the Lumière brothers, the audience stampeded to escape the runaway train that was about to crush them. Even now, people reach out and try and grab the scenery that is seemingly right in front of them, seemingly unaware that the train is not going to actually crush them.

    Isn't that the point of 3D?

  • Gennath

    8. Mission accomplished.

  • Coldcat

    An attitude like this will never progress gaming, and you better off waiting for the next best thing, ie: Just stop gaming all together as there will always something better around the corner. Just because YOU can't afford to go 3D, doesn't mean it sucks.

  • Coldcat

    An attitude like this will never progress gaming, and you better off waiting for the next best thing, ie: Just stop gaming all together as there will always something better around the corner. Just because YOU can't afford to go 3D, doesn't mean it sucks.

  • FriendlyFire


    Money is one of the nine issues. Not THE issue. But obviously, you can afford it, so enjoy the fad.

  • Gooffy

    I could not be bothered with this 3D hype,the games out now look great and they are enjoyable.

  • Rus

    I would prefer a proper game in HD than a redux version in 3D to be honest. Everybody knows that 3D movies are the rage now but which ones were really WORTH watching in 3D? For me Avatar did the trick, all others are just on the same bandwagon because of the naming convention. Whatever happened to the TrueHD that Sony's PR shoved down gamer's throats? First TrueHD, then ARC, now 3D… WTF?!?!? Give me HD games please!

  • Claus

    3D Televisions,are only for people who have too much money and don't know what to do with it.

    This is the most gimmicky think I have seen.

    Years ago 3D was almost non-existent and now it comes back again.

    3D should only remain in the cinema's and not in the household.

    HD TV is good enough(we don't need this [email protected] too).

    3D television = FAIL

  • :)

    "Super-HD, only on Xbox 720 and requiring a new, Super-HD compatible TV and special solid gold cables, coming soon!" HOW MUCh DO YOU THINK IT WILL COST?

  • Grant Hinds

    Smart stuff.

  • GTBoy

    8. You are probably the only confused person.

  • Dave

    Wow, what a sourpuss. You should go work for the ID party.

    But seriously, most of these points seemed as though you've been living in the latter part of the 21st century for most of your life, and are now stuck back in our time. And you hate it.

    Lord knows when we finally fix human teleportation, you'll have a negative view on that as well.

    And the glasses part, they weren't "cool" in the 50s because the tech sucked. These glasses, especially the electronic ones, works well.

    But for what it's worth, you can count this news post as your official proof of writing example for when applying as an ID Party PR Manager.

  • Glordit


    Nuff said.

  • g1mme

    OMG super HD Frikkin Awesomeness!!!!!
    I'm gonna pre order it now!!!

  • Black_Slash

    "You have to wear dorky glasses."
    Why is everyone so terribly concerned about this, is it about the way YOU LOOK or the game you're playing?!

  • JoeBlow

    I hate to throw around insults, but you sound like quite the uninformed and overly-opinionated idiot.

    1. Don't say 'nobody' wants to wear them when we've seen a handul of 3D films this year make more than the gross domestic product of several small nations.

    2. Passing off this info about downscaling is as premature as saying a game in alpha has sucky graphics. Give a little time, 3D hasn't even 'officially' hit the home gaming market yet, outside of pc games.

    3. Your headaches aren't my headahces, as I've never had em. Not to mention you admit that it wasn't even true 3D.

    3. Expensive? Eh, that's a relative term. Most HD tv's were expensive up until a year or so ago, and they're still expensive for many people. But you can't tell me I shouldn't buy a Porsche just because you drive a Camry. And HD tv's are far from obsolete, kiddo.

    4. This is stupid, and if you can't see that this means people are having fun with it, then you obviously don't understand why people like 3D (and they do) in the first place.

    5. If you want to get technical, MOST people still own standard def tv's. So? I don't, and there's plenty of hd for me to consume. 3D? Give it 6 months and the trickle will turn into a downpour.

    7. This is the same point you made at number 2, only rephrased. And it's still jumping the gun. Not to mention that we know already that it works fine for home dvd/tv, so your (incorrect) point would only apply to one aspect of 3D anyway.

    8. In the big kid world, we use the same terms to often mean different things, and it's the context in which we use them that determines the meaning. I've I said I was going to play a game in 3D or watch a movie in 3D, you or anyone else would know what I was talking about.

    9. Hmm, the pile of stuff I'll be left with when the fad dies. Let's see. HD tv? Yeah, who needs that! Bluray player/PS3? USELESS if 3D dies. USELESS! Gimme a break. The sky isn't falling because some people enjoy 3D. There's a market for it, and companies have every right to capitalize.

    So again, you're an idiot.

  • Reigen

    you do know that this is an entirely new HD 3D tehnology, what you are ranting about in the article is the I-MAX 3D,

    did you realy fink that the NEW 3D tehnology is the same old **** you see in theaters and some Barbie dvd movies

  • Basjohn

    I remember playing HEXEN in 3D back in the 90s. "3D" (I completely agree the terminology usage is retarded) was **** back then and still is.

    Oh there was some hype then too but the fad quickly died out as the focus went to making games that didn't give you a migraine every 10 minutes.

  • Blah

    ^ asshole, stop being so poor and spend $15 to see avatar. **** if it sucks or not, the 3d is amazing. get your head outta the dark ages.

  • mitas

    point 8 is good , really explains everything well . how ever some ppl missed the point of the article witch is sad

  • Someone..

    1. "1You have to wear dorky glasses. (…)"

    Wow, just wow..

  • Johnno

    1. Oooo look at Mr. Fashionista! Given the facts that people are by and large paying more money for 3-D theatre experiences and making Avatar the highest grossing movie of all time and even Alice in Wonderland in 3-D grossing $1 billion, it's safe to say that nobody cares how you feel about the glasses.

    2. Those games were already optimized to run before any 3-D implementation, they were used as examples of making existing games 3-D that were enver 3-D to begin with. But Games built with 3-D in mind don't have to have this limitation.

    3. Perhaps you'l suffer from headaches, and perhaps you're the sort who sits on his ass and plays for too many hours. The majority of people will be unlikely to have this problem and the majority of people hardly play for as long as hardcore gamers do.

    4. Actually they cost the same as regular high end HDTVs, all they needed was a device to sunch with the glasses. The glasses are expensive, and like all things will come down in price just like… oh… EVERY electronic gadget ever invented!!! And adoption picks up at that pace.

    5. I'll give it 5 years. Every TV coming out now will support 3-D, and by 10 years, autostereoscopic 3-D screen without glasses should become the norm and all current 3-D content will still work on them.

    6. And this is a problem how? If anything that just makes the experience more immersive! Besides which, 3-D movies have been around for awhile and this has never occurred even if you wish to spin that negatively.

    7. Killzone 3 apparently already look fantastic in 3-D, and so are reports on LittleBigPlanet in 3-D and Gran Turismo in 3-D. So I don't tihnk anyone is complaining.

    8. This point is so stupid it borderline hilarious that you would even consider using it. Consumers basically know the difference between 3-D and 2-D just by seeing it and that's all that matter, what looks better to them! None of what you said will even factor into consumers decisions because they are more to do with generic styles of games and the history of gaming graphics. That's like saying consumers buy their games and games consoles by enquiring about the difference between bump maps and normal maps, or baked or dynamic lighting, or between an Unreal engine or a Cryengine…

    9. This is assuming that current 3-D is a fad that quickly dies next year. Maybe it will 10 years later for a better technology that will obviously be better 3-D. Stupid point.

  • Mike

    1. Is that honestly your best reason, they look a bit dorky? I can understand they may be a bit uncomfortable but saying you won't wear them on your home because of how they look is just plain stupid, like you.

    It's a step in the right direction, prices, technology, comfort and quality will advance, then eventually we'll have glasses-free 3D.

    2. This is the only thing I agree with, but the way you write it is idiotic, because you are an idiot of course.

    It's said that it has to be rendered twice, however, by next gen we may have 1080p 60fps as the standard for 2D, if you then half the resolution and double the framerate for the 3D modes to 720p 120fps, it's actually outputting less pixels per second and leaves room for depth and geometry calculations required by 3D.

    There's also trickery and optimisation that can be done so that things are rendered once, mind-boggling, but it works. Also, while 3D won't be perfect this gen, it will be much better next-gen, but getting the tech out their in its early stages now makes sense for the consumer, the businesses, the tech and the industry.

    3. Headaches are a reality for a small amount of people, some of these people though are people who don't allow themselves to adjust..

    Almost everyone watching 3D for the first time will get a bit of a fuzzy head, eye strain and slight headaches, it's your eyes adjusting to something new. Also, the glasses you're talking about are anaglyph, they're utter shite, glasses now use active shutter or polarisation and it's ten times better. Those 'funny coloured lenses' are completely irrelevant to this argument.

    4. First of all, you don't need an LED TV, you just need a 3D compliant TV…compared to the same size models launching last year, the 3D TV's coming out now are practically the same price. The glasses will get much cheaper, very quickly too.

    As with all new revisions of tech, things cost more, it's not an argument against it, it's the basic reality of technological advancement, it's like complaining that an iPhone or HTC costs more money than a Nokia 3210.

    5. Well of course, it's chicken or the egg, content and hardware have to both make advancements but only one of them will make the big push to make the other required or an option. One of them must go first.

    6. Oh shut up you stupid idiot.

    7. Read point 2…'but getting the tech out their in its early stages now makes sense for the consumer, the businesses, the tech and the industry'.

    8. Your just making everything out of nothing now, mountains out of mole hills, well, non-existant mole hills.

    9. It's here to stay, whether you like it or not. 3D won't be a big main feature in the title eventually, once TV's hit 120Hz minumum, have HDMI 1.4a+ and have bluetooth, it will cost maunfacturers practically nothing, it will simply be an inherent capability of the standard tech.

    3D will be a feature in all medium and large consumer displays evntually, it will be an option, you can watch 2D and 3D on a 3D set. Even if ii did fail, which it wont; you won't be left with 'crappy 3D tech' afterwards, you'll be left with a great TV still that can do 2D and 3D.

    Eventually your new TV's will be 3D whether you like it or not, and many people will use this option, toggling it on for movies, dramas and gaming, and leaving it off for everything else. It'll just be there.

    And there's always new tech, it's the way things go.

  • batman

    sony full of eastern promise they havnt deliveredfull hd gaming as yet but arrogantly said it wouldnt start untill they said so,they underestimated the other brands and are now clutching at straws with 3d trying to rebalance their struggling financial books.

  • Link01

    A game that was made for double imaging isn't designed for 3d … thus if 3d is implemented it is going to HURT THE GAME you dumbass. Oh, and I can buy a tv running at 240Hz for $500 EASILY over at target… that casual price. I also think you haven't seen then glasses, they're more like sunglasses… and they don't hurt your head, they act like sun glasses. STFU

  • zak

    it sucks because its not 3D it just adding a depth to the game the real 3D television coming in 2014 wait for it don't wast your money for the next 5 years stick with your full HD-TV its better for your health and money

  • xino

    who cares about wearing a dorky damn glasses!?:/

  • Charles

    Reponse to #1:

    3D Glasses look dorky? And what do gaming headsets look like? Dorky + Isolating, I would suggest.

  • drukkie

    Hahaha you will still eat your words…you cannot compare to the 80's….just go to sandton city to view a demo!!it looks great!

    where do i sign up?

  • Metalgearx

    I agree. 3d is a waste of time and money

  • Matthew R.

    just imagine curling up on the couch, with a bag of chips and a can of coke, watching a romantic comedy. In 3d. I just don't think everything will be in 3d, or at least I hope not. in all honesty, it should always be offered as a choice, most of us havent even started buying stardard blurays for our standard hd tvs we just bought in the last 3 years, its always been difficult enough to keep up with fads, but this is getting over the line. i know it'd be entertaining in a slasher or a mindless action movie, but there are many genres that jsut shoudlnt be offered in 3d, and especially should not be forced.

  • John

    3D sucks. It's not that immersive and it shouldn't be forced on everyone. All the 3D fanboys are just jacka$$es

  • Exia

    I like 2D and will stay with 2D, not supporting 3D doesn't means it will prevent progress, its just a way for studios to get more money and beside don't try to fix what isn't broken. People are used to 2D. 3D will not be a transition only an overpriced gimmick feature of the audio-visual world

  • Austin

    It makes the image a lot darker, making bright colouful films lose some contrast

9 things that suck about 3D