We at TrustedReviews love our console games. And we love our big tellies and projectors. So it stands to reason that we're bound to love an ultra-affordable projection package designed specifically with gaming in mind, right? Um…
The product in question is Optoma's GameTime GT3000: an unusual package comprising a DLP projector with a 2.1 speaker system (!) and a custom-made bag for carrying all the bits around in. And it can all be yours for just £338. Yes, that's £338. At which point you're probably asking, with some justification, ‘OK, so what's the catch?'
Well, for starters the projector only has an SVGA resolution of 800 x 600 pixels. Only having 600 horizontal lines means the projector part of the GT3000 package can't call itself HD Ready - an instant and potentially devastating blow to anyone with an Xbox 360 or PS3 HD console, or even a PC if they want to be able to run their games using anything like the maximum resolutions now being used.
The GT3000 will physically show HD games (up to 1080i, not 1080p), but only after downscaling their resolution to suit its own internal native resolution. Hardly ideal to anyone who's experienced high-quality HD gaming in all its glory and so knows that as well as looking great, HD can actually enhance the gaming experience. For me, not being able to experience the full effect of HD gaming on the GT3000 potentially undermines the extra impact you might get from being able to see your games writ larger on a wall or home cinema projection range than they look on an HD-Ready TV.
In fact, I can't help but feel - ahead of actually watching the GT3000 do its thing, you understand - that the disappointment of seeing our favourite games' HD graphics not looking as sharp and detailed as we're used to might actually be exaggerated by the size of the image we're watching.
There's another rather key issue to address regarding the GT3000 projector's resolution, too: the fact that it equates to a 4:3 resolution, not a 16:9 widescreen resolution. In some ways this is even more potentially irritating than the lack of true HD resolution. For even though all the current-gen consoles support 4:3 output, anyone who's got used to widescreen gaming will know how much better it is.
With the GT3000, if you want to play - or watch DVDs, for heaven's sake - in widescreen, you'll have to put up with black bars to the top and bottom of your picture. Even worse, if you're looking at a picture that's got black bars above and below, you're looking at a business part of the picture that's also only using a fraction of the GT3000's 600-line resolution, making images even less satisfyingly close to high resolution.