nVidia 3D Vision Gaming System - nVidia 3D Vision

By Stuart Andrews


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There are areas where 3D Vision clashes with techniques employed by certain engines. The good news about 3D Vision is that it supports most games out of the box, and I've yet to find a 3D game or app where 3D Vision point-blank doesn't work. That said, in some games it just doesn't work that successfully. nVidia itself rates games as excellent, good, fair or poor (you can find the current list here) and when you start up a game a handy message will appear to inform you of any options or detail settings you should probably switch off. The biggest offender is probably Crysis, where you'll have to switch down several detail settings and prepare for some weird anomalies during play that, effectively, make it not worth the bother.

I also saw some odd behaviour with the distant backgrounds in FEAR 2, while Sony's new free MMO, Free Realms, was an almost total disaster, with ghosting all over the place. I'm sure that, should 3D Vision take off, developers will start looking at their games with reducing these anomalies in mind. In fact, some of the issues with on-screen furniture will disappear anyway, as developers further distance their games from such distractions (just as Bioshock, Mirror's Edge, Killzone 2 and Prince of Persia have already done).

Let's not be silly about this. Given that you'll either need a new monitor and £129 or £400 to use it, 3D Vision is currently a luxury item for the high-end PC gamer; the equivalent of a new top-of-the-range graphics card or a brand new gaming console. Game support is good and getting better, and the glasses don't have any major drawbacks in terms of comfort or battery life (estimated at 40 hours). All the same, the success of the effect varies from game to game, and not all users will get the most out of the system.

That's all very sensible and perfectly true. All the same, when the effect does work it's a knockout, and if I had to choose at the moment between spending £400 on a new graphics card for a few more FPS and a higher detail setting in Crysis or spending £400 on 3D Vision, I know which way I'd lean. This isn't a perfect product yet, but it's one that's aiming straight in the right direction, and with cost reductions and increased availability of 120Hz capable monitors - preferably new ones with a 1080p or higher resolution - it might just get there. Right now I'd recommend you try it, because once you do you won't look at 2D gaming in quite the same way ever again.


nVidia 3D vision is the best designed and most considered 3D gaming system yet, with decent out-of-the-box software support and an adjustable, comfortable setup. If you're serious about PC games, you owe it to yourself to try it.

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May 28, 2009, 6:24 am

What about 3D movies? I reckon nVidia could sell a lot more of these systems if they broadened their target audience to males who have an internet connection rather than just gamers. They would need content creator support, of course, but that shouldn't be too difficult given the rate at which new content is produced in that industry. I would be tripping over my feet in my rush to buy nVidia shares, were it the case.


May 28, 2009, 8:39 am

Id love to see this on consoles like xbox, ps3 :)

roll on the future of gaming ;)


May 28, 2009, 12:11 pm

will it work for 100Hz tv sets also?


May 28, 2009, 1:38 pm

I had a similar system from e-Dimensional many years ago - in fact I used to use it for Battlefield 1942 etc. Also used nVidia drivers...

Google tells me it's still available and a bit cheaper to boot.

@ilovethemonkeyhead - think the limiting factor is the Dual-DVI - unlikely your TV will support that connection. If I recall the e-Dimensional was good ol VGA so should work with any VGA connected monitor.


May 28, 2009, 3:55 pm


As OneSinner says, I think it's a no-go. Though you can switch the refresh rate down to 100Hz, the dual-link DVI will probably be a limiting factor. The system does actually work with some '3D Ready' DLP TVs from Mitsubishi and Samsung (plus one Mistubishi projector), but these aren't particularly popular here in Europe.

On the movies front, nVidia has released some demo video content, but I think content is going to be the issue at the moment. The good news is that there's no reason why nVidia's display system shouldn't be compatible with some of the mooted 3D content standards (e.g. Dolby's or Panasonic's). I suspect it would be a software update, and nothing much more.


May 29, 2009, 1:57 am

If you want to see a 3d movie look google and use stereoscopic player (in not free) that have a mode 4 choosing polarized glasses and the old anagliphic ones...good luck ..

PS: i use iz3d software and im already watching 3d movies and games old fashion way...=)


May 29, 2009, 8:03 pm

@Andy H: Games are fairly simple to modify for 3d, as everything is already calculated in 3d so it's a simple case of adding a slightly offset viewpoint and making sure it doesn't poke through walls or get abused in multiplayer. Films would have to be recorded with two cameras, so you could only really apply it to future ones.

@ilovethemonkeyhead: I believe most 100Hz TVs only work at 100Hz internally and won't accept signals above 50-60Hz so they'd be capped at 25-30fps. You might be able to synchronise the glasses with the fake extra frames but I'd imagine it's not as good as the real thing.


May 31, 2009, 1:30 pm

Shutter systems are a nonstarter. You need the expensive glasses for each viewer, many people are very sensitive to flicker at 60 Hz or less, and it halves the brightness. Polarization is a better option. LCD screens are all polarized, 3D can be done by polarizing half the pixels orthogonally, more backlighting helps the brightness issue, and polarized glasses are lightweight and cheap enough to be disposable.

Stacey James Bladen-hovell

December 5, 2013, 9:11 am

If you have a 600hz TV can you use this Nvidia 3d thing without having to buy a new monitor?


February 6, 2014, 5:09 pm

600hz sounds like a plasma which is quadrant updates. Most likely wouldn't support something like that, but you see a list of supported devices on the nvidia site.

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