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Stereoscopic 3D graphics has not managed to gain market presence for a number of years in the personal computer space. Nonetheless, once it become a standard on the market of video game consoles, it will become a standard on the market of video games of the future in general. As a result, it will have chances to become a standard for content globally.

"Stereo-3D will be a part of future game consoles," said an exec for Nvidia, during the company's financial analyst day 2011.

Stereo-3D technology from Nvidia Corp. is an excellent gross margin driver for the company; yet it is a controversial technology for the company's graphics business in general as it requires proprietary hardware that needs engaged gamers to buy the appropriate equipment. The tech is not supported widely enough to maintain the firm's gross margin of over 40%, yet the company continues to promote it actively.

Next-generation consoles are hard to predict. Microsoft Corp. pins a lot of into motion-sensing Kinect-like control; Sony is doing a similar thing in general; Nintendo is doing something completely different.

Nobody knows what happens to the game console business in the next years. For example, market share or Sony Computer Entertainment has been declining for several years from now. Sony is the largest supporter of stereo-3D TVs and supporting games on non-portable platforms and Blu-ray HD video supporter on the PS3 console. Nintendo is the only owner of an auto-stereoscopic 3DS portable platform.

“[The Nvidia executive] was referring to the Nintendo 3DS. However, that device, which is glasses-free, uses a graphics engine designed by DMP. The Sony PS3 got an update to the machine that raises the HDMI port to 1.4 so it can drive TVs with 120/240 Hz refresh for S3D using glasses. Neither Nintendo's Wii nor Microsoft's Xbox360 can do S3D. The next gen PSP will not do S3D either. So his statement although accurate is limited - 33% of home consoles can do S3D, 25% of hand consoles can do S3D,” explained Jon Peddie, the head of Jon Peddie Research market tracking company.

Future game consoles, however, will most likely support stereo-3D ouput.

“We have yet to hear about/from Microsoft and Apple as to whether they will come out with a handheld console. I would expect that either one of them did it would be S3D capable. Rumors continue to circulate about a next generation consoles from Microsoft (sometimes referred to as the "720") and if Microsoft does come out with a third generation (for them) console I'm sure it will have S3D capability,” added Mr. Peddie.

Tags: Nvidia, Geforce, Stereo 3D, Fermi

Discussion

Comments currently: 6
Discussion started: 03/08/11 11:09:28 PM
Latest comment: 03/10/11 02:01:18 AM
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1. 
If 3D is going to be the main attraction to the next consoles, and it very well might be, I sure hope console makers wait for the 20nm generation processes and MASS 3D adoption before starting to producing their chips.

If you figure the rough rule of thumb is ~ or <200mm2, 128-bit bus for a console graphics chip (to allow an easy shrink on the next process), we'd probably end up with something like a 6950/GTX560 powering our consoles at 28nm. While that's all well and good on it's face, 3D changes the game quite a bit.

Unlike current consoles where a game may be oriented towards 1080P for standard play and 720p for 3D (which works out well because it's roughly half the resolution) the next gen will be completely oriented towards 1080P. A decision to make a game in 3D will alter how it could've/would've been made in 2D as it will essentially half the frame rate. While they could offer different features between modes, or perhaps shoot for 60fps/30fps, it still dramatically effects the gaming marketplace as not everyone will have a 3D tv/pc at time of launch or perhaps well into the consoles' life. The longer they wait, obviously the less impact this halving of performance will be apparent because 3D will see a larger adoption rate across both platforms.

I, for one, would be incredibly pissed if most games were 3D-oriented with a graphics level tailored toward a 5770/GTS450. While certainly still a giant step up from current consoles and one could argue it is the entry-point where DX11 features and what-not become feasible, think of the consequences for PC gaming. Do you want, worse case scenario, to be playing 2D ports tailored towards a 5770/GTS450 @ 1080p 10 years from now? I'm sure you don't. While one could argue something akin to this will happen anyway even using later tech, I would argue there will be much more room to scale if we see something slightly more powerful entry-level 1080p DX11.

The important thing is, there used to a resolution divide between consoles and PCs. There might a 480p and then 720p console game ported to PC and one could ramp up the resolution to use current graphics horsepower. Additional DX10/11 features helped add value as well. Starting with the next consoles though, that divide will not exist, or at least will be much less. The most important new feature (compute on GPU, ala DC/OpenCL) will be on both platforms. While multi-monitor (Eyefinity/Surround) and 30'' (2560x1600) monitors exist, they are not (and probably will not be) the norm. We've hit a wall; the standard across both platforms is the same: 1080P.

In essence, because of 3D & consoles, we could have a product with a lifespan of 10 years and forced compatibility across both the standard and twice the standard resolution dictating the future of games.

I have to ask, is that really the future we want? Sounds ass-backwards to me.
0 0 [Posted by: turtle  | Date: 03/08/11 11:09:28 PM]
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By the end of this year, 28nm is basically a given. But we will not be seeing new consoles this year, so you're probably right that it will be 20-22nm for the next-gen consoles. No worries there, pal.

I expect that Nintendo will release the successor to Wii sometime in 2012 (probably mid 2012, if not late 2012). It might do just 720p and nothing more, but go the same route of 3DS, requiring that every single game supports 3D. The Wii is really dying right now.. quickly, so it might be as soon as spring 2012. As far as it goes for 3D support, Nintendo probably knows that not enough of us have 3DTV's yet, so all of the games would have to be playable in 2D mode. This is going to hold Nintendo back quite a bit. I also expect Nintendo to try to copy Microsoft Kinect in a way while adding something else to it that is innovative in its own right.

Microsoft would probably be quick to follow with a successor to Xbox360.. even if Xbitlabs say it won't be until 2014-2016, I wouldn't be surprised if it's as early as late 2012. If we let history repeat itself, Microsoft earned tremendous success by simply releasing its console one year earlier than others. The X1900-equivalent GPU was actually faster than the X1800XT, the fastest GPU from ATI at that time which cost $500. Late 2012 wouldn't give enough time for 22nm which probably would only become viable in 2H 2013, but if MS really pushes this one again, it could be just as fast as the unlocked 6950 which is not too shabby. Keep in mind that it's 1080p, not even 1920x1200 or 2560x1600. S3D only requires that the resolution be "doubled", so it's basically 3840x1080 which is roughly equivalent to 2560x1600. Seeing how many games are indeed playable at 30fps, Microsoft would likely continue to allow developers to choose whether to do 30fps or 60, so that games like Crysis 2 could run in a seemingly high quality at 1080p in 3D.

Trust me, this is much, much better than Radeon X1900 All-in-Wonder from years ago (or PS3's 7900GT-equivalent). For a comparison of video card rankings, to see how much it has progressed over the years, check out: http://alienbabeltech.com...topic.php?f=6&t=21797
0 0 [Posted by: Bo_Fox  | Date: 03/09/11 02:47:20 PM]
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2. 
3D is a fad, we have a Nivida exec selling the idea of an nvidia 3d standard on this article while it goes on to say that still everyone else is doing it their own way and not budging.

The electronics industry has basically really cocked this up to the point where even the BBC has now said, in a way, that if they don`t figure out a standard soon the `3D Fad` will die off soon...
Quote"In a cautionary note, the BBC says the strategy is expected to have a lifespan that reaches only as far as mid-2012, by when either a full 3D strategy will have been developed, or current 3D standards will have failed to deliver"

Then we have the Nintendo warning on 3D on the first related link to this article."eyes are organs that develop for a very long time, up to the age of 25 in some cases. As a result, the S3D effects may be unsuitable even for adults, not only for children or teenagers.

"Yeah happy gaming and TV watching folks..
0 0 [Posted by: efex  | Date: 03/09/11 01:37:36 AM]
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Color is a fad, just go back to black-and-white of the 50's. For a long, long while, black-and-white was sharper than color. Technicolor Kodak pictures from the 60's were so blurry in comparison.

Also, the warning is just a "precaution" to be taken as preemptive measures against lawsuits. It's just like warning that video games could cause seizures. Did you know that staring at a 2D screen for too long is bad for your eyes? Didn't your parents tell you to not sit too close to the TV when you were a kid? Nowadays, kids are watching more TV than ever. We sit in front of our 2D computer screens more than ever before. It used to be the book-worm nerds who wore thick glasses back then in the 50's, but thanks to the contact lenses and lasik, we just don't know how bad it is today. Having your eyes fixated at a certain depth for too long could be like having your wrists stuck on a keyboard long enough to develop Carpal Tunnel syndrome. 3D, when properly set up with correct depth and convergence, is natural for your eyes--a perfectly good exercise that is gravely needed for a change nowadays.
0 0 [Posted by: Bo_Fox  | Date: 03/09/11 02:21:18 PM]
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I think you said the same thing about talking pictures at the turn of the century and about colour TV.

3d is a natural evolution. Why? Because most of us have stereoscopic vision. Watching video content in 2d is therefore unnatural.

I am pretty certain you would also disagree with motion control systems and body vibration feedback. I have used body vibration with games since the 1980's when I hooked up a 15 inch speaker under my seat and connected it via a low pass filter and amp to my Amiga 500. I loaded INTERCEPTOR and had an eye-ball shaking ride. You might also say that is a fad. I would have to say you are wrong again and body vibration is a natural evolution. Playing games without body vibration is actually very unnatural since in real life we experience vibration even walking across a floor. If we didn't experience that sense of vibrational feedback in real life then we'd feel very DISCONNECTED from reality. We are used to playing games in this very unrealistic and disconnected way.

3d Hardware might have a lot of evolving to do but to call it a fad is like saying talking movies will never take off.
0 0 [Posted by: grammaton_feather  | Date: 03/10/11 02:01:18 AM]
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3. 
Well, I have seen a 3DS in action and is great. I really really hope that it will be monitors that support this technology without stupid glasses.
0 0 [Posted by: TAViX  | Date: 03/09/11 03:36:22 AM]
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