3D MMO Gaming: The Next Big Thing?
Written by Chen Fo Po (cinderboy), OnRPG Journalist
To start this article off, I will first like to refer to this recent article I have read: “9you, one of the fast rising MMO developers and publishers in China, recently announced that they will be integrating their upcoming MMOs with 3D technology. You read it right, players will have the chance to view their games through 3D vision goggles and experience the same kind of thrill when watching Avatar 3D (who hasn’t watch the movie in 3D?). The company also admitted that the recent Avatar 3D wave helped them to speed up development of the project.”
Talk about riding huge waves.
Avatar’s 3D effect
9you will apparently be the first company in the global MMO industry to announce this rather ambitious type of project. Personally, I expected a bigger company, say Blizzard, to embark on this project first, due to the massive finances involved. The company, realising that gaming in 3D will tire out players’ eyes and that 3D gaming is still at its infant stage, will first trial this new feature on their casual games and side-scrollers. In the beginning stages, only special features like skill graphics and character models will be in 3D.
I have to applaud 9you in this particular venture, seeing that it is no easy task. And mind you, 9you is a developer and publisher of Free to Play titles, this really tells you how far the Free To Play market has come. The company is also working with some technology firms on plans to distribute the 3D vision goggles needed and other essential peripherals.
9you’s first few 3D games:
Weapons of the Gods
Tech geek I am not, but I have skimmed through several articles which touch on the topic of 3D gaming for the PC system. Firstly, 3D gaming on the PC currently requires a special monitor which has the capability to refresh at 120Hz. While some players might not mind the cost of one (around USD320 for a 22inch one), 3D gaming will need the majority of players utilizing it to start the market up.
Secondly, the 3D vision goggles. The only branded (or brand) 3D vision goggles for PC gaming I have come across are from Nvidia, and they cost a rather hefty USD199. Once again, it might be a small sum to some, but a princely price to the majority. What about gamers who are already wearing glasses?
Nvidia’s GEFORCE 3D Vision Kit
Thirdly, the ill-effects of prolonged 3D gaming. You don’t have to be an Optometrist or even an Ophthalmologist to acknowledge that players will soon experience severe discomfort in their eyes. Gazing at a normal LCD monitor for a few hours for either work or gaming already causes dry eyes, itchy eyes, bloodshot eyes and whatnot, I can’t imagine the degree of damage 3D gaming will cause to the eyes and overall health of hardcore gamers.
Overall, in my opinion, 3D gaming is not a necessity anytime in the near future. It will no doubt edge closer to being mainstream in the years to come, but there are still more doubts (especially long-term health concerns) to clear up. Will more companies start to embrace 3D gaming? Or will this new way of gaming be just a short term fad? It’s really up to the gaming community to decide.