Well obviously the 3D hype is getting the steam roll. More and more display manufacturers are partnering with other electronic parts manufacturers to market 3D-capable devices and accessories. But then, they all comes with a premium price tag that’s gonna cut throat. Doesn’t seem very feasible to me, especially in such economy. After all, 3D is a hyped-up marketing gimmick, and I assume that it’ll fade away soon when newer technology comes.
Well freed not, as we have a solution for you! There’s an actually rather straight forward way to play games on your computer in 3D. All you need is a pair of anaglyph goggles and a fairly powerful system. iZ3D is actually a manufacturer of 3D-capable monitors, but their drivers are available for free download here. The driver console has an option to turn on anaglyph, which converts all your games to 3D. The driver renders two separate frames, from two slightly different perspectives. This is very similar to the function Nvidia offers with ‘3D Vision Surround’, but Nvidia’s drivers limit you to two Nvidia graphics card the least, and moreover, the latest drivers don’t have support for laptops. iZ3D on the other hand runs on any system, and supports both Nvidia and ATI 3D cards.
With obvious reasons, your computer will need to render every scene twice for each frame, thus there would be a drop of more than 50% in performance. Quantitatively, that means that if your game earlier ran at 30 fps, expect it to run at less than 15 fps. But then this is not always accurate. Though, downsizing the resolution would clearly help a lot in boosting performace. So it would be demanding a lot from your system, if you are running a game like Assassin’s Creed 2 on rig that is anything but extreme-end. However, it’s the lower-end games that will give you a lot of joy.
Setting up is pretty much easy and straight forward. Launch a game, and the iZ3D’s step-by-step wizard starts too. Wait for some rendered graphics (i.e. the actual game, not the menus) to appear on the screen and you’re ready to adjust the settings. The separation between the images can be adjusted and you can check using your goggles what settings look best. Get your settings right, and watch in amazement as the object suddenly seem discrete.
There are some bad sides on using this software though. Although the software itself is nearly flawless, the anaglyph images have their usual drawbacks. The colors are usually washed off and thus image quality drops, nothing like the ones you see in 2D. And as always, you would find yourself a little perplexed after a session of gaming with the goggles on.
This technique of 3D gaming is not new, neither is it the best gaming experience you can have. But it gives you a different experience altogether, something that would fascinate people. Also, it is for free, after all! It gives you a taste of what is coming. Given below is a list of few of the large list of games that showcase ‘iZ3D at its best’, according to the company. Don’t forget to share your experiences. Download now and have a blast weekend!
- Assassin’s Creed
- Assassin’s Creed 2
- Batman Arkham Asylum
- Crysis: Warhead
- Devil May Cry 4
- Empire Total War
- Half Life 2
- Left 4 Dead
- Mirror’s Edge
- Need for Speed: Carbon
- Prince of Persia 2008
- Resident Evil 5
- Street Fighter 4
- Warcraft III and World of Warcraft (DotA fans, yey! Let’s go rampage in 3D)
- X-Men Origins: Wolverine