What 3D Means for the Future of Gaming

Hollywood is having a love affair with 3D right now… but 3D isn’t just for movies: Video games are rapidly adopting the technology, too.

In fact, consumers seem more excited about 3D gaming than they do about 3D movies. Last year, for example, the tech blog Gizmodo enthused that “3D gaming is what will get you to buy a new TV.” It sounds breathless but it makes sense, really: I can’t remember the last time I watched TV without multitasking with a phone, laptop, or tablet in my lap – and where 3D glasses only get in the way. On the other hand, when I’m gaming, I find that 3D immerses me so fully that it makes multitasking impossible, and I quickly forget about the eyewear as I’m sucked into the 3D experience.

Of course, with gaming it’s not just about TVs any more: 3D may also get gamers to buy new computers, laptops, monitors, and more, as the 3D gaming craze expands further and further into PCs.

On your computer, 3D gaming works a lot like any current form of 3D content: You don a special pair of glasses that sync up to the display (be it laptop or TV). When 3D content kicks in — sometimes a special button on the laptop must be pressed; sometimes it’s automatic — you’re instantly immersed into the 3D universe.

Think you’ll have to wait for content? You might be surprised to know that the games are ready and waiting: All the coolest Windows games — including Portal 2, Starcraft II, and Civilization V — are already 3D-ready right out of the box. All you need is hardware (like Dell’s XPS 17 3D laptop) that can support it and a pair of 3D glasses.

The future’s looking awfully bright for 3D gaming, so bright that it’s becoming difficult to find a new video game that doesn’t support the technology. Now I’m off to get some fragging done!

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