Sony has admitted that stereoscopic 3D had its own inherent limitations, and has responded to complaints about having to wear glasses to view games that use stereoscopic 3D. They have said that it’s the best solution and explain why.
Mick Hocking, Sony’s 3D Gaming head said at the Develop conference “There are already glasses-free TVs, big screens and small screens out there. The problem with glasses-free, or auto-stereoscopic as it’s called, is that it has inherent limitations. With stereoscopic 3D, however you do it, you’ve got to get one image to the left eye and one image to the right eye to produce the stereoscopic effect. So with all these screens they typically have a sweet spot for where you need to put your head in distance and in angle, and if you move your head relative to it, you break the 3D effect until you get into the next pair of images, and you see artefacts going across the screen.”
Continuing on, he cited mobile devices that have a 3D effect, and that a lot of work is being pooled into auto-stereoscopic screens because not everyone likes to wear glasses, and is an extra thing they have to do to enjoy it as intended. He also said that the only way to enjoy it with current technology is with 3D glasses.
Glasses-free 3D TV is a very high level of technology, and also extremely complicated, delicate, and elaborate. It might not come out for another ten or fifteen years. Like it or not, but we are starting to hit the limits of how much we can cram into one chip or screen. Early LCD screens, even the simplest ones had major problems when viewed at an angle, with the colors becoming very quickly distorted and unreadable, but this issue was resolved when LCD became the norm over CRT.
He ended with “There’s lots and lots of work going on on auto-stereoscopic screens because people wearing glasses is something extra for them to do to enjoy the content. We’ve been saying over the last 12 months, if the content is good enough and compelling enough, the only way at the moment to enjoy full high definition 3D is on TVs with the glasses.”
3D has been around far longer than most people think, and it was awful in its primitive forms like all technology at its inception. I feel that ballpark estimates of ten years for no glasses 3DTV is a huge stretch however. Technology is rapidly improving at a quadratic rate. The difference between the early Commodore and Amiga was minimal, NES and Master System had a significant leap, Master System to Genesis and SNES was very noticeable. Then came the PSX. After that, the PS2 which rendered stellar graphics of CGI movie quality. Then the PS3 and 360 came along, the difference between them and the previous generation far greater than any other.
Right now, it’s just a pipe dream, and to be completely honest, I still see 3D as nothing but a very cool gimmick.