While playing EQ2 a couple of weeks ago, I was just talking about system specs with some guild members. I happened to mention that I own a set of 3D Glasses from eDimensional and now that I have an LCD monitor I can’t use those anymore.
Well one of them actually went to the web page and told me in guild chat that LCD monitors are now supported with 3D Glasses. That of course excited me. Now I can use the glasses again!
What do 3D Glasses do? They make things pop out of your monitor, with real depth perception. Remember those 3D Movies which required you to wear red/blue glasses or those at the Science Centre where they hand out some sunglass-looking glasses? Yup, same technology. The games actually do not natively support 3D. What happens is that the signal sent from the video card to the monitor gets intercepted by a black box (a dongle) which splits the video into left eye and right eye images. So, for every frame, it needs to split it into 2, one for each eye. Each picture will have some “modifications” made to it to reflect distances portrayed by the various objects in the game.
The glasses then synchronises the left and right eye images by blocking out the corresponding eye for the images, so you only see the left eye image with your left eye and so on. This happens very quickly, at least 60 or 85 times a second, so your brain is now combining both images into one, like in real life, and thus, you see in real 3D as in the real world!
Yes, this uses a lot of CPU power, so effectively you play games at half speeds. However, with powerful PCs and graphic cards nowadays, this is not really a problem anymore. The problem lies with the monitor – the faster your refresh rate, the less “headaches” you will have (some people have them, some don’t). I personally don’t have problems wearing those glasses for hours on end viewing 3D. I actually missed 3D when I swapped to an LCD monitor.
So anyway, I went to the eDimensional website and placed an order for the new 3D Glasses, as well as the TrackIR Pro product. I am hoping that it will help me with situational awareness as I fly in LOMAC. Yes, with flight sims, situational awareness is important. With the TrackIR I think I can even forget about needing the Padlock function in the game anymore. Since my head can move and pan the camera of the game, I can actually “follow” in real time where the bogey is without losing sense of direction.
They shipped my order out on 11th, and if you add 10 days to that, it will arrive in Singapore on 22nd May at the latest. However, since that is the maximum number of days it will arrive, I am betting on it getting here sometime on Wednesday or Thursday, ie 18th or 19th.
Man I can’t wait to play in 3D again! I wonder how EQ2 will look like? Hmmm…