Crytek, the current industry-leaders in 3D game engine technology, announced earlier this week that Crysis 2 will indeed have Stereoscopic 3D (S-3D) enabled when the game ships this holiday.
Just one day prior to EA press event at E3 earlier this week, Crytek’s President and CEO, Cevat Yerli, told USA Today:
“The success of 3D movies like Avatar and the introduction of 3D TVs from the hardware manufacturers tells us that this is the next big movement in entertainment, much like HD was years ago. For games especially, 3-D gives gamers an increased level of immersion, which can enhance an intense experience like Crysis 2.”
This hardly comes as a surprise given the sudden upsurge in industry heads force-feeding us 3D as the next great techology leap. Crysis 2 is being developed on the CryENGINE 3 platform, which itself was the subject of much lyrical waxing prior to this year’s GDC by CryENGINE’s Director of Global Business Development, Carl Jones:
“After the successful introduction of CryENGINE 3 at last year’s GDC, we are really excited to show the latest version of our all-in-one game development solution this year in stereoscopic 3D. Over the past few years, S-3D technology has emerged as one of the key trends both in movies and games. With CryENGINE 3, developers will have the ability to create their content in 3D on all platforms. There are basically no longer any limits to a designer’s creativity. CryENGINE 3 features many innovations to accelerate development, cut production costs and ensure teams are able to maximize their own creativity without delays.”
Here is the stereoscopic 3D E3 Teaser trailer for Crysis 2. If you don’t own a pair of cardboard green and red 3D glasses, don’t worry, no one else does either. I actually think the last time I used the green/red glasses was when I watched Jaws III back in the 80’s.
Crytek has made it very clear in the past that their unified platform-aggregation development pipeline will essentially provide the exact same gaming experience on PC, XBOX 360 and PS3; which implies that 3D will also be available on all 3 platforms. The big question on my mind right now is one of performance. Implementing 3D will most likely be applied to the game as a post-rendering filter, allowing the player to turn it on and off after the engine loads into memory. Will enabling 3D in this way hit the game’s frame rate negatively? Or could Crytek choose to maintain the frame rate while in 3D mode by lowering the overall resolution or disabling less essential environment effects, such as full world reflection and diffuse lighting? In either scenario, the trade-off has to be a fair one, otherwise this will fail.
3D isn’t for everyone. Indeed it is still in the throes of critical uncertainty that all new media types struggle through in their fledgling years. For me, I do like the idea of 3D. The thought of images being projected out of the television’s frame and into my living room fills me with awe at the face that we really do live in the future now. That said, the reliance on glasses to make the technology work has to go. If 3D is to succeed as the media moguls desperately want it to, there needs to be a focus on in-screen 3D technology that does not require any kind of eye-wear, like the implementation found in the Nintendo 3DS.
What do you Ranters think? Is 3D doomed to the same fate HD DVD suffered several years ago, or is it here to stay? If it is, are you going to embrace it, or reject it utterly and tell it to get off your lawn?
Crysis 2 is slated for release holiday 2010 for PC, XBOX 360 and PS3.