Over the past couple of years I have seen about half a dozen films in 3D at the cinema, experienced 3D-TV sporting events and played with the new Nintendo 3DS. I doubt I have experienced much more or less of 3D technology in my life than your average consumer but enough to voice my opinion on it.
I really enjoyed Beowulf in 3D a couple of years ago at the cinema. It was my first 3D film experience, if you don’t count Alton Towers’ Cine360 in 1991!
Despite the initial 4-eyed awkwardness of the oversized 3D glasses on top of my regular glasses, I came away thinking that Beowulf looked amazing and I chatted to my mates about how you felt you were really in the action. I was genuinely impressed.
Fast-forward 2 years and 3D apathy has set in. I’ve seen Avatar, Toy Story 3, Alice in Wonderland, UP, Bolt (yes, I’m a Pixar/Anime Junkie) plus some others. I have gone on to purchase some of these on Blu-Ray and actually find them to be more enjoyable without the 3D element. Pixar’s first 3D film, UP was lovely to watch in the cinema but I don’t miss the 3D element on DVD/Blu-Ray. The biggest disappointment I found was with Toy Story 3. I frequently lifted the 3D glasses off my face at various moments during the film to compare the brightness of the projection. It was incredibly dark through the glasses and I missed the vibrancy of the animation. I don’t know if this is the cinema’s fault for not compensating the projector brightness or how the film was intended to be viewed but it was the final nail in the coffin for 3D for me. Plus I was fed up of paying an extra £2 for the novelty. Orange Wednesdays have never been so expensive!
Over the Christmas period I found myself in Currys/PC World in Cardiff looking at TVs with a friend. (A monster sized store with an army of sales assistants) They had a 3D-TV on display and a height adjustable stand with 3D glasses on top so you could watch the sport. I stood at the stand and watched some golf. Funnily enough I didn’t find it as bad as I thought but I just couldn’t sit through hours of 3D TV, I think it would give me a headache. Having said that I do know of someone who has bought a 3D TV. I will have to find out how they’re getting on with it.
Last but not least, the Nintendo 3DS. I managed to have a play with one of these a couple of weeks ago in Game. There were two on display that were playing a Nintendogs variety and a flying game. I must have spent a good 10 minutes nodding my head up and down trying to achieve a viewing angle that wasn’t blurred. You have to face the screen at a very precise angle to achieve the 3D effect but it eventually made me feel sick. I don’t normally get ill from games but this felt like motion sickness and I just had to walk away.
Kids may love 3D but I can’t face it anymore. It just makes me queasy. Maybe it’s an age thing? Maybe it’s a fad. It could certainly make or break Nintendo’s handheld market that has always been so lucrative.
All I can say is that the next couple of years are going to be interesting.