James Cameron: Games will spur 3D display adoption

Oscar-winning film director says video games will help indoctrinate new glasses-free technology; would "love" a 3D-enabled <i>Avatar</i> MMORPG.

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Games--not film--will be the catalyst for the mass adoption of glasses-free 3D technology, says film icon James Cameron.

Cameron--who directed Avatar, the most popular film of all time--recently spoke at the NAB 2011 Show in Las Vegas and said technology like Nintendo's 3DS will help drive sales of 3D displays.

Gaming will help 3D become popular, says Cameron.

"Video games are going to help propel the autostereoscopic (glasses free) play because that's going to be the entry level for most people," Cameron told Yahoo! gaming blog Plugged In. "These single-viewing devices that are engaging the person to play these video games will drive a lot of investment in autostereoscopic displays for that very reason. That technology will trickle up to the larger 3D displays that will be used for home viewing and gaming."

Cameron said he does not expect glasses-free 3D viewing technology to come to theaters in his lifetime, but he does expect the technology to arrive for in-home viewing, as he sees it as a necessity.

"One of the big barriers to 3D right now is that you have to wear glasses in the home," Cameron said. "Home viewing is very different than movie theater viewing. I don't think we'll ever get rid of the glasses in movie theaters. Not in my lifetime, anyway, but we're going to get rid of them at home because it's a different viewing model type. You're distracted at home. You're doing other things. You're pausing a game or a movie and going to get pizza or whatever it is. It's not the same very dedicated sort of consciousness that you have in a movie theater, so getting rid of the glasses will be a big deal."

Cameron and his special effects studio partnered with Ubisoft to ship James Cameron's Avatar: The Game in 2009. The game was not highly praised, but it did sell almost 3 million units. Looking ahead, Cameron said a 3D-enabled Avatar massively multiplayer online role-playing game is a possibility.

"I'd love to do an MMORPG experience inside the Avatar universe, and I would like to see it authored in 3D," said Cameron. "I'd like to see people doing gameplay in 3D, so that's something that we're looking to do. But we're not active on that yet."

Nintendo's recently released 3DS--which does not require glasses--has sold 3.6 million units worldwide since it debuted in Japan in February. The Wii successor--which Nintendo recently made official--will offer "something new," but it likely will not be 3D, as it would require glasses, and Nintendo has said "goggle-type 3D technology was not going to work."

Discussion

83 comments
Coolyfett
Coolyfett

HD over 3D any day of the week.

wyan_
wyan_

I like 3D. It's nice. :)

lock445
lock445

I think Mr. Cameron should stick to the film business.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

@Dekanis, I completely agree, I really do. 3D I'm sure is a tool that could be used by a savvy developer to create something really interesting, much in the same way a game with good traditional visuals may be enhanced. But all too often graphics/ 3D etc. are used to mask a very poor underlying game. We're at the point now where we have to ask whether technological advances are actually making games better or prettier, and whether those two concepts meaningfully have anything to do with each other. I've seen far too many terrible games that look pretty to believe they do.

bad_fur_day
bad_fur_day

I %100 agree with Shimya. Avatar once is quite enough thanks.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

@jehuty599 Its true that its breaking all kinds of records. I'm just curious how many people are buying it to test their 3D tv's because its just the standard.

shimya
shimya

Dear Mr James Cameron, I really hope you are reading this. Please don't make any more Avatar anything. Thank you.

oneligas
oneligas

3D is to lame seizure inducing garbage

Zloth2
Zloth2

"It's not the same very dedicated sort of consciousness that you have in a movie theater..." Wow. Guess he hasn't seen me play my games. @bsnimunf - yeah, I've noticed that watching movie trailers in 3D on my PC. Even the moon looks like its only an inch or so inside the screen. Pathethic. Games are NOT like that. Objects can stick way out of the screen and distant objects are very far away. (Best of all, you can adjust it without having a theater full of people yelling at you for it.) I'm not sure what the 3DS is like. To get something to appear to be very far away, the two images have to be as far apart as your eyes. Is the 3DS screen big enough to do that? Maybe just for things near the center of the screen?

Dmg051793
Dmg051793

As if 3D wasn't already popular James Cameron.

TrueProphecy22
TrueProphecy22

I didn't have much interest in 3D gaming until I was able to try a 3DS. It was so amazing, it's something you really have to see for yourself to believe.

Dekanis
Dekanis

@Richardthe3rd, "3D: the next big technological scapegoat corporate game developers will use to compensate for poor gameplay and design" Weird how nintendo has started with 3D, but Nintendo focus' a lot on the gameplay and design mechanics. Nobody could say that Nintendo has bad gameplay, it may have lack luster story in some games and lacking voice acting in most, which isn't always a down side, because voice acting can ruin characters and the game itself. I am sure some of the companies creating the games that have great HD technology uses are just using that as a scapegoat for poor gameplay and design too... that does not mean all of them.

Jehuty599
Jehuty599

@Phil-teh-Pirate, KWHCoaster, Onix95 I guess it all comes down to personal choice, but for me and 95% of the rest of the planet, Avatar is the best movie made...period. The box office, DVD/Blue-Ray sales numbers back up my point. I know some say it's has a Pocahontas or Dances with Wolves plot...Bla Bla Bla, whatever, it's still a great story anyway you look at it, even if the story has been told before, it's never been told in a way this good ;). @Kan0nF0dder Those are great movies you mentioned, but those moves all combined probably did make as much money as Avatar...LOL. Serously though, those movies cannot compare on any level, and don't forget Avatar has 2 more sequels on the way. Hopefuly they start working on the Avatar 3D MMO so that it's ready to play by the time the Avatar 3 movie comes out, that would be cool as long as they take they're time and do it right.

OmegaGear
OmegaGear

@Onix95 ... in space! Can't forget that detail that totally makes it unique!

otanikun
otanikun

Yeah but your Avatar Game really didn't help in that regard Mr. Cameron, just sayin

mtait01
mtait01

they're going to mr cameron? I think they already are...

Puzzler_Aaron
Puzzler_Aaron

[This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

thenephariouson
thenephariouson

@Richardthe3rd, "3D: the next big technological scapegoat corporate game developers will use to compensate for poor gameplay and design" Brilliant! I absoloutely agree!

Onix95
Onix95

"Avatar is the best movie ever made....EVER" Right.. the storyline is nothing more than Dances with Wolves meets Ferngully.

Barighm
Barighm

Sorry James, but I can't agree with you. I once advocated the same thing and believed glassess-free would solve everything, but now we have the 3DS and people are still getting dizzy and nauseous. Let's face it, tricking the brain into seeing 3D images is an aggravating and irritative practise our brains do not like. Don't worry. Given the way technology has been advancing lately, we'll probably be watching holographic displays by the end of the decade.

bsnimunf
bsnimunf

Next time you are watching a 3d film at the cinema try closing one eye and opening it. Repeat this throughout the film. You will notice that 98% of the time the 3d effect is not even noticeable yet we are expected to pay an extra £4 for the privilege. Ives toped going to the cinema because I’m sick of being forced to watch 3d films when I can barely tell the difference.

biagio55
biagio55

screw 3d its holograms which are the way forward

bigmark119
bigmark119

When will the 3D crazy die out, its getting old, i just want to play my games and watch tv normaly i dont need something that requires me to wear stupit glasses or will damage my eyes...

holtrocks
holtrocks

@Taegre theres a long term payout being blind when you 35

holtrocks
holtrocks

@Indyskater i can handle it i just don't care for it like maybe ill see a movie with it but i would HATE to game with it

holtrocks
holtrocks

Don't like 3D and definitely won't be gaming with it this will never be super popular to many ppl don't like 3D

tko6070
tko6070

we will all be blind in 10 years from laser eye surgery and 3d movies!

ReD_FeLony
ReD_FeLony

I don't think glasses-free 3D will ever have the same field depth potential as glasses 3D. I understand why glasses-free is important for portables, but why it's important at home I simply do not. Basically; I wish they work on super-depth more than glasses-free

XenoLair
XenoLair

Watching a movie JUST because its 3D, playing a game JUST because its 3D ... no thanks. When it feels natural and when publishers find there's no need to put a big 3D sign on the box I'll consider joining the 3D side. Currently to me it feels just a like a big gimmick to get more money.

Archias
Archias

3D needs to go away until it's advanced enough to not require color and image degrading glasses. Also, I don't appreciate being forcefully told what I need to focus on on the screen.

Dr_Corndog
Dr_Corndog

I won't buy a 3D TV until (a) they get rid of the glasses, and (b) 3D TVs cost the same as regular TVs, or they replace 2D TVs entirely. Because, let's face it, 3D TVs and movies are a gimmick, and I'm not paying extra for a gimmick.

Marky360
Marky360

I totally agree with Mr.Cameron I thinking gaming will lead the way in the invent of glasses free 3D displays in the home I bet the the three big hardware manufactures(Sony,Microsoft and Nintendo) are already trying to find ways to make it possible. I disagree with his statement that we won't be seeing glasses free 3D displays in theaters in his life time though. Technology moves very fast and I think once manufactures can discover how to make larger glasses free 3d displays for home viewing it will be only a matter of time before they figure out how to do it for theaters.

Indyskater
Indyskater

It seems to me that those that hate 3D are those that can't handle it.

pokecharm
pokecharm

its interesting that he would weigh in on this...I know he is at the forefront, so to speak, with Avatar, but I don't know that this will ever catch on as it should, but video games do seem to be leading the way technologically, so why not in this arena?

remysola
remysola

I love Nvidia 3d and using glasses + headphones is not difficult for me. 3d someday will hit mainstream (when 3d TVs become a standard). Many people hates 3d now something similar happened in the 30's when silent movies started slow but definitively replaced. Nowadays nobody imagines a movie without audio my bet is in the future next generations won't imagine TV shows, movies and games without 3d. Like current teenagers cannot imagine a world without Internet, cell phones or cars.

foxhound_fox
foxhound_fox

The 3D fad is already waning. It is just a form of cinema DRM, making it impossible for pirates to video tape the movies and spread them on the internet. There is no real advantage to using pseudo-3D images to "add" something to a movie or a game. It just makes it pop out of the screen. It took me two minutes using the 3DS to get dizzy. I hate being dizzy. So I couldn't care less about 3D in my games or my movies, especially if it makes them cost more.

Kan0nF0dder
Kan0nF0dder

@Jehuty599 I'm totally behind the 3D push, but I doubt somehow those people saying Avatar is not the best movie ever were thinking of Scott Pilgrim, this site is made up of more than just 14yr olds you know? How about BladeRunner? The Good the Bad and the Ugly? Apocalypse Now? Star Wars or The Godfather?

Taegre
Taegre

Unless a developer can do something in (the illusion of) 3D that cannot possibly be done in 2D viewing, there just isn't a purpose to it. Even James Cameron's Avatar makes us wonder if the 3D effects were worth the time and effort after the third viewing when the novelty has well worn off. I'm all for moving media forward, but 3D is too much cost with very little long-term payout.

Richardthe3rd
Richardthe3rd

3D: the next big technological scapegoat corporate game developers will use to compensate for poor gameplay and design.

Phil-teh-Pirate
Phil-teh-Pirate

Unless I begin farting money, I don't think I'm sold on 3D just yet thanks James Cameron... @Jehuty599 Before that Titanic held this "The movie is the highest grossing in history, and won a bunch of awards" achievement... Are you saying Titanic was the best movie ever before Avatar? Because you are very very wrong. Theres tonnes of better movies out there...

KWHCoaster
KWHCoaster

"Avatar is the best movie ever made....EVER" Hardly. An average movie propped up with a large budget and marketing campaign.

Jehuty599
Jehuty599

Avatar is the best movie ever made....EVER, the game was bad, there's no denying that....but that was Ubisofts fault. The movie is the highest grossing in history, and won a bunch of awards. You people that are up here saying it sucked are flat out wrong...your probably the type that thought Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World was the best ever....LOL, go back to watching your cartoon's and teeny flicks. And he's right, 3D will catch on as soon as they make 3DTV's viewable without the glass's...that's why I haven't bought a 3DTV yet.

GodzillaX8
GodzillaX8

I'd rather they start making TVs with a resolution higher than 1080p for gaming instead of 3D. Most people I know have a hard time enjoying anything in 3D, because of how bad it looks and how much it hurts their eyes.

Spacerac
Spacerac

@Icehearted ain't that the truth. My CRT was manufactured in 03. It can do component input (which I only started using last year for my PS2 and then PS3 w/ PS2 B/C) but it can't do progressive scan. Still, before I used component I didn't know the graphics sucked for my PS2 games on the standard yellow cable! Until yo upgrade you never realize there's anything wrong with what you had (in some cases). So I at least get decent picture but sometimes yellow shows up in the corner so yeah, it's time for a new tv. I want to hold off for 3D but Uncharted 3...

Jedilink109
Jedilink109

@Icehearted Well granted my point kind of hinged on if you had the money for a new tv, you'd choose an HD set. Either way, I see people sticking with their CRT sets even though they're COMPLETELY messed up. I think 3D is good and works well as long as it is correctly focused. There's one theater I've been to where the projector isn't fully calibrated and focused correctly and it's a strain on the eyes. However I went to another theater and the 3D was correctly calibrated and was clear as day (I saw Avatar). Despite sitting there for 2 and a half hours I came out of that one with NO eye fatigue. As long as you're able to view the 3D correctly it's fine. I'm still not jumping on board it yet until they make the sets like the 3DS glasses-less 3D.

comb5
comb5

Why was James Cameron at a convention? Shouldn't he be busy making a sequel to Blue Pocahontas?

raptures330
raptures330

All new formats need the killer app to become widely used. CDs took forever to become standard, just as DVDs have, and Blu-Ray is on it's 4th year solo as the next-gen disk format. 3D will have a 10 year adoption cycle like everything else has. CDs used music to become standard, DVDs used movies... Bluray used gaming (PS3) to win the war and 3D will use games as well. These companies have their fingers in MANY pies (just take a look at the way Sony is put together). They will use their other pies to make you want the 3D pie more and more until you buy it. As for the people saying that old and poor people with CRTs mean that 3D adoption rate will not happen, I will say 1 thing: not their target market. They do not care that old people "don't get it" or poor people "can't afford it." It is a luxury item and they want people with extra cash on hand as their market.

Indyskater
Indyskater

Black and white TV to color to HD and now to 3D. 3D being the hardest jump to make because people have issues viewing it, plus the whole needing to wear glasses issue. I've always loved 3D way back when and spent a lot of time doing all the different ways you can view 3D. I believe my eyes and brain have adjust to 3D very well as I have no ill effects and can really appreciate the 3D for what it offers. For us to see 3D is natural, but our eyes and brain isn't trained for viewing the illusion of 3D on a 2D screen, but once you get use to it, its awesome!

Spacerac
Spacerac

3D has come a long way from red blue and is here to stay now. Deal with it.