The 3D Plateau. Have We Seen The End?

I have now written several articles talking about VR and AR and what they are and what I think of them and how they’re going to impact the world and so on and so forth.

Today I will be talking instead about a feature that many like, but few tend to think of when it comes to gaming:

3D capabilities.

Like VR, this concept has been around for a little while, at first it was just with blue and red glasses and movies, but it grew to become something…well…the word that comes to mind is: interesting.

Nintendo was really the only company trying to take advantage of 3D, no one else really cared enough to stop production with motion controls or whatever. Nintendo had already moved on from that though, and in 2011 they launched the 3DS, just like a regular DS, but with a circle pad, 3D tech, and much better graphics.

The 3DS is definitely one of the most innovative pieces of tech to come out in the past decade, there was really a lot to like about the handheld. For one, they added something that improved upon what handhelds have been for the past 20 years, the circle pad. Before handhelds always had a d-pad for movement because an analog stick required more space to allow for ease of use, it was just simpler to use the d-pad. But with the circle pad, you had something that was just as good but wasn’t s****y to use. The circle pad lies almost flush with the casing but has a decent and smooth range of motion so you can play all your 3DS and DS games with all the maneuverability of a controller.

That’s only the tip of the iceberg too, with all of the tech they pumped into the thing, you had all sorts of awesome 3D experiences with big titles and also with a lot of smaller downloadable games from the e-shop, a lot of good titles came out on the 3DS over its lifespan.

But unfortunately, all this must come to an end now as none of this will matter for much longer. Nintendo is coming out with a new 2DS XL, a version of a 3DS XL but without the 3D. The 2DS was introduced as a cheaper option that also wouldn’t “strain your eyes” with the 3D effect. It was interesting but ultimately awkward to hold or use because the top screen didn’t close over the bottom, it was just a tablet with two screens and buttons. But now the new 2DS XL will feature the classic clamshell design of the 3DS, so all it will be missing now will be the 3D, but do we really care about that?

I mean, 3D is cool and all, but I’m not sure it’s worth paying 100 more dollars for. You can play 3DS games without 3D and still have fun, if anything the 3D is just a gimmick. It was cool in the beginning when it was mindblowing how 3D could be achieved without glasses, but now it’s kind of irrelevant now as 3D could never really be the future anyways.

Every tech has its limits, and 3D has reached that point pretty quickly. There’s only so much you can do with 3D without turning it into just a holodeck, the point of 3D is that there is a 2-dimensional image that is able to pop out due to an outside force. What are you going to do after you eliminate the glasses? That’s it, you’ve kind of done everything you need to do, and there’s not even really a reason to keep spending time developing yet because there are other things to work on that ultimately will be the future.

So that’s my stance on 3D. What do you think?

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