The PS3 already has some 3D games available to download and play on a 3DTV, but they're either racers, platformers or puzzle games. There's no hardcore action titles, no first person shooters to watch bullets buzzing past you as you try to decimate the hordes of aliens/robots/soldiers coming your way. Yet. David over at Kotaku had a hands-on session with Killzone 3's 3D version, and discovered that converting a FPS to 3D is a lot more complicated than just adding a virtual third dimension.
Things that needed to be taken into account during the creation of a 3D Killzone title included where on screen elements like the HUD and crosshair need to live, as Guerrilla’s Steven Ter Heide told Kotaku:
“There’s a very subtle thing that you don’t notice at first with the cross-hair,” says Ter Heide. “With 3D the amount of information that you have to take in is a lot more – you’re focusing on a certain area, you’re looking into the depth – whereas with ’2D’ you’re taking in the entire image. The area around the cross-hair is really important because you’re so much more focused on that area. The cross-hair has to behave perfectly and always has to be at the right level of depth if you are able to understand where things are. If it’s constantly here [holds his hand in front of his face]then it’s weird, it’s a very jarring effect.
“What we had to do was devise a system that scans how much depth there is and we adjust the layer of depth that the cross-hair sits at. It constantly looks at the environment and says, okay, now it needs to be in front of this rock. If you’re in front of a wall or if there’s a beam moving past then it’s very subtle, the cross-hair just glides in front of it, so it’ll just go into the depth very smoothly. It’s something you don’t notice at first, but when you start thinking about it you realise this is something we needed to do otherwise it simply wouldn’t work.”
Not only did they have to devise that system, but also address the performance issues that arise from that extra processing that needs to happen.
As much as I'm sceptical of 3D's place in my own gaming future, reading David's account has me intrigued just enough to spend some time playing Killzone 3 in 3D when it launches next year. It will be fascinating to see how it performs.