Late Thursday night I rolled in to Jillian's at the Metreon Center spent and exhausted. A week of running around GDC was beginning to take it's toll, but I was told I had to come check out a special surprise dealing with Texas Instrument's DLP technology. Being a DLP owner myself I decided I'd check out what all the hub-bub was. Turns out it was really quite interesting.
What with all the new fangled HD TV's coming out every day, it was just a matter of time before someone came up with a 3D TV. Meaning one that can be viewed through polarized lenses giving us that god old time 3D movie. While the impact of this kind of TV on games may seem obvious, it wasn't as obvious as you might think. The focus of this demo was not to show off the 3D aspects but its effect of one of my biggest pet peeves of multi-player gaming, the split screen.
On display was a large Samsung DLP TV showing a racing game utilizing Texas Instrument's Duel View Technology. At first glance the image was a little confusing, looking something like a double exposed film of two different cars running a race track. But, with the addition of some Geordi LaForge-esque wrap around glasses and a little switch box, all be came clear. By utilizing the 3D technology, the screen was able to display each player's car and track full screen by layering the images on top of each other. Once wearing the glasses, the images were separated and each player could watch his own track full screen. By touching a little button, one could switch back and forth between images. Another TV was running a similar example with Halo.
It was a very exciting and interesting use of the technology, especially for gamers who like me, despise the split screen method. The ability to show things in this 3D manner is something that will be built in to all upcoming Samsung DLPs and has been available on some older models since Spring of last year. The Dual Screen technology however, is something that will have to be built into the game by the developers. Is this something we might see put into regular use in the future? I certainly hope so. While it does seem a bit of a novelty at first, I could see this catching on if the price was made right. Now your friend will never know you are waiting right behind that rock to frag his ass to hell.