Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Finally, wearing glasses is cool!

Avatar is the highest grossing movie ever, yup even more than Street Fighter: The Movie. Now this is partly to do with it being a pretty spectacular film, and it's partly to do with the tickets being a stonking £9 at my local cinema. How can you justify almost a Darwin on a ticket? 3D of course, the latest craze that is sweeping through Hollywood, and allowing cinemas to increase their prices by 30%.

3D technology has come a long way since the red and blue lense glasses of the past, and Cameron's epic pushed the technology to a new level, relying on making the effect subtle and natural rather than focusing on having things fly out of the screen towards the audience. Globally more cinemas are embracing 3D technology and going out of their way to bill as many films that use technology as possible, and why not, a tidy profit can be made on the ticket sales, and assuming the gimmick doesn't die out there should be a steady flow of customers willing to watch films with that extra dimension.
As I said; 'assuming the gimmick doesn't die out' which may well be happening already thanks to over saturation of the genre. If the actual films aren't of a high enough quality then the technology has to take all of the weight, and when against 3 hours of poorly scripted uninspiring dance drama that's a lot of weight to carry. With things so up in the air you'd think that 3D would still be viewed as a novel experiment and not a new full blown entertainment medium, apparently the TV manufactures aren't on the same wave length as the first batches of '3D ready' televisions are going to be with us in just a few months.

Sony are leading the charge with the Bravia, featuring bulky 3D glasses that need to be 'activated' before use, thanks to their 'active shutter technology'. Hideous glasses aside the effect is almost exactly the same as that when watching on the massive screens of the local multiplex, but with the added bonus of being able to change the film, or pop in a PS3 game and enjoy it in glorious 3D. While the thought of playing Killzone 2 or Wipeout Fury in HD is pretty exciting, it's not quite enough to justify investing in a whole new TV unless you're already in the market for one. Extra glasses will be available for purchase as well as the set is rumoured to only ship with 2 pairs, also the industry standard of 3D technology has yet to be decided, so don't expect to be able to take your Sony glasses to your friends house to use with his Phillips. A few companies are working on 3D tv's that don't require glasses and use a lenticular screen similar to the material those fancy hologram DVD cases work, but as of CES none of the major companies seem to be taking this option very seriously.

It's too early to call the 3 dimension race just yet, especially as pricing has yet to be announced. It's certainly an interesting concept, but not something worth diving in to until the format wars have settled down.

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