So, lucky you – you got a new 3DTV for Christmas, eh? May I be the first to say, congratulations – you obviously understand that 3D is most certainly not a passing fad, and at the end of this article will be armed with the know-how to suitably impress your friends with all the 3D content you’ll have.
So, where does one actually go about getting 3D content then? Read on!
Playstation 3 – 3D Gaming Galore
Unlike the Xbox, which has focused on Kinect and media center-like capabilities this holiday season, Sony has been instrumental in pushing 3D gaming content on their masterpiece Playstation3 console. You can find a full list of compatible, 3D-mode enhanced games at Wikipedia, but here’s some highlights from both the Blu-ray disc and PSN download selection:
- Uncharted 3
- Wipeout HD
- Resistance 3
- Motorstorm (3D Rift and Apocalypse)
- Call of Duty: Black Ops (but not Modern Warfare 3, curiously)
Those are all triple AAA titles I pulled from the list, but there are tons more. While the PlayStation Move sensor has turned out to be a bit lame in comparison to the Xbox, it is most certainly winning the 3D battle. If Motorstorm 3D doesn’t impress your mates, I doubt anything else will.
(Picture credit: Kotaku)
You can download a small selection of 3D movies through the PSN Video Store too, but that’s just the icing on the cake really.
The Playstation is also able to act as a 3D picture viewer if you have photos from a recent 3D camera or from the Nintendo 3DS, removing the need to plug the camera directly into the TV through mini-HDMI cable.
With either a standalone Blu-Ray player or even a Playstation 3, you’ll now be able to playback a range of 3D movies available on Blu-Ray. Check out the full list at http://www.blu-ray.com/3d/ , but in general you should expect anything that’s heavy in FX or computer animated to be released with a 3D version going forward.
Note: The 3D BluRay versions are sold separately, so do check the version first. There’s also usually a little more expensive, but what’s $5 for a whole extra dimension!?
In the UK, Sky 3D is the only 3D specific TV channel at the moment and even then it’s only available to Sky customers, which is a crying shame. Those of us on Virgin Media are stuck with a 3D movies on demand option, at the ridiculous price of £6 for a 1-day rental. If anyone is still wondering, it’s this kind of pricing that makes people PIRATE MOVIES. Virgin, you officially suck.
In the US, there seems to be a much wider choicer with most cable networks embracing 3D somehow. DIRECTV has a 24/7 3D channel called 3net, as well as m3D and ESPN 3-D, while Comcast has Xfinity 3D that launched last year, and ESPN. We British are definitely getting the bum deal here.
PC Gaming Rig + Tridef/iz3D Drivers
I touched on this topic a while ago when addressing the frequently asked question “can my computer do 3D?“, but since you’re reading an article on getting 3D content for your shiny new 3DTV, I think we can safely assume you do actually have a 3DTV already. The good news is that nearly any modern computer is equipped with a graphics card capable of playing games in a 3D mode suitable for your TV. All you need are some replacement video drivers from TriDef or iz3D, Windows, and of course some games to play on it.
Results will be dependent upon the actual game – some may be more suited to 3D while some will display obvious visual artifacts or oddly placed objects in the 3D viewing space, but you should find something good. First person shooters are generally the best suited, but role play games like Fallout 3 are excellent too (go cross-eyed on the picture below for an example – you should see a 3D image merge in the centre), as well as racing games.
Without wishing to endorse or condone the downloading of copyrighted material, nor spark a moral debate – if you were so inclined, you could find 3D-BluRay movies just the same as you could any other movie – usually indicated with the tag [3D-SBS] or [half-SBS] – SBS meaning side-by-side. Bear in mind that for 3D HD 1080p content, you’re likely to be looking at about 5 to 15 gb download per movie.
Obviously this is 100% illegal, so please make your own moral decisions about breaking copyright law. Also, I will not be posting links to any torrent sites, so please don’t ask me to in the comments.
That’s it from me, and I hope you can see why I tend to yawn when it’s said that there simply isn’t enough 3D content out there. My personal suggestion is to get a PlayStation, as that not only opens up a world of gaming to you but also acts as a great BluRay player. If that’s out of your budget, try hooking up your computer instead and replaying some of your favorite games in 3D.
Got any more tips for where to find 3D content? Share your bounty in the comments!