Darkworks shows off TriOviz for Games 2D-to-3D SDK, we get a good look

Darren Murph
D. Murph|03.12.10

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Darkworks shows off TriOviz for Games 2D-to-3D SDK, we get a good look
Darkworks introduced its TriOviz for Games SDK yesterday during GDC, and while TriOviz technology has been around for years in Hollywood, it wasn't until today that this same technology debuted for console and PC titles. Essentially, this software wrapper enables standard 2D video games to be viewed in 3D on a traditional 2D display, and we were able to sneak an exclusive look at the technology today at the company's meeting room. We were shown a European version of Batman: Arkham Asylum on Microsoft's Xbox 360, and we were given a set of specialized glasses (which were passive, unlike NVIDIA's active-shutter 3D Vision specs) in order to enjoy the effect. So, how was it? In a word or two, not bad. It obviously wasn't perfect, but you have to realize just how cheap of a solution this is for the consumer to implement. All that's required is a set of special glasses, but given that these can be distributed in paper-frames form, you could easily find a set for a couple of bucks (at most), if not bundled in for free with future games. Users won't need to purchase any additional hardware whatsoever, and what they'll get is a deeper, more immersive image in return.

We could very clearly see the 3D effect, and even though it was subtle, it definitely enhanced our experience. We noticed a minor bit of blurring and ghosting during just a few scenes, but when you consider that this doesn't actually change the underlying code in existing 2D games (that's the cue for developers to breathe a sigh of relief), we didn't feel that these minor quirks were unreasonable. The other interesting aspect is just how clear the image remained for onlookers that didn't have 3D glasses on; we noticed slight image doubling at specific points, but it's not something we simply couldn't look at without acquiring a headache.

More after the break...

We dug in with a few questions, and we were told that this technology could be applied to actual 3D HDTVs (requiring 120Hz or more) with just a small software tweak, and existing titles could be "upgraded" to 3D by giving users a simple update via DLC portals. We also found that the 3D effect could be toggled on and off in the settings menu of games, and while Darkworks wasn't able to spill details on upcoming titles that would support this stuff, we definitely got the idea that more than a few announcements were imminent.

We also noticed that the effect was most significant in games with high polygon counts (yet another reason the Wii is being overlooked here), and thanks to the low barrier to entry from a consumer standpoint, we're guessing that these guys will be getting lots of attention from developers. We know -- it's easy to pass stuff like this off as yet another gimmick, but we're all for improvements where no additional hardware purchases are required, and we can't help but think that this would be a nice option to have on some of the more visually complex titles hitting the market. Here's hoping we'll hear more on that in the not-too-distant future.
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