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LG 3D Game Converter adds depth to regular 2D games

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Spoiler alert! Instead of waiting to surprise people at IFA this week, LG has released details of its new 3D Game Converter for the Optimus 3D early. The software arrives as part of the October maintenance release, promising to take any OpenGL game that runs in landscape and convert it to 3D. Around 50 games will come with pre-optimized settings -- the rest you tweak yourself. Open any game up in the app and it will try to split the foreground and background and recombine both in 3D. Feel your eyes crossing and a headache setting in just by thinking about playing this way? No worries, they're all still playable in 2D as well. Mouse on past the break to find the press release, which LG rather thoughtlessly only released in 2D.

[Thanks, Eddie]

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World's First 3D Game Conversion Engine for Smartphones to be Unveiled by LG at IFA 2011

SEOUL, Aug. 29, 2011 -– At IFA 2011 in Berlin next week, LG Electronics (LG) will demonstrate the world's first OpenGL-based 2D to 3D game conversion engine available on a smartphone platform. A result of LG's efforts to expand the quantity of 3D content and widen consumer adoption of 3D devices as gaming platforms, the 3D Game Converter is expected to open more doors to 3D gaming content.

The 3D Game Converter will be included in the first Maintenance Release (MR) of the LG Optimus 3D smartphone starting this October, the exact rollout date determined by each mobile carrier.

The 3D Game Converter is expected to benefit both game developers and smartphone users alike. Small and medium-sized game companies will be able to offer 3D versions of their existing 2D games without major investments in human resources, cost or time. Meanwhile, smartphone users will reap the benefits of being able to convert their 2D games into 3D anytime, anywhere free of charge.

"Our Game Converter is a major breakthrough for this industry," said Dr. Jong-seok Park, President and CEO of LG Electronics Mobile Communications Company. "Mobile gaming is a huge trend on the cusp of massive growth and LG is determined to be the de facto leader in this space."

Once the 3D Game Converter is installed, users can enjoy 3D on previously purchased 2D games1 simply by activating the 3D Game Converter. Games can be switched back to 2D just as easily.

When a user opens a 2D mobile game through the 3D Game Converter, the program automatically scans the game to see if it is listed among the 2D mobile games optimized for 3D conversion. If the game has been optimized, it will be converted into 3D using default visual settings. Unlisted OpenGL-based 2D games can still be converted to 3D by adjusting the settings manually. Optimized settings for approximately 50 2D games will be available by October, with 50 more to be added by year's end.

"Far from being a gimmick, LG's 3D Game Converter automatically recognizes the depth information based on the location of each object and separates the 2D graphic images for each eye," explained Dr. Henry Nho, LG's 3D Technology Evangelist. "Using the existing depth information, the 3D Game Converter generates two different images -- one for the foreground and one for the background. It then uses a thin film called Parallax Barrier on the display to show the left image to the left eye and the right image to the right eye, creating an illusion of visual depth."

LG has filed several patent licenses in major countries such as the U.K., Germany and the U.S. for technologies embedded in the 2D-3D game conversion feature.

Visitors attending IFA 2011 can experience LG Optimus 3D up close in Hall 11.2 of Messe Berlin.

1 OpenGL-based and landscape mode only.

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