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Is 3D gaming a waste of money?

The cases for and against splashing out on an expensive 3DTV

Whether we like it or not, 3D is looking like the inescapable future of video games. After cleaning up with Blu-ray, Sony is working hard to usher in another big industry standard.

With most finally coming to terms with the cost of a nice HDTV, buying an even more pricey 3D TV set is a big ask - but is it even worth it? Here, PSM3 makes the case for - and against - reaching for the credit card...

YES: 3D IS A GAME CHANGER!
Don't listen to the non-believers. 3D is a game changer. I was lucky enough to have a 3D TV in my gaffe over a weekend and the effect is all sorts of amazing. Even such a short time with the new technology was more than enough time to convince me its integration into games will be every bit as important as the step up to HD.

Hell, I was so impressed by the voodoo trickery going on inside my television, I physically flinched when I drove through puddles of water and mud in MotorStorm: Pacific Rift's demo. It sounds clichéd, but the sensation was so immersive, I was completely fooled. I could have sworn I was about to be splashed.

And that's ultimately what 3D can bring to the table; a level of sensory immersion that 2D can't provide. Both MotorStorm and the incredible photo mode in WipEout HD's new 3D patch displayed a level of fidelity and depth to the picture that completely pull you in to their worlds. I only hope it doesn't become a crutch for sloppy design to hide behind.

Right now, I'd gladly play stinkers as long as I could watch them in the third dimension. There's only one reason people don't want to check in at the ground floor of hotel 3D right now, and that's expense. When the prices of TVs start to tumble over the next year, and AAA games like Killzone 3 start flaunting the tech, everyone's going to want to don a pair of those chunky black glasses. -Dave Meikleham

NO: 3D IS AN OPTIONAL EXTRA, AND NOT A PARTICULARLY GOOD ONE
3D gaming is here. All hail Sony's mega-money white elephant. Quite simply, we don't need it - 3D is a waste of time, because it never offers a decent return on investment, be that financially or spiritually. The most obvious reason to stick to flat images right now is the cost. 3DTV's are insanely expensive, and although they'll drop in price over the next few years, it'll be at least a decade before 3D is a standard in the majority of households. It's taken HD that long to take over, and that was a much more significant advance than 3D.

Secondly, it's all about the glasses. 3D glasses make you look like a berk, and you pay £100 per pair for that privilege. Bargain. Combine them with the PS Move wand, and you become an unlovable nerd locked away in your own lonely world, gesticulating like an old man trying to swat a hornet as everyone around you slowly shuffles away. There are 3D TVs that don't use glasses, but they're even more expensive.

According to a recent study by The Eyecare Trust, 12 per cent can't process 3D anyway, thanks to poor binocular vision. The remaining 88% are advised not to watch 3D for longer than an hour at a time to avoid eye-strain. So, to conclude, the 3D gaming future is for monied, non-specs wearing people with great eye-sight, who are only allowed (sorry, advised - what's a little retinal damage between friends?) to play for an hour at a time. Sorry, I'm out. -Andy Hartup

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