Entering a 3D World – Thoughts on the PlayStation 3D Display

I have have been on a collecting kick lately. I have suddenly been fretting over the PS3 and Vita stores suddenly shutting down. I’ve been slowly rebuilding my physical PS3 collection. I even snagged a copy of Metal Gear Solid for the PS1 finally. Frankly, this collecting kick has been a PlayStation one.

As I bought PS3 games, I noticed the 3D game logo on the box of Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception, Arkham City, and Sly Cooper: Thieves in Time. It’s a small-ish icon that indicates the game can be played in 3D on a compatible TV. Then I remembered that my friend bought one of those PlayStation 3D Displays and ended up giving it to his younger brother. I reached out and one trade later, I became the proud owner of a 3D TV.

After a snafu with which glasses to buy off eBay, I finally ended up with Sony TDG-BR100 Active 3D Glasses. They use 2032 batteries instead of an internal, rechargeable one. Turns out that decade old batteries that haven’t been recharged regularly aren’t a good fit for a sustainable accessory. The rest of the tech in built into the display itself.

Before diving into the 3D effect itself, I want to talk about a few other details with the display. It is a 24’’ screen and has two HDMI 1.4a ports and one component input. It has a whitewash sort of look from the edges of the display, especially on a black image. I probably need to spend some time properly calibrating it, but the white light is slightly off-putting. Thankfully, this disappears when 3D is actually in use and I usually end up ignoring it once I am actually in a game.

The 3D itself can be auto-detected stereoscopic 3D, side-by-side, or top-and-bottom. You can toggle this with a 3D button on the rear of the display. This is incredibly useful when it comes to 3D gaming outside of the built in support in the PS3 or Xbox 360.

Now for the star of the show, the actual 3D effect. I know I am nearly a decade late, but what a cool, additive effect. This isn’t VR nor is it the iconic red and blue anaglyph 3D of yore. The closest comparison I can think of is the 3DS actually. While some 3DS games were actually designed with and for 3D, the small set of PS3 games I have tried have made it an bonus effect, enhancing the games by giving them depth and a sense of space.

Uncharted 3 (unsurprisingly) wowed me the most. Most reports from the time touted Uncharted 3 as the “killer game” for 3D gaming and it’s easy to see after a few minutes between the games I tried. The next time I play any of these games, I do plan on giving them a run on my PS3 in 3D.

What makes this display more than just some PS3 accessory, is the simple fact that it accepts any 3D signal over HDMI. So I can finally do things like play GameCube games in 3D like Nintendo originally experimented with . If 3DS emulation gets better, it could easily be a 3D display for playing those games on the “big” screen.

I am extremely happy to have this technology in my collection now, giving me a new way to play old games. It is a super small subset of titles within a smaller subset of video output, but it is still a part of gaming’s history. Plus, Naughty Dog made a game with it. So I had to own it.