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3D First-Ever Gaming Summit: Download - Screenmancer Exclusive

by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent

3D First-Ever Gaming Summit: Download - Screenmancer Exclusive -- RIDING SHOTGUN: THE DIGITAL COWBOYS AT 3D'S 1ST GAMING SUMMIT by Quendrith Johnson, Los Angeles Correspondent By now at the first-of-its-kind 3D Gaming Summit (tm) in Universal City, if your mind wasn't blown listening to the haute hi-tech intelligensia quoting JC, then you must have an analogue pulse. The favored JC (James Cameron) quote of the day is "you are in the game, this is immersive media." Luckily we don't have to rely solely on name-dropper hearsay. There are stats, real stats, from Michael Cai, from Santa Monica, CA based research firm Interpret LLC. "RAW DATA SO FRESH WE DIDN'T HAVE TIME TO CONVERT THE SLIDES INTO 3D" -- MICHAEL CAI Cai, who is a quite genius masquerading as VP Research/Videogames, lightly taps the bat at the podium and hits a 3D homerun: "For all those people who had Lasik, now they have to wear glasses. This doesn't go down so well with the consumer." You get the feeling he wants to be careful in the words he chooses for the hardcore gamer pop vs general pop 3D consumers, as in: "they're very laid back. They want to lay back on their couch, play games" (read: 420 friendly). Soft-spoken, but carrying some heavy stats, Cai broke down the reality of enhanced reality 3D Gaming: "If it is hard for our analysts who are experts, when it comes to the consumer, it's a total mess." 78% of consumers don't know if they can access 3D, convert their current system, or whistle Dixie. But that's what the Digital Cowboys are for: Mark Rein, Epic Games; Mike Acton, Insomniac Games; Matty Rich, a Hollywood directed turned "urban" game developer; Dave Perry, Gaikai; Luis Giglioti, THQ; Greg Spence (Lead Programmer, EverQuest II) SONY Online; Christian Svensson, Capcom Entertainment; David Coombes, 3D guru, These original G's of the gaming industry are a Who's Who of same. They deal in terms like "First Person Shooter" games versus "Racing games" for a "total immersive experience." Epic's Mark Rein said "don't confuse technology with content; don't believe any bullshit from the blitz guys on the secret sauce in their technology." It's all about the game, that is, not the digital gymnastics. "You 'll be able to create a way better 3D experience at home," Rein added, "we don't give a shit about designing for the big screen, that's not our business." Matty Rich just wants "it to be cheaper" for the urban market. Dave Perry, Gaikai president, admitted "cheaper and smaller, actually." "I'm an old school guy," Perry said. "I remember when games were black and white, drawn in 1K; then we went to 16K. We didn't know what to do with all that memory at first -- now that's the amount that loads just the logo." "If you map the path we've been on, 3D is the end, right? There is no 4D. Now it's on to HD (stereo)." For these DC's (digital cowboys) it's all about "bringing geometric realism to the PC games." And they've considered everything including "ribbons hanging down around you in a room" to create an (in-the-round) 3D experience. Grady Hannah, from DARKWORKS, now a licensed SONY middleware provider, plays Batman Arkham Asylum and speaks so convincingly about the future of 3D, he makes you understand -- it will influence cameraphones, toothpaste (3D, as if, now marketed no kidding), even life as we know it. And the formula for 3D worldwide domination is simple: MSG. That stands for Movies/Sports/Games. Imagine watching an NBA game and dialing in with your phone as controller to play an NBA-sanctioned game at halftime on your TV. Dan Albritton, Co-Founder (with his girlfriend) and CEO of Megaphone has you dialed in already. He is a geek extraordinaire out of NYU, whose GF took a class on hacking cell phones, and hit pay dirt in her quest to crack the code. Albritton is a billionaire waiting to happen. "People are catching up," he notes. This is the kind of wunderkind Steve Jobs must have been way back when. In Target clothing with a backpack good for a skateboarder half his age, the Megaphone CEO is kind of the underdog megabrain movies are based on. And the only obvious technology is his MAC. (He doesn't have cards, uses a pen!) Playstation's British-sounding 3D guru David Coombes quickly caveats: "I'm in development, any of you media people, talk to someone else." Then launches into SONY's new micro-phone looking wand-with-a-ligh-ball-on-top controller. "You see, swords... watch... and this is funny, I can reach down and pick things up (virtually). It's tracking my every move." Ping-pong paddles and light sabers and puppets appear in his hands on the screen, rendering Coombes a warrior clown in a digital reality to come. "What's kind of fun is, because of the tracking, I can look around the wall and see things (in virtual reality)." Things that aren't there yet, presumably. Coombes gets heavy for a moment, "the left eye is always red, we don't want (3D color) separation, it's the parallax." The parallax he is refering to is that 6 inch or so distance from between your eyeballs, if you stare at your moving fingertip, that trips out your eyes as you try to focus short range. "We don't want to give people eyestrain. So we program for the Left Eye and the Right Eye. I've made some code to show you." 3D guru scribble looks like computer code with generic squibs of thought stacked. He smiles, "I like to make this fun. I hope you've had some." Then he ups the intellectual ante by talking about "cache coherence" and how we don't have to worry about 100% separate programming for the two eyeballs because we can render at 2/3's in a frame buffer and convert for Right eyes. And "racing game designs are much simpler than first-person shooters," anyway. You love David Coombes' brain, no matter what he says. Sure, next time you're working on a FPS (first-person-shooter), you'll make sure to cheat the "frame rate" by programming to the buffer, whatever. Frame rate is what makes these hyper-real over movies. Movies flicker at 24 frames per second, games have no such manners. These DC's will go for infinite frame rate, without considering that the "30 pixel solid fill" gap between our eyeballs might take a beating. Meanwhile, the bass player from the New York Dolls, Michael Page, and his business partner guitar player Lance Leslie, have the future amped up with their 3Dstereolab in the Brewery district of downtown LA. So you know it's not only going to get crazy with the GPU's (yes, not CPU's) and the HDMI standard, but it is going to get really, really LOUD in the future. Game over. SOURCE: SCREENMANCER


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