July 9, 2009

Hollywood Prepares For Release Of 3D Videogames

Hollywood is now working on 3D videogames that will expand on the stories of their 3D films, Reuters reported.

Anaglyph 3D technology will be employed for Disney Interactive Studios' "G-Force" game for Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3, based on Jerry Bruckheimer's live action 3D film featuring secret agent guinea pigs.

Using the same technology, Disney/Pixar's Toy Story Midway Mania, which is based on the Walt Disney World and Disneyland 4D theme park ride, will be released on the Wii alongside the movie "Toy Story 3D" in October.

But for "James Cameron's Avatar" game, Ubisoft has developed proprietary stereoscopic 3D technology"”the clear polarized glasses movie theater patrons currently receive.

It will be the first Hollywood-licensed game to introduce stereoscopic 3D to gamers.

Cameron said during his E3 press conference about the game that the technology was "pretty fantastic".

"You just stick your head into the monitor and the world wraps around you. It's the first time in a videogame that I was afraid when the hammerhead enemies attack. It's very frightening," he added.

Many in the industry are hoping that 3D videogames could enhance the attraction of 3D TVs in living rooms.

Hoyt Yeatman, Oscar-winning special effects expert and director of "G-Force," said he believes all entertainment is going 3D.

"There's a huge interest and desire on the part of equipment manufacturers to bring the 3D stereoscopic technology into the home," he said.

He suggests that games will lead the trend and that 3D adds an appreciable level to the playing experience.

The combination of the "Toy Story 3D" release this fall for family audiences and "Avatar" for sci-fi fans will raise awareness and grow the fan base of 3D, according to John Taylor, videogame analyst at Arcadia Research.

"As is usually the case, we would expect heavy media users, especially sci-fi fans and gamers, to be the first to upgrade, and for them, "ËœAvatar' could be a key demand driver," Taylor said.

But while 3D gaming may be future; for now, 2D gaming remains the staple.

New upcoming 2D movie/game releases include Electronic Arts games based on "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince," while Activision has a double feature with a virtual version of "Ice Age: Dawn of Dinosaurs" and a new "Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen" game.

The NPD Group said the original "Transformers" game sold over 3.16 million copies in the U.S. alone.