With Eyefinity and 3D Vision, AMD and NVIDIA have set out to improve our gaming experience, on the one hand by increasing field of vision and on the other by improving the 3D sensation. After many hours of gaming, here’s our opinion on these technologies, both of which require investment in specific equipment.
Surround gaming isn’t a new technique: placing several screens side by side, horizontally, allows you to increase field of vision to better simulate natural vision. It has however been difficult for gamers to put into place because general consumer graphics cards have until recently been limited to 2 independent display outputs. Gaming with 2 screens, above and beyond a few very particular cases, isn’t great because separation between the screens comes in the middle of your field of vision or where your eyes rest most of the time. It’s therefore better to go for an uneven number. The arrival of Eyefinity from AMD with the Radeon HD 5000s that support up to 6 independent display outs gives a fine solution to the problem.
Here again, we’re not talking about a new technique and there have been numerous attempts to bring steroscopic vision to video gaming. It’s a technique that’s designed to channel better 3D gaming space data to the brain with videos simulating binocular disparity. In other words, it channels a specific image to each eye, which corresponds to each eye’s slightly different viewing angle for a given scene, the brain then combining them to give a more complete 3D experience.
Of course, channeling a different image to each eye is a complex technique to put into place. It requires a specially adapted display system that usually involves glasses, with the complexity of the system being managed by the screen or the projection system or by the glasses, depending on the market that you’re going for. NVIDIA has supported stereoscopic vision for a few years now, via a specific driver, after taking on a team of specialised Russian engineers. The implementation carried out by some partners was based on a technique using shutter glasses that display images on-screen for the left and right eyes in turn, masking first one and then the other eye. This system was largely forgotten however with the arrival of LCD screens limited to 60 Hz, namely the display of 60 images per second or just 30 per eye, which is insufficient. With the arrival of screens and projectors capable of displaying up to 120 images per second, NVIDIA decided to reintroduce the system, giving it a new name, 3D Vision.