We were just talking about Avatar filmmaker James Cameron yesterday, following his reported purchase of 50 Red Epic-M cameras, hopefully for the upcoming two follow-ups to his 2009 smash hit. He’s also recently established a company with Vince Pace, who modified the 3D Fusion Camera system used to capture Avatar‘s 3D. At the formal unveiling of the Cameron-Pace Group earlier this month, Cameron expressed his belief that games will be the driving force in 3D being adopted for home use.
“Videogames are going to be the drivers, but they haven’t done so today because the cycle creation has lagged behind,” he said, according to Yahoo!’s PluggedIn. “The consumer electronics companies introduced these screens last year, so we’re a year into this and it takes 18 months to two years to author a high quality video game. So you’re going to see a stampede of video games and then that, in turn, is just going to catalyze more broad scale adoption in the home of these big 3D screens.”
Part of the in-home adoption will involve another shift in the technology, toward a glasses-free experience, Cameron believes. “Video games are going to help propel the autostereoscopic (glasses free) play because that’s going to be the entry level for most people,” he said. “These single-viewing devices that are engaging the person to play these video games will drive a lot of investment in autostereoscopic displays for that very reason. That technology will trickle up to the larger 3D displays that will be used for home viewing and gaming.”
Nintendo‘s recently released 3DS portable gaming device employs the autostereoscopic tech that Cameron mentioned. It’s not perfect– your viewing angle needs to be dead on and the device needs to be held steady in order to maintain that effect. It’s a first step though; an upcoming Toshiba laptop offers a simultaneous 2D and 3D display without the need for glasses, using a built-in camera and face sensor to automatically maintain the 3D effect.
Cameron has only made minor movements so far in the video game space, with Avatar: The Game. While the Ubisoft-published release fell short in a number of ways, it also got a few things right, particularly in the way it told a story that stood apart from the movie. Cameron mentioned that he hopes we haven’t seen the last of Avatar in the video game space, and that he’s got plans in that direction moving forward.
“I’d love to do an MMORPG experience inside the Avatar universe and I would like to see it authored in 3D,” he said. “I’d like to see people doing gameplay in 3D, so that’s something that we’re looking to do. But we’re not active on that yet.”