Video develop mobile game have been with us for a long time now, and their progression has been astounding. The first mainstream video game was Atari’s Pong, released in 1972. Although it had 2-dimensional graphics, you might actually think of the controls as being 1-dimensional: you could only move your paddle either up or down.
Since then, games have continuously progressed. Games like Pac-Man and Asteroids also became mega-hits. These games were clearly 2D. For a while, the biggest improvements in games were the graphics. Games remained in their two dimensional form, but they kept getting better and better looking. Nintendo’s NES epitomized these 2D games with hits such as The Legend of Zelda and Super Mario Bros. The next generation of consoles, such as the Sega Genesis and SNES, further enhanced the 2D experience.
The next major breakthrough was seen with Sony’s PlayStation and the Nintendo 64. Super Mario 64 and the Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time were hailed as major breakthroughs in gaming. They brought full 3D worlds to home video game consoles. Ocarina of Time, released in 1998, is still often named as the best video game of all time probably mostly for this reason.
Since then, graphics have continuously gotten prettier, but there hasn’t ever been a true breakthrough. The PS2 was basically the same as the original PlayStation, with sharper graphics. The PS3 is basically the same as the PS2 – again, with slightly better graphics. It seems as if video game technology has hit a bit of a plateau and has been unable to breakthrough to the next level for a decade and a half.
However, all this could change with the introduction of true 3D television sets. TVs have suffered a similar fate as video games. When color television was developed, it represented a quantum leap over black and white television. However, all the recent developments – flat screens, thinner bodies, LCD, LED, HD – seem like mere minor cosmetic improvements. 3D TVs could represent a leap just as significant as the leap from black and white to color. Video games will come along for the ride.
In fact, there have already been some video games developed for 3D televisions. One of these is Avatar: The Game. If you saw Avatar in 3D at the movie theater, then you are well aware of the immersive experience that a 3D presentation can offer. Avatar: The Game only scratches the surface of what 3D games will be able to offer. It is the Mario 64 of true 3D games. The experience is actually well implemented. The ferns of the forest jut out of the screen, bullets fly by your head, and you really get a feeling of depth when you are flying around on one of the dragon creatures. It is easy to get used to, but when you switch back to 2D, you can definitely tell the difference. It is really something you have to try for yourself to really grasp, but to use an audio analogy: it is akin to switching from a small stereo to a surround sound system.