Call of Duty 3D Won’t Be Gaming’s Avatar

By  |  Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 12:57 pm

By several accounts, Call of Duty: Black Ops looks pretty awesome in 3D.

The raves are already in from journalists at USA Today, Kotaku, UGO, and Joystiq, all of whom sampled Call of Duty’s 3D effects at a preview event, and gave their approval despite a few complaints of mild discomfort. Activision announced today that the game, which arrives November 9 for Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and PC, will include a 3D option for all platforms.

Enthusiasm from the press will certainly help to push interest in 3D televisions, but Call of Duty: Black Ops isn’t as gifted a 3D salesman as the film Avatar. Unlike movies, video games don’t have a theater for selling the experience.

Avatar was able to spark interest in 3D because it was so accessible. For the cost of one movie ticket, you get the whole 3D experience. If you like what you see, maybe a 3D TV is something to consider.

Video games have no parallel. Maybe Best Buy will have 3D games demonstrated somewhere, but they certainly won’t have the M-rated Call of Duty: Black Ops on display. And forget about sitting for a couple hours in a store to see how long play sessions feel. With 3D gaming, your options for exposure are either to watch a 3D movie and imagine how a game might look, or make friends with someone who already bought a 3D TV set.

Eventually, I think 3D will be more like a minor upgrade for TV sets than an expensive new feature, kind of like 1080p in high-definition TVs. But for now, movie theaters play a big role in selling the wow factor of 3D. That’s a luxury gamers don’t have.

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