The goggle-free 3D technology powering Nintendo's 3DS handheld could be getting a big brother in Japanese arcades soon enough.
3D gaming is poised to be the next big trend in the industry, but there's one catch: Wearing the big, bulky glasses sucks. You know it, I know it, Nintendo knows it, and Sony ... is off doing its own thing. Whatever. The point is, the sooner we can get more 3D gaming without the annoying goggles, the better.
With the 3DS launching sometime within the next half-year and Sony kicking its 3D gaming efforts into high gear, arcade hardware manufacturer SI Electronics is aiming to strike while the iron is hot in three dimensions. The company plans to unveil its System Board Y3 arcade board this week at the Amusement Machine Show in Chiba, Japan - hardware that is capable of working with a special screen to show 3D images without the need for glasses. Essentially, it's the 3DS, but bigger - and capable of displaying a "full HD" image.
Of course, the main problem with glasses-free 3D has been a limited area of effect: If the viewer isn't positioned properly, it won't work. This isn't as much a problem for a portable handheld, but it is one of the reasons that the technology has yet to take off regarding home theater systems - how can you be sure where your audience is seated?
For arcade systems, though, it's bound to be less of an issue. After all, you know where your viewer is standing - right at the controls.
You just have to hope that they won't draw a crowd with their skills.