Nvidia 3D Vision 2 £120
25th Nov 2011 | 14:15
3D takes a step in the right direction
Nvidia's new 3D Vision 2 Wireless Glasses are designed to work with its new LightBoost technology and cut out annoying periphery dramas with 20 per cent bigger lenses.
Maybe you love 3D, maybe you hate it. Wherever you stand on the begoggled viewing experience, though, chances are you'll have at least a couple of niggles.
Stereoscopic 3D is no infant in technology terms, but it is experiencing teething problems as it gradually invades your household media setup.
For starters, it's inconvenient and uncomfortable to have to wear special glasses every time you want to play a game or catch a movie; not to mention expensive if you're shelling out for several sets of glasses. Then there's the flickering in your periphery, the headaches and the lack of image depth.
Samsung has made good progress in addressing the comfort issue with its SSG 2 and 3 series 3D glasses, and while 3D monitors that don't require the goggles at all aren't too far away, the industry isn't just sitting on its hands until then.
Other than the size, the Nvidia 3D Vision 2 Wireless Glasses are almost identical to the original 3D Vision glasses, which unfortunately means they're still uncomfortable.
Samsung's SSG-2100AB specs are still the most comfortable we've perched on our conks, and Nvidia lags well behind in this department. It's odd because they've obviously been redesigned with comfort in mind, but still don't sit naturally on the face.
Now the good news - the bigger lenses and wraparound design of the Nvidia 3D Vision 2 glasses greatly improve your viewing experience.
Having your brain decode stereoscopic 3D images while also dealing with, y'know, real life 3D in your peripheral vision is very tiring, and we suspect closely linked to those inevitable headaches following a long session.
Increasing the lens size is such a simple solution to this problem, it makes you wonder why it took them this long to get it sorted - so it goes with 'new' technologies, we suppose.
The really important development here is LightBoost, Nvidia's new 3D tech.
To you and us, this is a layer of film across monitor and TV screens that counteracts any dimness, delivering twice the brightness and, consequently, clearer, more colourful 3D images.
Sounds a bit like marketing nonsense, but we can absolutely vouch for it - just read our review of the LightBoost-ready Asus VG278H if you need convincing.
These Nvidia 3D Vision 2 glasses are being marketed as LightBoost-compatible, but the same is true of the 3D Vision 1. They're both just shutter glasses, after all.
Buy these glasses for the improved viewing experience, by all means, but don't be tricked into thinking you can't enjoy LightBoost without them.
Nvidia has made good progress with the 3D Vision 2 glasses, by eliminating peripheral vision problems and increasing lens size. It's subtle, but it really does make a difference.
That progress is halted in the comfort department, though. Given that these glasses are selling for roughly the same as a pair of (non-3D) prescription glasses, we expect a greater level of comfort. Competitors like Samsung are some way ahead in this area.
Crucially, the combination of these glasses with a LightBoost-equipped PC monitor gave us our first genuinely enjoyable, almost jaw-dropping 3D gaming experience - for the first time, we're excited about 3D.