Prepping the 3D Audience.
It seems common knowledge that software sells hardware. If there were enough interesting 3DS games on the market, then maybe Nintendo would have higher than expected sales numbers. I personally know only one person with a 3DS, and they have abandoned the handheld since launch. The 3D market is languishing because there are no great games on the platform, but that is but one reason.
We quickly get stuck in a chicken and egg problem when we ponder the dearth of quality 3D titles. Is the 3D consumer market too small because there are not enough interesting games? Or are there not enough interesting games because developers and publishers believe the 3D consumer market too small? Clearly both are problematic.
Even now, upconversion of film to 3D is commonplace and often poorly implemented. Yet the sales boost from these conversions have generally rewarded producers with increased revenue. For the most part, we have come to expect a slew of gimmicky 3D films, with a few nestled gems hidden within (Did anyone else love How To Train Your Dragon?). Developers and publishers must overcome this expectation of 'gimmickyness' we have built up.
I have no doubt that, done well, 3D gaming technology could greatly enhance a gaming experience. Indeed, games built specifically for 3D could be commonplace amongst the best games released every year. Yet game developers and consumers must be convinced of the technology's value. This process does not require a title of epic proportions, a 3D Halo or the like. What we need is a designer or development team willing to experiment, to take a risk on our behalf simply to explore the technology's potential. We need a James Cameron or Scorsese who can not only push boundaries but teach others how to better employ 3D visuals.
Who would I like to see become these spokespersons? I would pick Ken Levine, Jenova Chen, and Cliff Bleszinski as my vanguard. Who would you choose to prep our 3D gaming audience?