Glasses are supplied with Nvidia and ATi drivers, in order
to fully test performance, we have reviews for both sets
of drivers. You can read Dark Ranger's review for the ATi
driven 3d Glasses by clicking
It was only last month that
I got my first taste of a true 3D movie at an I-Max Cinema,
what a cool experience that was! I had no idea that 3D technology
had come so far that the movie was put right in your lap
- I also had no clue that the same effect could be achieved
in the home, with any video game, for less than 100 bucks!
Enter 3D glasses by E-Dimensional.
When you think about it, Ghost
Recon was developed in three dimensions. The maps, the vehicles,
the weapons, the characters, they were all modelled using
3D software - and yet that's not how we see it. Until you
put on a pair of 3D glasses, you are not seeing the game
in the manner it was developed - and once you have seen Ghost
Recon in 3D, you'll realise what you have been missing out
on. It really is amazing - read on for all details....
Let's get the boring bit
out of the way first and onto the good stuff - because there
is some very, very good stuff coming up!
Glasses pack is compatible with all video cards and now even support LCD monitors, and the
pack comes complete with Nvidia drivers and new ATI drivers.
The reviewer's setup is P4
1.5Ghz, 512Mb RAM, a GeForce 2 64Mb, and a 17 inch Samsung
Before we go ahead and install
the glasses, let's take a close look at the contents of the
3D Wired Glasses box.
First of all there is a 4-page
users guide which basically guides the user, funnily enough.
Next out is a small
connector for "older video cards", that can go
back in the box then for a start! That leaves two items,
the glasses. The dongle is a bit smaller than a CD and
has connections for the glasses and the monitor cable.
||The glasses are light but robust.
I know - I already dropped them onto a table and they
still work! They come
with two additional legs for comfort, and the ones that
are fitted have a good range of adjustment on them -
so no problems getting them to sit nicely.
The first thing you notice
about the glasses, apart from how sexy they are, is
that the lenses are not red and green like conventional
These look tinted, like sunglasses.
work by changing opacity at an extremely fast rate, first
on the left eye, then on the right. The monitor displays
two images, one for the left eye and one for the right. By
coordinating the left image with the left lens when it
is clear, and the same with the right lens, the 3D image
is created. It's one of those things that even in theory
doesn't sound good, but it works, very very well, as you
are about to see.
Also in the box are
4 CDs. The first contains the installation software
drivers, E-Dimensional toolbar controller
and stereo drivers).
The latest pack contains drivers
for both GeForce and ATI cards. The other CDs are
games. In this box was Rainbow Six, Nascaar Heat, and
Trek Voyager game. There is also a trial for 3D-Convert,
a utility that will convert your own images to 3D images.
Installation - The Hardware
is no need to open you PC case at all to gain 3D games on
your PC - good news!
Before I started, I opened
up Windows XP tools and set a restore point. Always a good
idea when installing new software. With that done it was
simply a case of making a couple of connections and I was
good to go! Here's a data blast of every step I took...
- Power down PC
- Remove monitor cable from PC unit
- Plug dongle into the monitor socket
- Plug the monitor into the dongle
So basically the dongle sits between
the monitor and the PC. Now we just plug the cable from the
glasses into the dongle, power up the PC, and insert the
Installation - The Software
the disk is in, a test screen appears on the screen. Before
you have even installed the software, you are greeted with
a big green dragon hanging out of your monitor - very
cool! Before proceeding you have to select a left or right
button, only one of them gives the 3D dragon image. I found
the further away I sat from the monitor, the greater the
effect; the dragon was clearly 100-150mm out of the screen!
In order to get the glasses working well with games,
we need to install
The installer is fully automated and ran
through installations for 3D combine, Nvidia drivers, and
Nvidia stereo drivers - with a system restart before and
after the stereo drivers. Back at the desktop I reset my
display properties to the preferred settings as they had
changed during the driver installation.
was a case of following the users guide to set up the
This was pretty straightforward too - here's a quick
- Bring up Display Properties (Right
Click on Desktop)
- Select the new Stereo Properties
- Select the Stereo Setup and Test
button (If it is greyed out -
Enable Stereo then click Apply)
In the setup screen you can run a test.
Don't worry if the 3D test is less than impressive, it's
when you fire up Ghost
Recon that the fun really starts.
It was during the software setup that
I thought I'd e-mail the E-Dimensional support guys and see
how responsive they were to customer e-mails. Support e-mailed
at 05 August 2003 12:54, the reply came in at 05 August 2003
13:08, which is 14 minutes later, for the mathematically
challenged. You can't ask for much more than that!
Ghost Recon in a new Light!
Let's get down to it then. How does it
look in Ghost Recon, can it really be 3D?
The way the system works, is that while
you are working away, or browsing the web, everything is
displayed as normal, but as soon as you fire up a game,
the 3D software kicks in and you are up and running.
In Ghost Recon, the 3D software takes
over right away, which made the menu screens go all out of
whack - not a problem though; there is a range of useful
keyboard shortcuts for controlling the software, so a quick
Ctrl-T, and the menus are back to normal. So, let's start
a quick mission, auto equip the team, and get started!
Out of the Monitor!
While the mission is loading, I put on
the glasses, not knowing just how it was going to look. As
soon as the mission loaded, I spun my character around
to survey the scenery, it was awesome. It works in two ways
- there is an amazing depth of field, and there is
that awesome "out of the monitor" effect too. Let
The "out of the monitor" effect
displayed itself best when I walked up to a sniper and had
look at him. I cannot express how cool this was. The camo
that is draped over the snipers, it was really "hanging"
over his arms. Through the gaps in the camo, I could
body, and the depth of field just in that one character model
was so cool. It was like someone just dropped an action man
Zooming in on his face, even his nose was
3D! Do you remember the
you saw a GR character blink at you? Or maybe it was
in Rogue spear you saw it first, wait until you see a 3D
When he raised his rifle and pointed it
at me, that's when I really noticed that he was leaning out
of the monitor. The top half of his body, and that
huge sniper rifle, were midway between my nose and the monitor!
I could make out the camo draped over the end of the rifle,
and look at both sides of it! I put my hand out to "touch"
the rifle, then looked at my hand - it was about 6 inches
away from the monitor!
Depth of Field
For the most part, this is what you will
notice, and for me this was equally impressive. Every single
aspect of the display suddenly develops a depth. I saw a
group of 4 guys standing in a group. As I approached them,
I could see they were standing in a circle, a real circle.
It's hard to explain, so try this experiment. Get four action
men figures, remove the glass from your monitor,
out the CR-Tube,
- THAT is what it looks like, for real!
Another impressive effect was on a bridge.
As I looked out, past the bridge ironwork, the valley and
hills in the distance, really were in the distance
- it was like a tiny world just dropped inside the monitor.
some reason it was the character detail that really floored
me. Examining my Ghost buddies was great.
The pocket pouches on their legs, were bulging full,
sticking right out, and the helmet visors had a clear gap in
front of the face.
The weapon models were tremendous. I was
looking at some of the modded weapons available in the Frostbite
mod in 3D, and my first thought was of the modders who
these weapons together. Until they see them in Ghost Recon,
3D, they have not seen their work at its best. Infact
I would go as far as to say that the 2-D models are bland
and boring by comparison. It also goes to show what a totally
made of these weapons that they look tremendous in a medium
that the modders had no access to - true 3D.
The same goes for the tank models. They
looked awesome and far more imposing in three dimensions
than in two. And when I blew a tank up the flying debris
3 dimensional even when viewed from a safe distance.
Another neat moment was when I was rushed
by a Russian, just after I had thrown a grenade in his general
direction. Before he had a chance to raise his weapon, the
frag blew up behind him, throwing him, spread eagled right
in my direction in full 3D! That is spectacular.
It was while playing Frostbite that I started
playing with the settings and checking frame rates. Because
it is so easy to toggle the 3D on and off even in the middle
of a mission, I was able to record some Frames Per Second
(FPS). There is a FPS hit when you run the game in 3D. I
was losing between 3 and 12 FPS on different areas of the
map. Depending on your graphics card, and your graphics settings
you may not notice a drop - but there is an impact on the
Anyone who has heard of these 3D Glasses
before might have heard of an aiming issue. By fine tuning
2 of the settings (while in the game) I was able to maintain
a good 3D effect, and still have quite a sharp, single reticule
on the screen (this fine tuning also resolved an issue with
the command map not appearing correctly at first). This meant
I was hitting similar kill ratios as I did playing in 2D.
effect seemed to force me to use a slightly different aiming
procedure, where I would line up the reticule for the shot,
but look through, or past the reticule for subsequent
shots. It's hard to explain, but the depth of field means
takes less prominence after the initial aim, and instinct
takes over - which is actually much more realistic I guess.
What About Other Games?
The stereo control panel contains a massive
list of almost every DirectX game there is.
I only noticed
some very recent games missing from the list - but
E-Dimensional are testing new games with the glasses
on a continual
For each game listed, there are 2 scores which
give an indication of how well the 3D glasses work
with that particular game. There is also a comments
additional information. For example if the game
menus are distorted it might be noted there.
I tried a few of other games to see
how they ran and looked in 3D.
Raven Shield was different from the totally
immersive Ghost Recon environment. With the weapon view on,
every detail of the weapon could be seen in glorious 3D,
however beyond that it lacked the same depth as I had seen
in Ghost Recon. When I switched the weapon view off, there
a slight increase in spacial awareness thanks to the 3D effect.
Neverthess, it is 3D, and an improvement on the normal
One of the games never worked
at all - that was Homeworld, which was a pity. However
the bundled Nascaar Heat worked so well, that I reinstalled
my old racers - Touring Cars Championships 2 (TOCA2) and
Colin McRae Rally, and went and purchased Nascar 2003!
All of the racers look great in 3D. In TOCA I switched off
I found the best views were the two outside
the car, either just behind and above, or on the front bumper.
there you could see the other car models very clearly,
and from the rear view you could see right inside your own
to the dials on the dashboard, which looked very cool in
3D. When I strayed off the track into the gravel pits,
the 3D effect of gravel being kicked up by the tyres
was very realistic.
||Back on Nascaar -
it was as if this game was coded specifically for the
3D Glasses - here's
why. In the pre-race build up, all the screens and movie
footage were in 2D, which was fine. Then when the race
started, suddenly we are thrown into a huge 3D racing
bowl complete with crystal clear 3D cars bumper to bumper.
|But the really cool thing was the HUD elements
were in perfect 2D, as if they were post-it notes carefully
stuck on the front of the monitor. This added to the
depth of field and made it very easy on the eye. I'd
go as far as to say this was one of the best gaming experiences
I have ever had - it just looked fantastic, and this
is bundled with the 3D pack!
Nascar 2003 replays look fantastic in 3D.
In the after-race screen where the replay is played back
in a small window - it's like a window into a small 3Dimensional
world, watching your car race around in a perfect 3D environment.
Even in the Paint Shop where you can design your own car,
the 3D model really is three dimensional as it spins around
- very cool.
In my opinion, racers are going to be a
huge market for these glasses; 2D just isn't the same anymore!
I have read the theory of how the glasses
turn any game into 3D, but playing the games in 3D, I just
out how it does it! From the remarkable depth of view that
puts the hills away in the distance, the close up action
that sticks an M4 right up your nose, to the 3D features
on the characters faces - it's nothing short of remarkable.
These glasses are now the best
gadget in my house, no doubt about it.
I mean, I could understand if they only
worked with certain, specially coded games, but these glasses
have been tested with every single DirectX game, and at a
guess, I would say 90%+ work well! Not only
that, but with an additional software pack -
you can relive your entire DVD collection - in glorious 3D,
using these same glasses.
Below I have listed some other reviews
for your convenience. Elited's review actually mentions
Ghost Recon, so I will conclude with a quote from that review,
can see I am not getting excited over nothing!
"Ghost Recon comes alive with
the E-Dimensional glasses. The characters become amazingly
real, as if you
could reach out and touch them, and the way their eyes
actually blink and move around makes it even more spine
This is a sight to see, no doubt. Out of all of the games
that I tried with the 3D glasses, Ghost Recon was the
If you are looking for a final score
at the foot of this review, I am guessing you have not read
my fanboy ramblings typed above. However I will say that
this kit gets full marks on every count.
Finally, if you think I am excited about
this product - check
this guy out! (Right click Save as, view and skip to
around 5 mins 30 secs.)
Don't Take my Word!
It's hard to describe in words how a
3D effect is so much better than the 2d version, and it is
impossible to show any images to prove it. What I did do
though, was video tape two unsuspecting Ghost Recon noobs
when they put the glasses on for the first time. What they
are doing here - is trying to touch an assault rifle as it
sticks out of the monitor! As you will see near the end of
the short clip - the effect extends a full 150mm out of the
it here. For entertainment value I produced a DIVX version
with a stereo soundtrack, you can download that 6mb
Unfortunately I missed the really funny
bit where they were grasping about in thin air with both hands
in front of the monitor. When I asked them what they were doing
they said, "trying to touch the trees", ahem.
am aware that this product review comes across very positive
to say the least - at least I hope it
does because I love the glasses! But incase anyone reading
this would like a second opinion, here are some quotes
from Ghost Recon fans, and reviews from other sites. Enjoy.
"I got myself a pair after reading Rocky's review a year or so ago. At the Time I had a Gforce Grphics card that was a bit long in the tooth but I though I'd give it ago. End result was absolutley awesome, GR look absolutely fabulous..." Stig
"Your review persuaded
me to buy the glasses , and I'm grateful for that."
"Woowww I made them work. Really
great effects." foxhound
"I have an ATI 9800Pro and the
glasses work very good...
The glasses are great. It's amazing the effect.
It's really 3D, the bags go OUT off the monitor, and the
guns too. Now, i can´t play a game without the glasses."
"I turned up the 3D all the way,
OMG ahaha i was just looking at the Sniper for about
"...these glasses definitely
have a large potential cool factor. After tuning, the
. The bushes and other soldiers stand out and I wish I
had more time to play." Ripple
"After going through about 20 different
games, my feelings ... have not changed. Racing games
impressive, and flight simulator 2002 looked incredible.
These glasses make PC games fun again and ...
It takes a lot to impress me, and this product really
did." From Techspot.
say if you want 3D, then these glasses are the best thing
on the market, hands down"
"Ghost Recon comes
alive with the E-Dimensional glasses. The characters
real, as if you could reach out and touch them, and
the way their eyes actually blink and move around makes
even more spine tingling. This is a sight to see,
no doubt. Out of all of the games that I tried with
3D glasses, Ghost Recon was the most impressive." From
"If you think Morrowind is realistic
looking now, wait until you have seen it with the 3D
glasses. It appears as if you could actually touch
the roughness of the trees, run your hand through the
"I am truly amazed at not only
the quality of the glasses, but the 3D virtual world
have created on my monitor. Gaming has never looked
so good." From
"I can honestly say that I've never
seen anything like it; it's simply amazing" simracingworld
"The game is literally transformed"
"I have never felt so immersed
and "part" of the game that I've been playing
before wearing these glasses" simracingworld
"I was instantly amazed" overclockersclub
E-Dimensional 3D glasses, and a selection
of other gamer gadgets are available online at E-Dimensional.com.