Nov 11, 2008

The Technologies That Failed

Two words: Virtual Reality. At the start of the 90s, it was going to be the biggest leap forward in the industry. Now? Who even really remembers? VR suffered from three key problems. The technology wasn't good enough for proper 3D environments, with the majority of publicly available games coming from Virtuality. Powered by an Amiga, they were jerky, low-resolution, and untextured, with the simple weight of the helmet and blurriness of the vision quickly giving players a headache.

Home VR headsets fared little better, being both finicky, and low-resolution. We still occasionally see new offerings, but the industry's interest has moved on to Augmented Reality - overlaying games onto the real world. Imagine Pacman played first person in your local library. Another 3D technology that never got a chance was Voxels - 3D pixels. These served up some incredibly impressive games back in the day, most notably Novalogic's Commanche, and the stunningly beautiful RPG Outcast. The catch was that 3D graphics cards were designed to pump triangles - traditional 3D - and couldn't do anything to help these out. Reliant on software mode, voxels were blocky and very system intensive. After a while, it was more sensible to just use polygons, and the voxel concept was quietly retired - at least, from the mainstream.

virtual realityFinally, a product nobody was sad to see go: the 3DO Blaster. Here's the pitch. By plugging it into your computer, your PC becomes... a 3DO. If your immediate reaction is 'what the hell's a 3DO?', don't worry you missed out on the hype, but nailed the reason it didn't work. Oddly, gamers weren't taken with one of the most over-hyped consoles of all time, especially since it demanded a specific CD drive. Most of its games were crap, and those that weren't were almost all already available on PC.

The 3DO blasted its way to the bargain bin, forgotten by history. Until now, of course. But you can safely forget about it again without the slightest guilty twinge.

By Sandra Prior

Subscribe to Sandra Prior's Online Newsletter and get up to date Computer Technology News delivered right to your email box for free. See website for details and Article Source: Go Articles

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | stopping spam