Blitz: 3D gaming IS the next generation

Blitz releases its first 3D console game via Xbox Live in August - get ready to be blown away!
Blitz releases its first 3D console game via Xbox Live in August - get ready to be blown away!

Blitz Games has been showing off its 'proper 3D' gaming tech at this week's Develop conference in Brighton, with co-founder Andrew Oliver revealing that the first game to use the tech will be out in August.

Blitz's Oliver also argued in an impassioned presentation that gaming – specifically 3D stereoscopic gaming on home consoles – is going to be the major driver behind the TV industry's shift to 3D over the coming years.

And while Invincible Tiger is a decent enough game in 2D – a retro-style Kung-Fu platform game that will no doubt appeal to fans of 1980's arcade fighters – it is when you flick the 3D switch that it becomes a truly groundbreaking console title.

TechRadar has played the game and we experienced that same shiver of excitement that we remember from playing Elite on the BBC Micro back in 1985, from playing Ridge Racer on the PlayStation in 1995 and from playing Wii Sports back in 2006. Forget garlic bread, 3D gaming IS the future.

And if you are lucky enough to be in that one per cent of TV owners that currently owns or has access to a 3D-enabled telly, then you are definitely going to want to shell out 1200 Microsoft Points (£10.20) when Invincible Tiger arrives on XBLA next month.

Invincible tiger: the legend of han tao

'We believe 3D is the future'

So Blitz's game has been doing the PR job it was created for, impressing the crowds at Develop. And it is fair to say that 3D gaming has become the talk of this year's event.

"We believe the future is 3D," said Oliver, who kicked off his presentation by moaning that the general perception of 3D needs to be improved. The market needs educating and Oliver and his team clearly consider themselves well-placed to do this.

"3D is not about those awful 1950s anaglyph glasses, which were actually invented way back in 1922," complained the Blitz CEO. "We are talking about digital 3D, not red and blue glasses...too many people still associate 3D with awful 1970s movies such as Jaws 3!"

A fair point, as a quick poll of the hundred or so folk in the room revealed that only around half of them have seen a modern-day 3D movie such as Bolt, Monsters Vs Aliens or – most recently – Coraline or Ice Age 3.

"It is technically not difficult to do 3D," Oliver told the gathered devs. "Admittedly, at the moment it needs glasses," he continued – revealing a whole bagful of different types of 3D specs currently on the market – "but the entertainment value is WORTH wearing a pair of glasses for. It is worth that hurdle."

"When I first saw the IMAX 3D stuff around the turn of the century, Polar Express and the stuff that James Cameron was doing, I was absolutely staggered," says Oliver, revealing the beginnings of what clearly grew into an obsession with making 'proper' 3D games.

More recently, we've seen the emergence of more local cinemas that are investing in 'circular polarisation' 3D via digital projectors. Oliver is adamant that 3D movies is driving this investment on the part of the movie theatre companies.

"All new CG movies are now going into 3D – Disney, Dreamworks, Pixar and so on – and Live Action is next. Peter Jackson, Stephen Spielberg, James Cameron, Jerry Bruckheimer – all are making 3D movies.

"[James Cameron's] Avatar will turn everybody on to 3D when it arrives this Christmas," adds Oliver, who seems more excited than a schoolboy on the last day of term at the prospect. "Ultimately, this is all about digital distribution. Piracy is a terrible problem right now and digital distribution [driven by 3D] is really set to change the cinema industry for the better."

Adam Hartley