6 Reasons Why 3D Has Failed

God, the 3D on this new Ice Age movie is terrible.
It looks like the 3D phenomenon that (re)started a few years back may finally be on the way out. A chief sign of this is Nintendo president Satoru Iwata's admission that the recent 3D boom "is perhaps slightly on the wane again." We should all understand by now that when someone whose company manufactures 3D products and has tried to run with the 3D torch as far as it could be carried finally, grudgingly admits that the 3D phenomenon is "slightly on the wane," that means the technology is for shit, the bottom is falling out and it's all downhill from here.

Of course, many of us knew from the get-go that the resurgence of 3D would be a very temporary thing. We knew this because:

6. 3D-ification Drives Up Prices
Not to be the umpteenth person today who tells you that we're in the middle of a recession, but: We're in the middle of a recession. People just don't have as much disposable income as they used to, and that means certain luxuries start getting cut. First among those: entertainment. Or at least pricey entertainment. You may splurge for 3D on huge "event" movies, but nobody going in to see Tyler Perry's Madea Farts Forever in a Poopy Haze of Mediocrity wants to pay upwards of 12 bucks for their movie ticket when the standard price tag will be more than enough of a letdown and ripoff.

5. Motion Sickness Sucks
Dramamine is not cheap, and even films on a standard big screen can cause upheaval in our stomachs; just ask people who had to run out of The Blair Witch Project and Cloverfield with their hands firmly clasped over their mouths fighting back a jet-spray of popcorn and Twizzlers. 3D turns the dizziness and nausea that was formerly only the hallmark of certain shaky-cam, documentary-style films into the standard.

Wouldn't it be dizzying enough to see web-swinging through the eyes of The Amazing Spiderman without the 3D sensation of buildings actually whizzing past us while we plummet and soar in parabolic arcs down 57th Street? Thrilling for a few, sure, but for the rest of us who prefer to stay firmly on terra firma, not the ideal moviegoing experience.

Oh yeah, it's super-easy to get kids to wear these goddamn things without any problems.
4. The Glasses Are a Pain in the Ass
I don't care that the glasses make you look stupid, but unless you're a habitual glasses-wearer, the sensation is bizarre and off-putting. They sit heavily on your head and if the 3D is particularly bad, you'll be fidgeting with them throughout the film trying to get a good look at what's going on. The glasses can also slightly distort the screen image, making it seem slightly concave and smaller in scope. Not fun.

3. The Market Is Oversaturated
Hollywood studio executives suffer from two pathological obsessions: the need to cram whatever the new trend is down our throats and squeeze as much money out of it as quickly as possible before the novelty wears off, and the need to inflate box office totals by any means necessary. This led to numerous films that had no business being shown in 3D to be reformatted as 3D films so that a) they could slap "In 3D!" onto the commercials, and so that b) they could stick a few extra bucks onto the ticket price, thereby inflating sales numbers.

Of course, this stopped working once people caught on that most modern 3D is done really, really poorly, because:

2. It's Usually Hastily Tacked On and/or Badly Done
The brick-stupid 2010 remake of Clash of the Titans was justifiably reamed by critics across the board, and one thing in particular that drew their ire was how badly the 3D was done. It surprised no one to learn that the film had been converted at the last minute to the 3D format, which meant that because it wasn't shot in the actual format but was in fact spliced up afterward, it looked like utter shit.

Motion-tracking problems, poorly defined edges and an overall darkness are common problems in hastily converted 3D films, and as the 3D trend threatened to reach its apex, the movie studios started converting more and more of them post-filming, desperate to cash in before people wised up. For every well-made Avatar, there were several dozen slapdash A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmases.

1. By Putting You In the Story, It Kind of Takes You Out of the Story
Watching a standard film and losing yourself in the storyline puts you, mentally, into a kind of neutral space where only the story exists. You're fully immersed inside that world, which is why it's such a drag when somebody near you starts talking on their phone or a baby starts crying or a dozen youths in puffy jackets start shouting Flo Rida lyrics at the screen -- this really happened -- while you're trying to maintain said immersion.

You know what else shatters that immersion? An axe, pie or breast flying directly at your face. Sure, it startles you for a second, but once that thrill has passed, you're palpably reminded that it wasn't real by the fact that nothing actually hit you, which pulls you back out of the movie. There are only two ways to fix this: rig movie theaters up with actual weapons, pastries or boobs that really fly at theatergoers, or just stop it with the 3D already.

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I find it funny that 80 percent of the world uses glasses to see and read but when it comes to 3D glasses are all of a sudden a pain in the ass. 


Obviously another clueless writer.How about this 6 reasons why 3D is an awesome technology? You see every so often a writer comes along and thinks hey I'll blast 3D to get some views. Instead of posting the positives about the 3D technology you go for the negative BRAVO man. Did you know that 3D is saving lives everyday with 3DMammograms? Did you know that 3D printing is the break through of the century in the printing business? Did you know that the technology that you wrote about that has glasses to view 3D the ones you say are a pain in the ass are being replaced by new technology? I guess not. Well folks in the next 12 -24 months you wont's need glasses for 3D anymore as 4K 3D glasses free technology is approaching. Just think seeing high resolution 3D Hologams on your computer screens on the new 3D Internet This will be an awesome experience. It's time for writers to stop crying about old 3D technology and do some DD on the new beautiful glass fee technology. 


I think my main issue with them is that they are generally cheaply produced, with the main focus being on the lenses and not the frame. Anyone who has ever gotten glasses that have uncomfortable frames that pinch or don't sit right on the nose (or whatever else the issue may be) understands how annoying it can be. Also, when watching on a home 3D TV, having to constantly put the glasses on and take them off when you need to do anything else besides watch TV can get old (which is why I will never buy one of my own). Not exactly the worst of the world's problems (in fact this is a great example of #firstworldproblems), but annoying nonetheless.


 @davisfbi I can't agree more! Those 'already dead' kind of article are very boring. Sure, things can go bad and this guy can get out saying 'I told you, 'cause I'm smart', but this doesn't turn this article to a good one. 

Every time a new tech approach, here there are new 'smart guys' ready to kill the idea; same thing has been happen  for Tv Color, Tv Hd, VHS, Cd-Rom, Dvd, Blueray, flat and 16:9 tv, Hd tv and so on.

Honestly, I'm very tired of those cheap articles -__-


P.S.: sorry for my english, I'm Italian

MadMac topcommenter

@Robinson @davisfbi Here's one that should translate: tired of "cheap articles" buy a newspaper for the Hurst agenda. Or, maybe, you know, get back to work?


 @Robinson Who tired to kill color tv?

Honestly, those examples do not compare with 3d movies. VHS was fought against by the movie industry because they thought people would stop buying their products and instead would just record it. How does that compare to 3d movies now? 


 @H_e_x Now you got the point! You see, I do trust in sterescopy and I hope it will somewhat emerge, this 'cause I really like the sense of  perspective in movies/gaming. That said, I'm not a sort of funboy or so blind not to see what we have now. Believe it or not, you concern are mine same and I can say 3d right now is far from perfect, but it is get better, is evolving just like all other technology did before. Yes, we are a sort of betatester in this process (and we do pay for that), but I think, in a way, we always has been betatester for everything. As I said in my first post, 3d may or may not live, nobody can tell just because there are still lot of problem to fix. But stopping right in front of those problems is big limit, in my point of view, since it left no room for improvements. Autostereoscopy are on the way, and I'm sure even system glass-based may become more comfortable (and chepaer!).

Now, just read the title of this article and you will understand what I'm pointing at.


 @Robinson I don't think people instinctively attack new technology. I don't think anyone attacked the radio, I don't think anyone attacked HD tvs, nor do I think anyone is attacking streaming, online content. I think some people fear technology, but that does not mean that every single technological advancement is immune from legitimate criticism. Not being able to correctly view 3d movies or becoming sick is a legitimate concern. Expensive movie tickets is another concern. Sloppily applied 3d effects is also another concern. I don't think these criticisms and concerns are made out of a blind, arbitrary loathing of new technology.  


 @H_e_x You miss my point. I was talking about how peoples behave toward new technology. Every step forward had it shares of problems, like the VHS example you mention. I'm not trying to examine every single historical context for them; that should be stupid and out of topic. More simply, every time a new tech was about to enter the show, a lot of people came out attacking them, just like this article does right now. Another example I left out was the mass introduction of GPS for all day navigation. I clearly remember I had the same kind of arguments, in most cases peoples referred to it as an idea born dead, just as it is happening now for stereoscopy. In both those cases, we have tecnologies born well before their implementation in all day usage

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