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Will Stereo 3D Reduce Graphic Fidelity?

The obvious assumption is that stereo 3D requires exactly double the processing power of equivalent 2D. So you have to accept reduced resolution, frame rate, and/or graphical fidelity to compensate.

Killzone 3 developer Hulst completely disagrees with this:

Asked if 3D technology compromises processing power in any way, Hulst replied: “It’s a different way of rendering. But I don’t think it does. Not when we’re done and dusted. You can have all the fidelity, all the performance that you require, but it’s obviously a different way of going about things, it’s not apples for apples necessarily.”

Speaking of the footage shown during Sony’s E3 media briefing, he added: “This is months out from alpha, and already it’s running very smoothly, running at an impressive fidelity – you’re not going to have any issues in that respect.”

Unfortunately, he doesn’t clarify this. My interpretation of his comments, Kaz’s E3 comments, and analysis of the 3D patched games released already is this:

Developers patching stereo 3D support into an existing game choose the safe route. They don’t want to make risky and invasive into the core of the 3D engine, so they use the less invasive, high overhead double rendering route.

3D engines designed or updated for new games, can afford to make more invasive engine optimizations, and can accommodate stereo 3D effects with reduced performance overhead.