Is 3D gaming just a fad?

3D games like Batman: Arkham Asylum definitely rock. But is the rapidly-evolving medium a fad, or does it represent the industry’s future?

Well, Wedbush Morgan analyst Michael Pachter believes 3D gaming will remain in the “fad” category for at least another five to ten years.

“I would err on the side of saying fad, more because 3D television adoption is going to take a long time. [I would say the] biggest impediment to 3D gaming is that you have to wear glasses,” Pachter said in a GameTrailers interview.

“[No], the masses won’t buy a 3D television just to play games. [That] will require [more] 3D content before [people] buy them and glasses have to come down in price…[So], as long as the audience for 3D displays remains small, I think 3D gaming is just a fad.”

Nevertheless, Pachter noted that 3D gaming was likely to become mainstream in the long-term.

“When the audience for 3D displays becomes really broad, every game will be in 3D and it is the future. So, fad for the next five years, the future – maybe in 10.”

Meanwhile, EEDAR analyst Jesse Divnich told TG Daily that 3D supported video games would not be a “significant driver” of industry revenue until 2013.

“With the slow adoption rate for 3D televisions, EEDAR does not expect 3D gaming to be a significant driver of revenue and health for the industry over the short-term,” said Divnich.

“[But] as consumers naturally replace their televisions and adopt 3D television, 3D gaming will play an ever increasing role in driving revenue for the sector.”

However, Nvidia spokesperson Bryan Del Rizzo told TG Daily 3D was already a “hot reality” which had been warmly embraced by gamers.  

“Clearly, 3D as a medium is going to become all pervasive. We think it is the future of entertainment…And 3D has already been warmly embraced by the multiplayer community at events like Blizzcon and PDXLan.”

Nevertheless, Del Rizzo acknowledged that some people didn’t like wearing glasses to play games or watch movies.

“Well, I always point out that yeah, you don’t want to wear the glasses, but you have no problem strapping on a nerdy guitar and playing Guitar Hero,” said Del Rizzo.

“Of course people would prefer not to put on a pair of glasses and we will definitely get to the point where they aren’t needed. But in the meantime, glasses – specifically active shutter glasses – are required. They provide the best experience for 3D, including Blu-ray. Those who wear them in the theater should have no problem putting on a similar pair at home.”

Del Rizzo added that Nvidia was actively working with various partners to help make 3D entertainment a more affordable option.

“We know the holy grail of 3D is affordable price points and a game or movie that makes the viewer/player sit up and truly say ‘wow.’ And that is why we are working with developers to help achieve that goal.”