Haven't we gone over this before? 2D content converted into 3D is almost guaranteed to be poor. It sucks for movies, it sucks for video games and it sucks for slapped together 3D photos. LG's special 2D to 3D converter for 3D smartphones can't be good for 3D as a format.
3D is only as good as its content, that's why Avatar still remains the king, despite it being a two-year-old movie. 3D games are also only as good as the developers who tailor their games to it. Look at the 3DS — its initial lineup of games kind of didn't impress. 3DS owners are waiting to see what a real 3D game looks like — one made by Nintendo — games that won't come until later this fall. That's why sales have stalled.
Great 3D content is critical in shifting consumer perception that 3D is only a gimmick.
Meanwhile, 3D smartphones are dropping left and right like it's already an established standard. In a bid to make 3D smartphones more enticing, LG's releasing a "3D Game Converter software" that will be bundled in with its Optimus 3D smartphone this October.
LG knows that 3D content is the key to moving more 3D smartphones and since there's only a few 3D smartphone games available, it's new strategy is to convert all existing 2D smartphones games to 3D ones — on the fly.
With LG's converter, developers don't even need to program their 2D games for 3D. By the magic of algorithms — somehow automagically, the 3D Game Converter decides which parts of a game to add depth to.
According to HotHardware:
When a user opens a 2D mobile game through the 3D Game Converter, the program automatically scans the game to see if it is listed among the 2D mobile games optimized for 3D conversion. If the game has been optimized, it will be converted into 3D using default visual settings. Unlisted OpenGL-based 2D games can still be converted to 3D by adjusting the settings manually.
Needless to say, we're extremely skeptic of the results. We've seen so-called "live 2D to 3D conversion" technology in Toshiba's 3DTVs and various other electronics and, well, to be honest, it's absolutely terrible and hardly ever works. And when it does, the 3D, even with a 3D depth slider at max, is the furthest from "eye-popping." It's even more telling that the engineers behind these live 2D to 3D converters are reluctant to tell us exactly how the software magic works and how it decides which parts get depth and which parts don't. It's almost like the software just randomly decides which part to convert.
The takeaway? If you want great 3D, don't expect to rely on 2D content converted to 3D, unless the developers specifically programmed it with the extra D. For example, we're hearing great things about the 3D added to Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary. Based on experience, 3D conversions only serve to damage 3D's reputation and leave a sour taste with consumers. Let's not be fooled people.