Skip to main content

James Cameron: Games will "drive" 3D

Filmmaker predicts "stampede" of releases.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Avatar creator James Cameron does not see movies as the cardinal preachers of 3D.

That role, he said, belongs to video games.

"Video games are going to be the drivers, but they haven't done so today because the cycle creation has lagged behind," said Cameron at the NAB 2011 conference in Las Vegas (reported by Yahoo).

"The consumer electronics companies introduced these screens last year, so we're a year into this and it takes 18 months to two years to author a high quality video game. So you're going to see a stampede of video games and then that, in turn, is just going to catalyse more broad scale adoption in the home of these big 3D screens."

Before people reach that point, where they're comfortable forking out hundreds or thousands of pounds on a 3D telly, Cameron thinks they'll play a 3DS.

"Video games are going to help propel the autostereoscopic (glasses free) play because that's going to be the entry level for most people," he said.

"These single-viewing devices that are engaging the person to play these video games will drive a lot of investment in autostereoscopic displays for that very reason.

"That technology will trickle up to the larger 3D displays that will be used for home viewing and gaming," he added.

Eventually, homes will have large autostereoscopic 3D tellies. They're more convenient, Cameron reckons.

"I don't think we'll ever get rid of the glasses in movie theaters - not in my lifetime, anyway. But we're going to get rid of them at home because it's a different viewing model type," he explained.

"You're distracted at home. You're doing other things. You're pausing a game or a movie and going to get pizza or whatever it is. It's not the same very-dedicated sort of consciousness that you have in a movie theater, so getting rid of the glasses will be a big deal."

Why should we care what Cameron thinks? Because he's put a lot of stock (millions of dollars) into 3D. He created Avatar, the most successful movie ever, and a pioneering champion of stereoscopic 3D.

He also oversaw the development of the mediocre Avatar game - the first simultaneous cross-platform 3D release of the medium. That Avatar game has sold nearly 3 million copies now, and Cameron's not finished with games yet.

"I'd love to do an MMORPG experience inside the Avatar universe and I would like to see it authored in 3D," declared Cameron. "I'd like to see people doing gameplay in 3D, so that's something that we're looking to do. But we're not active on that yet."

Today, Cameron keeps himself busy writing Avatar 2 and 3 (yes they have a story). The films carry hopeful 2014 and 2015 releases, respectively.

Cameron will also be involved with games based around those movies.

Avatar DVD sales were the second best selling form of entertainment last year. What was the best? Call of Duty: Black Ops.

Avatar 2D versus Avatar 3D.

Read this next