LG’s Optimus 3D smartphone looks like any Android candy bar touchscreen device, but as its name suggests its has a 3D screen enabling you to see depth without using glasses.
Indeed, thanks to its dual camera setup you can take your own HD 3D photos and videos, which is very neat.
However, for gamers the big deal is the 3D gaming.
Three games have been reworked for the device and its screen, and come embedded for free. All from Gameloft, they are N.O.V.A., Asphalt 6, and Let’s Golf! 2.
As you might expect, games in which you’re moving the in-game camera around, and/or using the Optimus 3D’s accelerometer for control, so moving the entire device - as happens in N.O.V.A. and Asphalt 6 - are not ideal experiences for 3D.
This is because the 3D screen has a fairly narrow viewing angle - much narrower than the Nintendo 3DS. Outside this range, you start to see the two different images which are rendered to create the single 3D image.
Incidentally, the games have a software 3D slider, which is similar in operation to the 3DS hardware slider. You can use this to vary the intensity of the 3D depth effect, or switch it off entirely.
However, in the case of Let’s Golf! 2, in which the in-game camera is fairly static and the controls are touchscreen, the 3D effect works brilliantly, adding cinematic intensity to the experience of wacking a ball down the golf course.
Of course, once the device is released - some time over the next couple of months - what will be significant is whether other games are released for the Optimus 3D, or whether these three will be the only 3D content available.
Nothing has been announced yet, and the cost of reworking old content, let alone developing new games, suggest that LG will have to sell a lot of units to convince Gameloft or other publishers it’s a worthwhile investment.