Okay, that’s over the top but for less that $4.00 I get to try out NVIDIA 3D video game effects. I have a GTX-260 in my Windows 7 game machine Home Workstation and wanted to play around with the 3D capabilities. NVIDIA does sell a nice LCD shutter kit for around $200 but I had a couple of issues with that.

First off it’s $200. For just trying it that seemed a little steep. Second, it seems like the shutter kit needs a video display monitor that can do 120 Hz refresh rate. My Dell 2407WFP display can do some resolutions at 75Hz but not at resolutions I like to play at. And last time I looked 75Hz was not 120. So after quick search on eBay and I found a seller and made a purchase. With postal shipping it came out to less than $4.00 and my glasses arrived a couple of days later.

It’s too bad that not all my gadget purchases were like that! In the NVIDIA desktop control panel, I enabled 3D, did some quick setup, and it’s off to the races. The glasses are what you would expect. They are cardboard with a left red plastic and a blue right plastic. By default I leave 3D off but pressing CTRL-T (it’s definable) I turn on 3D.

Borderlands in 3D is bizarre. Aiming takes some more effort; it’s not that the target has moved or the coordinates are different. It’s that the addition of perspective makes aiming more challenging. Left 4 Dead 2 was just plain nuts. It looks like any DirectX that has a 3D perspective can work. I tried playing Max Payne 2 in 3D and that was also pretty wild. Even Torchlight does the 3D shuffle!

The colors are of course off. You are looking through two different colored panes of plastic and that changes the look somewhat. But your brain does an interesting thing. When you are dodging for your life in Borderlands or Left 4 Dead 2, you skip the odd colors and just play the game.

It’s not perfect but for what I paid I am very satisfied with the 3D effect. And when I get tired of it, it’s just CTRL-T and take off the glasses.