If you've never pulled out those red/blue glasses (usually with cardboard frames) to watch a pseudo-3D film or check out some images, you'd have to have grown up locked inside a crate in that corner of the level that almost no-one ever roams (you know the one). Regardless of your upbringing, you probably weren't too impressed with the effect - but technology doesn't sleep, and it's been very busy. NVIDIA released its 3D VISION glasses some months ago, but it's taken that long for a compatible screen to actually hit our shores, due to the need for a 120Hz refresh rate.
The glasses themselves are about as stylish as wearing your phaser on a utility belt at all times, and while they perhaps don't make you look badass they're at least pretty comfortable, even with traditional help-you-see-stuff glasses underneath. A small internal battery, charged by mini USB, provides power to the two liquid crystal shutters in the lenses themselves. An infrared base unit sits beside the monitor, and so long as line-of-sight is maintained the glasses interpret the signal, syncing with it to completely block an eye for 1/120th of a second. This effectively makes each eye have its own stream of 60 visible frames - and that's where the Samsung monitor comes into its own.
After downloading and installing the correct display driver (only compatible with NVIDIA graphics cards, naturally) and connecting the screen via the included dual-link DVI cable, I installed one of the games named on the compatibility list as 'Excellent' - Call of Duty 4. Bumping the settings to full, I figured that the ASUS GTX285 Matrix could handle it pretty well. Throwing the glasses on, hitting the infrared base unit's activation button and starting the game, my socks blasted themselves across the room.
To say the effect is impressive when you first view it is a relative understatement, as the monitor was able to display the game with absolutely no detectable ghosting, with accurate colour reproduction and a decent brightness. Comparable to looking through a portal into another world, the previously flat image came to life in a way that not even 3D movies can imitate. Objects close to the screen actually felt close enough to touch, faraway objects caused my eyes to focus as if on the horizon, and text hovered spookily right in front of me.
The 3D effect was overzealous to begin with, giving me a quick headache, but turning the depth down gave a similar sense of spatial awareness without the inability to focus my eyeballs properly. Thanks to the dot-pitch of the screen being relatively high, I was soon able to crack headshots and other manly things with ease, though a momentary bout of seasickness from the frigate level was unsettling. The Samsung screen is the only one in the whole country that is compatible with the glasses (that themselves run you $300), but even if 3D isn't your thing the screen is incredibly sharp, colourful and the high refresh rate is even great for pro gamers. We definitely like.