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Reviewed: VRJoy 3D Glasses
Manufacturer: VRStandards
Product Type: 3D Glasses
Price: $79.95
Overall Rating:
Provided By: VRStandard Corp.
Author: Michael "" Ahlf/Kyle Maulden       Date: November 1st 1999
Page: 2

First of all, naturally, comes the appearance of the glasses. Unfortunately, there are some severe flaws in how the design works in several regards. First of all, the pass-through which hooks up in between the video card and monitor is long: be REALLY careful about dropping anything or you might damage the video card. Secondly, the glasses felt pretty fragile in the hands: for something which might fall off of the head, they're not exactly sturdy. Along that line again came the ear pieces: totally nonadjustable, they didn't quite fit my head and left much to be desired. Bottom line, if your head isn't perfectly shaped you could find the glasses shifting or feeling constrictive. Also, the glasses themselves are, quite truthfully, ugly. The glasses could look a lot better and be better shaped to people's heads for the price paid.

I myself found the glasses a bit on the large side. They're large and bulky, unlike others such as the 3D Revelators, which could maybe even pass as a pair of sunglasses! Above the LCD's, is a large plastic area, which mainly just ads weight to them. Although they seemed to fit my face fine, the nosepiece gave me a slight headache after playing with them for about 30 minutes. (no, the headache wasn't from flickering or anything, just the weight of the glasses on my nose) Micheal's also got a point with them sticking out the back of your video card. Right now, connected to my video card is the VRJoy's, followed by a GS Gun System from Act-Labs, then finally my monitor plugs into that. If I dropped something or hit that hard enough it could damage the video card, or one of the connectors.

The VRJoy's come with plenty of cable length though. I could easily sit a few feet away from my screen, if I wanted to and still have plenty of cord to spare. The plug on the back of your video card goes into a small central box, which contains a power button, button to enable the glasses, and a button to switch the left and right images. Then from there the glasses plug in using a standard analog plug. (the type headphones or most computer speakers use) There's even two available plugs on the box to allow you to plug two sets of glasses up, incase your friend wants to watch in 3D as well.

When it comes to controlling the glasses, there wasn't much to do -- a button to power them up (be aware that detaching the power cord itself will disable the monitor pass-through), a button to shift to the flicker mode, and a button to control which image is left and right. The glasses operate on a simple principle, with every vertical refresh put out by the video card going to one eye or the other in sequence, which means that video game players should have the Vertical Sync option of their video drivers enabled (otherwise, some funny visual effects can go off).

The glasses require (or at least recommend) a refresh rate of 100Hz at whatever resolution you intend on playing the game on. For most people this won't be a problem, but for some with older computers it may be. Before purchasing these glasses, be sure that you can support 100Hz at the resolution you play at. Otherwise the display will be very flickery and will most likely give you a monster of a headache!

What games look like while using VRJoy's, without the glasses of course
Tomb Raider

The performance of the glasses was pretty good in all tried cases, with options for certain games' settings (.ini files) available and a default setting also prepared. The games performed well: although I wouldn't be able to provide decent screenshots unless people also had the glasses (in which case things wouldn't be too problematic anyways), it took only a minimum of effort to get the games running visually well with Direct3D games. I tested it out with several of the "supported" games (Heavy Gear 2, Soul Reaver, Quake 2) with good effect in some places. In others, however, it was a bit overdone (some scenes looked like they were full of paper dolls and a background). The default settings also came through quite well on non-supported games, with Mechwarrior 3 running somewhat decently once I'd tweaked the settings a good deal and even Bleem! showing great visuals in all 3D-enabled titles. Not all Direct3D games were so lucky, however: Trespasser refused to give me any support and slowed to a crawl when I tried to enable the 3D effects. The functionality of the unit's 3D really couldn't be doubted. The only problem came in with the in-game alteration keys: even though shift-combinations were used, pressing the keys when they were bound to in-game functions (something that routinely happened in HG2 and MW3) could seriously mess around with the game, either activating the game control as well as making the adjustment or doing neither. to put it neatly, the performance was there but it wasn't without hitches.

I tried the glasses in a variety of games, including Half Life, Unreal Tournament, Star Wars Racer, Mortyr, and Quake 3. I'll start with Half Life. Supposedly the glasses support Half Life in OpenGL mode, but I deem otherwise. Once activating the glasses while in the game, the entire screen became unstable, and was shaking left and right. If you can get used to this shaking though, it really looked awesome. Sometimes it'll even scare you to see a rocket flying straight at your face. Or when you shoot the RPG, and go to reload it, when he pulls it up to reload it looks as if it's popping out of the screen. As for Unreal Tournament, it's not officially supported, but since Unreal is, I thought I'd give it a shot. As for the graphics, it looked amazing. The only problem was that at 1024x768, what I normally run it at, it slowed the game down considerably, even too much to accurately play. So don't expect to play Unreal Tournament on them until it's officially supported, as I'm on a PIII 600 and it still ran slow. Mortyr didn't really do much that I could notice. It didn't look near as cool as Unreal Tournament did. Of course it ran nice and fast, and wasn't flickery or jumpy. You could notice the enemies were 3D although. Quake 3 was similar to Mortyr, as there wasn't much of a 3D effect added by the glasses. Also using the OpenGL driver included with the glasses tuned down the texture quality noticably in Quake 3, making them more washed out. Lastly Star Wars Racer. This game performed the best with the glasses. It looks incredible! The back of Anikan's pod racer looked like it was floating out of your monitor, like you could simply reach out and grab it. Even as stone pillars fly by you at 400mph, you may even find yourself jump back thinking they're going to slam right into you! It's a truly unique feeling you'll never experience until true virtual reality is available at home.

Other than the games listed above, the glasses are compatible with a wide range of other games. If you would like to see the complete list of supported games, just click here.

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Added:  Monday, November 01, 1999
Reviewer:  Michael Ahlf
Page: 2/4

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