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Final Fantasy artwork app brings 3D to iPad

Final Fantasy for iPad? Don’t get too excited. Square Enix isn’t yet bringing an actual Final Fantasy game to Apple’s tablet, although we suspect it will do in the coming months.

However, the clunkily-titled Final Fantasy XIII Larger-than-Life Gallery for iPad is interesting for another reason: it’s one of the first sightings of 3D visuals on the iPad. By which we mean the kind of 3D you need special glasses to see.

The app itself is a collection of artwork from the latest Final Fantasy console game, which you can zoom and swipe around, and save images as wallpaper. There’s already a version for iPhone. However, the iPad version has a bonus image, which the app’s blurb describes as “a character that will appear in 3D when viewed through anaglyph (red/cyan) 3D glasses.

Comically, it also stresses that these glasses aren’t included with the app purchase, presumably for eejits who haven’t realised they can’t download physical items from the App Store.

3D is a big deal right now in the TV world, with Sky showing football matches in pubs, and TV makers hoping that the popularity of Avatar will persuade millions of couch potatoes to go out and buy 3D-capable sets to get a similar experience in their living rooms.

3D is also starting to cause a stir in the gaming world, with Nintendo about to unveil a 3D-capable version of its DS, and Sony making noises about the potential impact of 3D on PlayStation going forward.

Apple hasn’t been part of this 3D phenomenon so far, although its techies are clearly working on 3D ideas, judging by this patent for a glasses-free 3D display, which emerged this week. The Final Fantasy app at least shows the current iPad is capable of handling anaglyph-based 3D content.

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