The New York Times provides a handy guide for the uninitiated, explaining HFR (high frame rate) 3D and why The Hobbit is being presented in this new format. They write, "The HFR 3D format, which is digital, provides more of a high-definition video look than a grainy celluloid feel. Some may liken it to the way sports games appear on a large HD television screen, bright and crisp. Because the eye is seeing images at twice the usual rate, there is a kind of hyper-real quality. Mr. Jackson has called the format 'immersive.' But the early response from film critics has been mixed."
Read it in full here.