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May 31, 2010

The 3D PC

3D entertainment is gaining quite a bit of momentum especially with awesome 3D movies like Alice in Wonderland and of course James Cameron’s Avatar. We’re seeing a sort of “3D revolution”, as NVIDIA calls it, where 3D is being introduced in all kinds of types of visual entertainment ranging from of course movies and PC games to photos and even live 3D broadcasts. At Computex 2010 this week, NVIDIA is partnering with us (Microsoft), Alienware, Asus, Dell, Toshiba and others to introduce a new category of PC: the 3D PC.

With a 3D PC, the consumer can easily bring the amazing 3D experiences into their home. For example, they can play 3D PC games. NVIDIA has invested a lot of time working closely with game developers so that more than 425 PC games work great with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology. Sony and Fujifilm will be bringing 3D digital cameras to market where consumers can take 3D photos and view them in 3D on their 3D PC. A 3D PC can view the Web in 3D including live streaming of 3D video. And you can watch Blu-ray 3D movies thanks to folks like Cyberlink who will be releasing a version of their software player that will support playback of Blu-ray movies in 3D.

UPDATE 5/31: Microsoft and NVIDIA are showing off streaming 3D content this week at Computex using the latest 3D Vision Silverlight-based video player and IIS Smooth Streaming to a PC running NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology.

So what makes a 3D PC? A 3D PC must have, by definition, the following minimum requirements:

  • A pair of 3D active-shutter glasses.
  • A 120Hz 3D-capable display which can be a desktop LCD monitor, a 3D projector, a 3D TV, or a laptop with an integrated 3D-capable LCD.
  • A discrete GPU such as the latest GeForce GPU’s from NVIDIA that are designed to deliver HD content to a 3D display.

The idea behind having a 3D PC category is to make it easier for consumers who are looking at purchasing a new PC to get a PC that is capable of delivering the 3D experience for the right budget. For example, several OEMs will be featuring a “3D PC” category on their websites. For folks wanting to upgrade an existing PC to get the 3D experience – retailers will be featuring 3D PC branded components to easily identify what they need to do their upgrade.

It’s really exciting to see this new category and the 3D space grow. Both my colleague Ben Rudolph and I will be talking more about 3D PCs in the coming months here on the Windows Experience Blog.

For more information, give this blog post a read from the NVIDIA Blog. UPDATE 5/31: You can read more information here from NVIDIA’s Press Release.

NVIDIA today is also announcing the newest addition to their GeForce consumer GPUs based on their Fermi architecture: the GeForce GTX 465. Previously, the GeForce GTX 480 and 470 GPUs were announced in March. The GTX 465 will hit with the target price of $279, like all GTX 400 series GPU will support DirectX 11, and also support NVIDA’s 3D Vision technology. For more information on the GTX 465, click here to read their blog post. UPDATE 5/31: More information included in NVIDIA’s Press Release for the GeForce GTX 465.