by Phil Eisler

We've just finished off our keynote, and if you were here you'd know that 3D has been a hot topic for a while, particularly since the release of James Cameron’s Avatar movie last December. It’s something that’s been near and dear to NVIDIA for a while, as well, and it’s the reason why we’ve been working on 3D for more than 5 years. The result of our work is an extensive and growing ecosystem of 3D content, displays and cameras that interoperate with NVIDIA’s 3D Vision technology.

3D Your PC

Until now, getting the NVIDIA 3D Vision experience was for the Do-It-Yourself (DIY) enthusiasts who could purchase a 120Hz, 3D Vision-Ready certified display, install a suitable GeForce graphics card, add the 3D Vision shutter glasses kit and install all of the drivers. Today at Computex, entry into the 3D Vision experience just got easier. During his keynote, NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang announced the creation of the new 3D PC category.

With broad industry support from Asus, Acer, Dell, LG, Toshiba, ViewSonic and many system builders, consumers can now buy a completely configured 3D PC and get a 3D experience right out of the box. Imagine watching Avatar in 3D, or playing World of Warcraft in 3D immediately after unboxing your PC.

Prices for 3D PCs will begin at about $1,500 and include everything that you need: 120Hz, certified display, shutter glasses and pre-installed drivers. This price is about half the price of a new 3D TV, making it the least expensive way to enjoy 3D content at home. If you do purchase a 3D TV later, or if you already have one, you can connect your 3D PC to it via HDMI 1.4 to enjoy your stereoscopic 3D content on the big screen.

Jerry Shen, CEO of ASUS, demonstrated some ready-to-go 3D PCs in desktop, notebook and all-in-one varieties here at Computex. You can get your 3D fix in whatever PC form you’re considering. Alice Chang, CEO of CyberLink, also showed us some of the content you can enjoy on 3D PCs including the Hollywood movie, Disney 3D theatrical movie trailers on Blu-ray 3D. She also demoed conversion of a 2D DVD disk into 3D—impressive stuff.

3D photography was another hot topic during today’s keynote. We’re already fans of the FujiFilm FinePix 3D camera for its dual-lens point and shoot simplicity, and today Sony announced 3D Sweep Panorama mode for their small and light NEX-5 camera family. More on this coming soon to the blog, stay tuned.

The last big new announcement for the 3D PC here at Computex came from Microsoft who announced that Silverlight, a web content development platform now supports streaming 3D content over the web to NVIDIA 3D Vision-equipped PCs. NVIDIA and Microsoft demonstrated the world’s first high definition 3D music video – We Are The World 3D – streamed over the internet. We’ll be sharing more details about this on the blog later.

I remember when id Software introduced one of the first 3D modeled video games – Doom. What a transformational experience. Since that time, we have seen incremental improvements to 3D on the PC, but the end result has always been projected back onto a flat 2D screen. Now with stereoscopic 3D, these 3D worlds can be seen and enjoyed in three dimensions. It’s a whole new experience that amazes everyone who tries it. Video games have just gone to a whole new level.

As applications continue to arrive, the 3D PC becomes more and more compelling. NVIDIA 3D Vision already supports over 425 games, Blu-ray 3D, pictures and web video streaming. Even NVIDIA’s press conference was projected in 3D. The audience got a glimpse of what PowerPoint and Excel could be like in 3D—think about it. Would really spice up the workday, wouldn’t it?

If you’re considering purchasing a new PC this year, you should make sure it’s a 3D PC. There’s a ton of content available for you to enjoy today and you’ll be future-proofed for all the great new content that’s coming later this year.