The entire Star Wars saga is being converted to 3D and will pop up in theaters sometime around Valentine's Day (February) 2012, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
20th Century Fox and Lucasfilm haven't settled on a specific date just yet, but did say they'll kick things off with "Star Wars: Episode I -- The Phantom Menace." If it does well in the box office, the other five films will follow a year apart on around the same date. Another option being discussed is releasing the rest the saga at different times throughout the year.
By releasing the 3D remakes early in the year, George Lucas is hoping to get a head start against summertime blockbusters, and also sell related merchandise throughout the year.
Those of you holding your breath for the Nintendo 3DS will have to do so until late February or March (depending on which part of the world you call home). Nintendo has confirmed the launch date of the 3DS and also revealed its price. The handheld will debut first in Japan on February 26, 2011 and then go on to launch in Europe, Australia and the U.S the following month.
The autostereoscopic successor to the Nintendo DS will cost ¥25,000 (US$298), according to Nintendo president Satoru Iwata. He made the announcement at a press event in Japan. The hardware package will include a Nintendo 3DS hardware unit, recharging cradle, AC adapter, 3DS stylus, 2GB SD memory card and 6 AR Cards (used for games with AR technologies). The complete 3DS spec list is available here.
If you are planning to bite into the 3D hype, LG's Xnote A510 3D Notebook could help you get started. You might be wondering what really sets it apart from the rest. According to LG, the Xnote A510 is “the world's first premium notebook offering cinematic 3D experience at near Full HD quality.”
Available in blue-black and champagne gold, the A510 features a 15.6-inch Full HD 3D LED LCD display, an Intel Core i7 CPU (840QM or 740QM), and NVIDI GeForce GT 425M graphics with 1GB of dedicated DDR3 video memory. The A510 will ship with polarized 3D glasses and a set of clip-on 3D lenses for the bespectacled.
Having sensed a dearth of 3D content, LG has decided to ship its TriDef 2D-to-3D content conversion software along with the notebook. It is slated to hit Asia, South America, the Middle East and Africa in October.
Acer today is launching a new a lineup of Aspire notebooks geared for entertainment and productivity, including the 3D-ready Aspire 5745DG.
The Aspire 5745DG sports a 15.6-inch 120Hz LCD screen with a 1366x768 resolution and adds Nvidia's 3D Vision technology, which consists of a pair of 3D shutter glasses with a built-in IR receiver. Other features include an Intel Core i5 processor, Nvidia GeForce GT 420M graphics, 500GB hard drive, four USB 2.0 ports, 802.11 a/b/g/n Wi-Fi, media card reader, 1.3MP webcam, and a 9-cell battery.
Also among the handful of new notebooks are three non-3D models, the Aspire AS5642G, AS5745, an AS7745. These range in size from 15.6 inches to 17.3 inches (1600x900) and are powered by Intel's Core i3/i5/i7 processors. All four models include Nvidia's Optimus technology.
Pricing start out at $650, with the 3D-ready AS5745DG available in late October for $1,000.
A new report (PDF) by market firm DisplaySearch suggests that even though 3D is making a strong push to penetrate the notebook market, consumers are a little reluctant to buy into the hype.
"Is the market ready to accept 3D in a notebook PC? If the sales this year are any indication, then it seems that consumers are, so far, hesitant to embrace 3D notebook PCs," DisplaySearch said in its report. "Since the beginning of the year, less than 100,000 3D-equipped notebook PCs have been sold in a market of more than 100 million notebooks. That is less than one-tenth of one percent of the total notebook PC market."
In another recent study -- this one conducted by Nielsen -- consumers who viewed 3D content became less interested in purchasing a 3D TV. Factor in higher costs and concerns over having to wear 3D glasses, it could be awhile before 3D truly enters the mainstream.
Do you think 3D is here to stay, or just a passing fad?
Sony this week announced a new firmware release for the PlayStation 3 that will expand the console's 3D capabilities.
"We've announced that the PS3 system will be able to play back 3D content on Blu-ray 3D discs with the system software update (v3.50), slated for release on September 21," Sony wrote in a blog post. "We know that many consumers have purchased 3D TVs already and more of you will be purchasing them as the holidays approach -- so we're excited to offer this firmware update that makes all 38 million PS3s worldwide compatible with Blu-ray 3D discs."
PS3 owners have been able to play stereoscopic 3D games with the 3.30 firmware update released in April, but 3D movies wasn't yet part of the package. That changes next week, however there's a small caveat. Unlike dedicated 3D Blu-ray players, some parts of the menu and other minor portions of some DVDs will remain in 2D, Sony said.
Sony also recently updated its list of supported 3D games for the PS3 during, including Final Fantasy XIV (due out in March), Everybody's Golf 5, Disaster Report 4: Summer Memories, and Metal Gear Solid: Rising.
MSI today announced it is taking its Wind Top AE2420 3D stateside. According to MSI, this latest Wind Top is the world's first 3D touchscreen all-in-one (AIO) PC, which is also capable of converting 2D content into three dimensions.
"Most people don't realize that MSI has been making the guts of PCs for more than 20 years, and were the first to launch the 10-inch netbook, which is now the most popular form factor on the market," said Andy Tung, vice president of sales, MSI U.S. "By bringing the world's first 3D all-in-one PC to North America, MSI is continuing to introduce people to the future of computing."
The main attraction, of course, is the 23.6-inch LED backlit display where the 3D magic comes to life. In and around the AIO sits some fairly powerful hardware and respectable feature-set, including an Intel Core i7 860 processor clocked at 2.8GHz, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 5730 graphics with 1GB of GDDR3 memory, 4GB of DDR3 RAM, 801.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, a 1TB SATA hard drive, Blu-ray/DVD burner combo, 1.3MP webcam, 6-in-1 memory card reader, a pair of USB 3.0 ports, four USB 2.0 ports, eSATA, and Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit.
In addition to the 3D visuals, MSI is making noise over the AE2420's sound system. Two 5W speakers are flanked by a 10W subwoofer and include Creative's THX TruStudio Pro technology.
The Wind Top AE2420 will be available soon starting at $1,800.
At the time of its theatrical release, many in the consumer electronics industry hoped that “Avatar” would usher in a new era in home entertainment, an era where 3D is no longer a novelty but the norm. James Cameron's magnum opus didn't disappoint and is now viewed by many as a watershed in 3D's march to the living room.
However, its upcoming release on 3D Blu-ray is unlikely to strengthen the case for 3D's place in the living room. Panasonic execs have confirmed that the Avatar 3D Blu-ray disc will be exclusive to the company's Viera 3D TVs when it arrives in December, 2010.
According to a TWICE report, the 3D Blu-ray disc will only be available as part of a bundle with “Viera 3D TVs and related equipment” for an unspecified period of time after launch.
"For the consumer, there is really no better way to experience 3D in the home than with this particular disc," Victor Carlson, Panasonic's consumer marketing VP, told TWICE. "This is the perfect marriage between this blockbuster made for 3D and what we think is the ultimate home entertainment system for enjoying 3D using our TV sets."
Don't let the lack of 3D content get you down. For those of you suffering from the 3D Blu-ray blues with your Toshiba Satellite A665-3DV laptop, the latest software update adds a 2D to 3D conversion application so you can pretend that all your existing 2D content is really three-dimensional.
There's also new firmware available that promises to shuttle stereoscopic games and video over the integrated HDMI port, as well as tweak the Blu-ray drive so that it can play 3D movies, because apparently it didn't already do that.
Otherwise, everything else is as you remember it. The $1,600 laptop comes with an Intel Core i7 740QM processor, 4GB of DDR3 memory, GeForce GTS 350M graphics, a 15.6-inch widescreen display, 640GB hard drive spinning at 5400RPM, Blu-ray burner, and of course Nvidia's 3D Vision Kit.
Sony has been teasing PlayStation 3 console owners that a firmware update slated for September would inject support for Blu-ray movies in 3D, but now it appears users will have a wait just a little longer. Citing un-named sources, Fudzilla says Sony has decided to push the update back a month.
There's no word on why the update is being pushed back until October, only that it is. When it does come, however, it will open the door to a variety of 3D rendering-related content, including 3D YouTube videos and PlayTV broadcasts. It's expected that the 3D upgrade will also support the add-on HDTV/DVR device Sony offers for the PS3.