CyberPower rarely wastes any time in adopting new technologies for its gaming rigs, and now is no exception. Coming hot off the assembly lines are several gaming systems now equipped with Nvidia's 3D Vision platform.
"We are excited about incorporating the new 3D PC category into our mix of gaming desktops," said Eric Cheung, CEO of CyberPower. "As 3D gaming technology continues to evolve, integrating 3D PCs into our product lineup is essential to provide consumers the perfect solution for 3D gaming and entertainment."
Playing both sides of the fence, customers can customize 3D-ready PCs built around both AMD (Gamer Ultra series) and Intel (Gamer Extreme series) platforms. Pricing starts out at a little under $1,300 for the Gamer Ultra 3D 1000, which includes an AMD Phenom II X6 1055T processor, 4GB of DDR3-1600 memory, Nvidia GTS 250 graphics card, Gigabyte MA770T-USB3 AM3 motherboard, 1TB SATA hard drive, DVD burner, CoolerMaster Elite 310 case, and a Samsung 2233RZ 22-inch 3D LCD monitor with Nvidia's 3D Vision stereoscopic glasses bundle.
The cost of entry for an Intel system checks in at $1,389 (Gamer Xtreme 3D 2000) and includes the same monitor/3D glasses combo, plus an Intel Core i5 750 processor, EVGA P55 TR P55V motherboard, and 4X Blu-ray drive. Like the Ultra, the baseline Extreme setup includes the same RAM, hard drive, and DVD burner.
Computex doesn't officially kick off until tomorrow, but most vendors are already in place and some have begun showing off their upcoming gadgets. Once such company is Asus, who has been busy talking up its ROG G53 notebook.
This 15.6-inch gaming powerhouse will come with Core i3, Core i5, and Core i7 processor options, up to 16GB of DDR3-1333 memory on quad-core configurations (up to 8GB on dual-core configs), LED backlit HD display, Nvidia "Enthusiast" graphics, two storage compartments with support for up to 1.5TB HDD or 1TB SSD, optional Blu-ray drive, USB 3.0 ports, and HDMI.
Jumping on the 3D bandwagon, Asus says some of these will come equipped with embedded sensors and active shutter glasses, both for 3D gaming and for hooking up to your HDTV for 3D movie watching.
Probably one of the biggest hurdles in pushing 3D into the living room is requiring movie watchers to slap on a pair of custom spectacles to see the 3D effect. Well, come 2015 you might not have to, according a Taiwanese research group.
According to Taiwan's Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), 3D LCD TVs that don't require donning a pair of dorky-looking polarized glasses will hit the global market by 2015, effectively rendering today's displays obsolete (they'll still work, just like a bulky rear-projection TV still works even though they've been supplanted by slim LCD models).
The technology for glasses-free 3D is already well under way. The research group recently showed off a 42-inch 3D display that doesn't require glasses, and according to Stephen Jeng, director of ITRI's 3D System and Application Division, his company is capable of building these types of screens as large as 65 inches.
On a much smaller scale, both Sharp and Hitachi are busy putting together glasses-free 3D screens, presumably for Nintendo's upcoming 3DS handheld console. Like Sharp and Hitachi, Jeng's team is using parallax barrier technology to create the 3D effect. It's been noted that parallax barrier displays typically require a strict viewing angle, which isn't so bad on a handheld console, but could become problematic in a living room setting.
It would have been hard to imagine just a few short years ago that 3D in the home would suddenly take off overnight, but that's exactly what appears to be happening. According to market research firm iSuppli, global 3D TV shipments will reach 4.2 million units in 2010, and that's just the beginning.
Early adopters and increased traction are cited as reasons for the sector's explosive growth, and as iSuppli tells it, 3D TV shipments will more than triple to 12.9 million units in 2011. After that, you can expect the 3D TV market to double to 27.4 million units in 2012, and by 2015, shipments will reach 78.1 million units, rising at a CAGR of 80.2 percent from 2010.
Those are impressive numbers, though just a fraction of the overall TV market. Shipments of all types of LCD TVs are on pace to hit 170 million units this year, while LED backlit sets will see shipments of 26 million units.
Of course, hardware is only part of the equation. Content providers are preparing for the explosive growth, and already ESPN has talked up plans to launch the world's first 3D network. Disney and Sony, meanwhile, both have announced 3D Blu-ray releases for 2010.
Videogames are only just now beginning to take their first wobbly steps into the brave new gimmick world of 3D, but by Ubisoft's estimates, they'll be winning Olympic gold medals in sprinting in a mere two years.
“The 3D games are going to come more and more with the TV screens that are available,” company CEO Yves Guillemot said in a recent conference call. “I think next year we should maybe see 15-20 percent of games that will be 3D on next-generation consoles. And then the following year it will be 50 percent.”
These days, the 3D space is predominately ruled by Nvidia's 3D Vision initiative on the PC, but between Sony's plan to have PS3 games popping right out of screens by June and Nintendo's recent announcement of the 3DS, it seems like 3D Fever's spreading fast.
Movies, TVs, and now videogames – what's next? Real life? No, no. That's just ridiculous.
You can't escape it folks, 3D is fast becoming the hottest trend in tech, at least from a marketing standpoint. How well all these 3D devices are received remains to be seen, but it looks as though Lenovo will find out fairly soon.
Citing un-named market watchers, DigiTimes feels pretty confident Lenovo is gearing up to release a stereoscopic 3D notebook in the third quarter of 2010, well ahead of the holiday shopping season. As for which 3D technology Lenovo plans to adopt -- Nvidia's GeForce 3D Vision (active shutter glasses) or Winstron's own technology, which uses polarized glasses -- the general consensus is that they'll go with Winstron.
Either way, you'll need to put on a pair of glasses to cash in on the 3D effects, which could end up turning consumers off. There are other 3D technologies on the table, such as the one Sharp is working on that uses a parallax barrier to achieve 3D effects without the need for glasses. There are some downsides to this too, however, the biggest one being the strict viewing angle. In addition, it seems that Sharp and Hitachi (the other company working on a parallax barrier display) have smaller screens set in their sights, such as the one that will be used on Nintendo's upcoming 3DS console.
Oh woe are we, for yet another freeware application has grown its wings and left the nest of awesome, available software that we can all install on our desktop and laptop systems ad infinitum. In case you haven't heard, Google has picked up BumpTop--technically, Bump Technologies--leaving fans of three-dimensional displays but a scant week or so to download the company's freeware app before it all goes away.
Of course, BumpTop isn't gone for good--it remains to be seen just how Google plans to integrate its multitouch-friendly, three-dimensional desktop transformations into the company's own services. Rest assured that you'll likely see some incarnation of BumpTop emerge in the future. But whether it's coming back as a standalone download or as a part of a brand-new device is anyone's guess.
However, that doesn't mean that you're left with no way to break your two-dimensional desktop out of its existing constraints. I'm taking a look at five different 3D transformation tools in this week's Freeware Files. Don't let the (brief?) demise of BumpTop be the end of your experimentation with three-dimensional system desktops!
Here's a buzzword to remember: Autostereoscopic. What is it? Put simply, it's a type of display that allows for 3D content without having to wear any funny looking glasses, and several major manufacturers are jumping on board. Toshiba is one of the first out of the gates with an autostereoscopic high-definition display, which measures 21 inches and supports a 1280x800 pixel resolution (WXGA).
"To date most 3D products have used special glasses to separate a picture into two images: one for the left eye and the other for the right eye," Toshiba explains. "But the market has strongly desired a more versatile and glasses-free approach that could be used anywhere. This new product employs an integral imaging system (a “light field” display) to reproduce a real object as a 3D image that can be viewed without glasses over a wide range of viewing angles. Therefore, the display is suitable for 3D monitors used for advertisements and entertainment appliances."
Toshiba says its new 21-inch display adopts a lens sheet to control reduction in surface luminance intensity so that it's every bit as bright as a standard 2D display. When it will ship and for how much remains to be seen, but Toshiba isn't alone here. Both Sharp and Hitachi are working on autosterescopic 3D displays of their own, though on a smaller scale. Word on the Web is that one or both of these manufacturers will provide the 3D panel for Nintendo's upcoming 3DS handheld.
Apparently even the U.S. Treasury is getting caught up in the 3D hype sweeping the tech industry. Don't believe it? Take at peek at the new $100 note, now with a 3D security ribbon.
"When holding the note, tilt it back and forth while focusing on the blue ribbon," Newmoney.gov instructs during a virtual tour of the bill. "You will see the bells change to 100s as they move. When you tilt the note back and forth, the bells and 100s move side to side. If you tilt it side to side, they move up and down."
According to Newmoney.gov, the 3D ribbon comes woven into the paper rather than printed on top of it and is just one of several new security features, such as raised printing on Benjamin Franklin's shoulder, and a color changing inkwell and bell.
Maybe one day we'll look back and remember 3D in the homestead as just a passing fad, but in the here now, and short term future, be prepared to have 3D devices shoved down your throat. Toshiba will be among those force feeding 3D tech to households this summer when the company releases its "3D Regza" LCD TV line.
"Based on the concept of high-quality 3D images, we will release products that are different from other companies," Toshiba said.
Toshiba was referring to its "2D-3D" conversion technology. As is often the case, the hardware is preceding the content, so while you wait for more 3D programming to hit the airwaves, Toshiba's upcoming displays will be able to convert normal images into 3D.
Europe will be the first to receive these upcoming displays, though Japan looks to figure prominently in Toshiba's 3D plans. The company said it plans to increase the ratio of 3D TVs among its TVs larger than 46 inches in Japan to 20 percent by the end of the year.