Nvidia Setting The Stage For 3D PC

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New York - Nvidia is on a mission to show that 3D is not just for the TV.

Company execs are taking pains to show the possibilities of 3D for desktop and laptop for video and gaming, particularly in light of all the hype the technology is garnering on the TV and movie side of the business.

"3D is the big thing. Seventy-five percent of games being developed are in 3D," said Phil Eisler, Nvidia's general manager of 3D Vision, during a recent press tour.

Gaming is just one aspect of what is expected to drive consumer interest in having 3D capable computers.

Eisler said 3D content posted on YouTube and Hulu is what will drive 3D usage in computers, even more so than gaming.

While the number of 3D-ready displays and computers is small, with about six laptops and 12 desktops expected to be available by the end of the year, Eisler said, he expects a dramatic uptick by the 2011 holiday season.

This will be driven by lower prices and the greater availability of 3D Blu-ray player and an upcoming 3D Blu-ray player from Cyberlink. There is currently a minimum of a $300 price delta on 3D-equipped computers, pushing a 3D-equipped laptop to about $1,500, Eisler said. He hopes this will fall to a sub-$1,000 mark next year.

Nvidia research indicates about 1 million 3D PCs will sell this year increasing to about 6 million in 2011.

In the meantime, Nvidia anticipates increased sales of aftermarket 3D upgrade kits, which is the least-expensive method to give 3D capability to a PC.

Nvidia has been selling its 3D Vision bundle for several months. For $598 it comes with one of Nvidia's3D graphics cards, a 22-inch-wide Samsung 120Hz display, 3D active-shutter glasses and a wireless IR emitter to send the 3D signal to the glasses.

A major 3D push will take place at the Computex show in Taiwan in June, with Nvidia and several computer partners unveiling future plans, Eisler said.


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