Today, Nvidia is taking the wraps off its 3D Vision refresh, dubbed 3D Vision 2. While the functionality remains identical to the original, the update includes hardware optimizations that address some concerns with the 2.5+ year-old standard. You can check out our full 3D Vision 2 review on Monday morning, complete with performance benchmarks vs. AMD's competing HD3D product. For now, here are the important points:
This latest version comes with new glasses, new hardware, and some new tech behind enjoying 3D games and Blu-ray movies. Nvidia sees its 3D products as a major success thus far, with half a million 3D Vision kits sold, over 70 compatible products (monitors, laptops, all-in-ones) and a 3D games library with over 550 titles, so a refresh after roughly two years is to be expected.
Because 3D Vision uses active shutter glasses for the 3D effect, a significant amount of light is lost before the picture hits your eyes. The original standard suffers from relatively dark monitor output in conjunction with difficulty seeing through the glasses to see peripherals such as the keyboard. This problem has been successfully addressed with Nvidia 3D LightBoost, a collection of display technologies that include an LED monitor backlight that pulses twice as brightly and increasing the amount of time that the shutter glasses remain open. Nvidia says LightBoost will make 3D Vision 2 roughly 30 percent brighter than its predecessor.
Another major improvement comes with the glasses redesign, with a 20 percent bigger lens aperture. Constructed with softer composite materials, the frame will fit to your face tighter (but not too tight), so less light should bleed in from around the lenses. Nvidia also promises less ghosting and "true 120 Hz" gaming when in 2D mode. The great news is that old and new glasses are cross-compatible, so all 3D Vision glasses will work with any 3D Vision display.
So what about the new products? Nvidia is launching 3D Vision 2 with a new 27-inch Asus monitor, the VG278H. This LED-backlit beast has DVI and HDMI 1.4, an integrated IR emitter, 1920x1080 resolution and comes bundled with the appropriate glasses. Speaking of glasses, the redesigned frames are all wireless (no wired version), and cost $99 (or $149 bundled with an external IR emitter). There's also a Toshiba laptop, the Qosmio X770/X775, that's compatible with the new 3D standard.
3D Vision 2 is being launched today during Nvidia's GeForce LAN 6 in Alameda, CA. If you happen to be in the Bay Area, you should come by the USS Hornet (yeah, it's on an aircraft carrier) and check out the new 3D goodness. I'll be there all weekend, playing Battlefield 3 until my fingers bleed. [Editor's Note: Follow Devin on Twitter @devinconnors, he'll try to post updates about the LAN.] And once again, don't forget to check out our full 3D Vision 2 review on Monday!