Today, 3DMark made a rather cool announcement – it opened up the beta for the 2016 3DMark update. It may be called the "Holiday Beta," but it will be open until the update comes out. The best part is that it comes with a preview of VRMark, which was first announced back in June.
Futuremark made it clear that the preview is for entertainment purposes only, and that it doesn’t actually produce a score. You’ll be able freely roam through one of the classic 3DMark scenes and you can get "up close" with four of them. (Time for a game of "the floor is lava.")
The best part is, you don’t actually need a VR headset to be able to use the preview. VRMark will work with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and your monitor. Granted, it won’t nearly be as enjoyable on your monitor, and we’re sure that attempting cross-eyed 3D (remember those "magic paintings" from the 1990s?) will result in a headache.
To access the 3DMark Holiday Beta, you need to own 3DMark on Steam. To install the holiday beta, follow these instructions in the Steam Community post.
In addition to previewing VRMark, Futuremark is also including the new interface with the beta that we'll be seeing with the 2016 update. Part of this new interface is the ability to download each benchmark individually, sparing you the huge downloads every time there is an update.
We've reached out to Futuremark to ask when the 2016 update for 3DMark will arrive.
Update, 12/21/2015, 8:12am PT: Futuremark informed us that assuming the beta runs smoothly, it expects to launch the update in January.