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Nvidia Corp. on Monday announced its new software that will make the company’s graphics cards compatible with third-party active-shutter stereoscopic 3D glasses. The 3DTV Play software will be sold separately and will “convert” hundreds of video games and other software into stereo 3D mode.

Nvidia 3DTV Play software will be available this spring for $39.99 when acquired separately or for free when bundled with Nvidia 3D Vision kits that include wireless active-shutter stereo 3D glasses and 3D Vision USB controller/IR emitter that cost $199. The 3DTV Play software provides full support for all HDMI 1.4-compatible 3D TVs that support 1080p24, 720p60, 720p50 3D formats.

Nvidia promises that its software and graphics drivers automatically convert more than 400 games to stereoscopic 3D in real time, without the need for special patches.

“Nvidia is all about raising the bar of PC gaming, and gamers are going to love playing in 3D on one of the new Panasonic Viera 50” full HD 3D TVs. This is truly one of those ‘must experience to believe it’ moments, and we are ecstatic that consumers will have the chance to try it for themselves on any of our 15 stops across the U.S.,” said Phil Eisler, general manager of 3D Vision technology at Nvidia.

While it is a positive news that Nvidia GeForce-based personal computers will be able to output stereo 3D even in cases of third-party 3D glasses, it remains to be seen whether Nvidia’s attempt to sell software instead of hardware will be a success. Traditionally, Nvidia tries to certify certain components and get payments for its efforts from hardware vendors. This time the company decided to charge the end-users for its stereo 3D software, something that historically has not proved to be a good move for a hardware company.

Tags: Stereo 3D, Nvidia, Geforce

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