Asian computer firms betting on a 3D future

Computer companies are betting that the future is not only bright but in three dimensions, as a string of manufacturers are set to bring 3D laptops and desktops on to the market.

Fujitsu announced on Wednesday a desktop computer that can play 3D content, convert 2D DVDs to 3D and even has a 3D camera.

And Toshiba's 3D Dynabook TX/98MB laptop, which it says is the first laptop to play 3D Blu-ray discs, goes sale in Japan in July.

Taiwan-based ASUSTek was the first off the drawing board and into the shops with the launch of its G51 3D late last year, which was branded as "the world's first true 3D ready notebook".

"We believe 3D is now an important part of the market," ASUSTek spokeswoman Jenny Lee told AFP on Wednesday.

"More and more games and more and more movies are being made in 3D. We think there is a huge demand for 3D computers."

Graphics card and chipmaker NVIDIA make the computer guts that will help create the 3D magic on screen for many of the new machines.

The company's CEO Jen-Hsun Huang made a keynote speech at Computex, Asia's biggest IT trade fair, in Taipei last week setting out the company's 3D stall.

"This is the beginning of the 3D PC revolution," he was quoted as saying by tech news website TG Daily. "It's been 10 years since there's been a revolutionary change in gaming graphics."

"This is by far one of the most captivating technologies ever introduced on the PC," said Hidehito Murato, Chief Marketing Executive at Toshiba in an NVIDIA press release. "The era of 3D is upon us."

And many content producers agree.

The FIFA World Cup, which kicks off in Johannesburg on Friday will for the first time be filmed in 3D and broadcast in selected public viewing areas across the world, Sony said.

The opening ceremony will also be shown in 3D to fans at six FIFA viewing sites in cities around the world, including Berlin, Paris and Rio de Janeiro.

And last week, South Korea's Samsung Electronics and Hollywood director James Cameron announced a deal to work together to boost 3D television content.

Under the agreement, Cameron and his crew will make 3D footage of music videos featuring South Korean pop stars that will be used by Samsung to help promote the sale of its 3D televisions worldwide.

Cameron's 3D blockbuster "Avatar" started a 3D wave in the movie industry and is the world's highest grossing movie, earning 2.8 billion dollars in ticket sales so far.

Samsung, the world's largest maker of flat-screen televisions, said it may raise this year's sales target for 3D TVs given the growing demand. Early this year it targeted around two million sales.

Cameron told a forum that lack of content was the biggest hurdle to 3D televisions saying that the thousands of hours of content that would be needed "will require a revolution in the way TV is produced".

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