nVidia is unrelentingly blogging its excitement at having finally released the much delayed GeForce Beta v258.69 drivers which add support for 3D Vision Surround.
3D Vision Surround merges the world of 3D with that of large surface projection in order to create a more immersive experience.
If you are to believe the two major graphics card manufacturers, the next revolution in gaming will be 3D. This is, somehow, not related to the fact that you need to mortgage a small apartment to afford the proper gear. Now nVidia says you need more, you obviously don't have enough monitors, silly, you have two fewer than you need.
But while the cost of 3D setups is astronomical, you now have an option which, in comparison, seems much more feasable.
So for 3D you need to buy at least one (not the recommended two) of the most expensive GPU each manufacturer makes, an 120Hz monitor, then make sure the rest of your rig matches the spec and that you have the 3D glasses and the necessary game. Compared to that, another two monitors and a dongle seem peanuts and that is not what you'll get back from surround.
It is an interesting immersive experience that manages to increase the gaming enjoyment volume at least one notch. Not as impressive in scope as 3D, the expectations are not very high but you still feel that your sweat levels reach soaked much faster when using such a setup.
nVidia calls this Surround while AMD (or ATI? Maybe both? Slash or hyphen; I never get that right) has chosen the more exotic EyeFinity. So, the product of the cojoined ATI and AMD has been around since September 2009 but it has been constantly improving the setup since. nVidia hopes to deliver a similarly mature version and the delay of 2 months in the release is relevant to that desire. The company has also bundled 3D with the surround and claims its merger is much more efficient than its rival's. AMD/-ATI has been funneling support for 3D, in steps, through its Catalyst releases in 2010.
The full 3D Vision Surround exists only in very few PCs as it is the full 3D and triple monitor implementation; currently, more of an academic exercise in that it can only be funded by a University.
To set the record straight, nVidia claims it has been able "to do" SideVision (my own term) for a long time, at least +1 of whatever AMD said. However, nVidia's setup requires SLI as the GF100 was not designed to feed 3 monitors nor the GT200 for that matter.You can find more on nVidia's specifications page.
So if you are not wealthy, or foolish enough to be able to buy a system for the full 3D Vision Surround experience, then maybe, just maybe, you are wealthy, or the other thing, enough to try a simple yet very entertaining premise, SideVision.
Download the full 3D Vision Surround drivers.