One of the many rumors surrounding Windows 8 is that it will come with native 3D support. No one knows for sure whether Windows 8 native 3D support is really going to happen, yet everyone is still busy speculating as to how it will work.
Where the Rumors Started
The rumors about Windows 8 native 3D support began with a post on Windows 8 Italia. The website ripped apart the Windows 8 build 7955 and found that a few of the files contained within the build discussed 3D and seemed to contain prompts related to 3D viewing. However, it is possible that these will not be contained within the final build of Windows 8. Another possibility is that 3D capability will be supported on only some of the versions of Windows 8 and/or be limited to certain higher end systems. In addition, no one knows for certain what 3D capabilities will be included.
Prerequisites for 3D Graphics
3D graphics takes quite a toll on the computer. As a result, it is likely that if Windows 8 native 3D support does exist, it will only do so on bigger and better machines. Rumor has it that 3D will only be released on 64 bit computer systems. In order to have 3D support, the computer will need to have a dedicated GPU and at least 170 MB of video memory, though that number is expected to go down over time. Because of the many expensive requirements, people are questioning whether 3D is a practical step for Microsoft.
What the 3D Capabilities Will Include
It seems pretty certain that at a minimum, Windows 8 will support 3D display. However, the question still remains of how far Microsoft will take the 3D capability. Will 3D viewing require a separate screen or its own setting that will have users constantly switching back and forth between traditional 2D and 3D? Will 3D viewing require awkward and uncomfortable glasses? One circulating rumor states that Windows 8 will come with an upgraded UI, called Wind, which will be entirely in 3D, but there’s no telling how much of a toll that will take on the computer.
Like so much else in the world of 3D technology, the Windows 8 native 3D support will probably involve stereoscopic 3D. Stereoscopy is the process of sending a slightly different image to each eye so that when the images overlap in the brain they give the illusion of depth. Human vision involves stereoscopy, which is why people normally see in 3D. Technology mimics the process by taking two separate pictures and sending one to each eye. Because of way stereoscopic 3D is filmed and shown, glasses are typically required for viewing and the viewing angle is usually somewhat reduced.
Microsoft has said very little about what Windows 8 will be like. Rumor has it that there will be some sort of 3D capability, but nobody knows what that will consist of. As soon as we know the facts, we’ll let you know.