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Sony’s 3D Vaio Laptop Due in The Spring of 2011

At IFA 2010 tech fair Sony has unveiled a 3D Vaio notebook, one that includes a button that, when pressed, will convert 2D images to 3D.No official word yet from Sony on plans for a commercial release.

Sony plans to launch the 3D Vaio laptops in early 2011.”3D Vaios will debut next spring,” Howard Stringer, Sony’s chief executive, said in a press conference touting 3D technology and Sony’s commitment to it. Sony also touted other 3D products and content at the show.

The 3D Vaio prototype on display at IFA had a 16-inch screen, with Sony claiming that its 3D laptops will feature extremely fast-response LCD screens displaying up to 240fps, giving a better 3D imaging than competing products already on the market.

The Vaio 3D laptops will use similar 3D tech to Sony Bravia TVs, including Sony’s ‘Black Frame Insertion’ which gives the viewer extra clear and super sharp results, by inserting black frames between colour images to separate them.

The protoypes shown at IFA use “frame-sequential” technology that rapidly cycles the full screen between left-eye and right-eye views, with blank screens in between each to reduce the “crosstalk” that can reduce 3D image quality.

That means the laptop must be able to display video at 240 frames per second to keep up with a 3D rate of 60 frames per second. Sony wouldn’t reveal whose graphics chip is used in the system. Sony’s also cautioned that the ultimate products may be different from the prototypes it showed.

Sony also announced at IFA that some existing Blu-ray players and PlayStation 3 will be retrofitted with new firmware making them 3D-capable. Among 3D game titles Stringer showed were Tumble, the Sly Trilogy, Mortal Kombat, Virtual Tennis 4, Killzone 3, Super Stardust HD, The Fight, Motor Storm Apocalypse, and MLB baseball.

For those who want a really big screen experience, Sony announced a 3D video projector, the WV-90. It will use the same active-shutter system as Sony’s Bravia TVs, meaning that the required glasses will work across the line.

Sony also plans to launch its own 3D TV channel, Stringer said, with content to include natural history, children’s programming, science, and motion pictures, Stringer said. And Sony Pictures plans several 3D movies soon: “Resident Evil Afterlife,” “The Green Hornet,” another “Spider-Man” sequel, and another “Men in Black” sequel.

“Being shot in 3D doesn’t automatically guarantee success,” Stringer said. “What counts is how well you tell a story. A hit is a still a hit is still a hit–except in 3D it’s a bigger hit.”

And then there are the staples. Sony plans to release by the end of 2010 a Blu-ray disk of highlights of the World Cup soccer tournament, Stringer said.

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