YouTube adds stereoscopic 3D offerings

While there are a handful of 3D videos on YouTube already, they’re anything but cutting edge. Youtube3d

The only 3D format the service supports is anaglyph – requiring the old-school red and blue glasses to see the effects. That’s hardly ideal for studios looking to promote upcoming films or publishers looking to showcase 3D video games. But that’s all about to change.

Starting today, YouTube and nVidia have struck an alliance that the online video site will be enabled for nVidia’s 3D Vision computer graphics cards. The update will initially be available only to users of Firefox 4, though both organizations are planning to expand beyond that.

A good number of nVidia cards are 3D enabled, but users who want to see the effects need to buy the 3D Vision kit (for $149), which includes a pair of active shutter glasses and a receiver to communicate with those glasses.

YouTube puts active 3D in the big time in online video, but it’s not the first site to offer it. nVidia’s own 3DvisionLive.com currently offers 100 3D videos and over 5,000 3D pictures. With traffic of just 150,000 visits per month, though, it’s a drop in the bucket compared to YouTube.