The next version of 3DMark isn't going to be quite like previous releases. Futuremark has revealed preliminary details about what it tentatively calls 3DMark for Windows 8, and it says the software will support "all Windows 8 devices from tablets and notebooks to high-end desktop gaming systems."
Compatibility with ARM hardware is part of the plan, Futuremark says, as is support for both Windows 8's Metro user interface and the classic Desktop UI. Futuremark CEO Jukka Mäkinen adds that 3DMark for Windows 8 will be "able to accurately measure and compare gaming performance across all devices and graphical feature sets available with Windows 8." Sounds like we'll be treated to quite an extensive suite of tests.
The company hasn't yet disclosed any specifics about the actual benchmarks, though. The announcement is only accompanied by the concept art shot below, which depicts some sort of Balrog-like character. Will Ian McKellen tell him he shall not pass? We don't know yet.
Futuremark plans to have 3DMark for Windows 8 out next year. Since Windows 8 itself isn't expected until the fall or thereabouts, I'd wager we'll also see the upcoming 3DMark release later in the year—in its final form, at least.
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