Microsoft Still Unsure Of 3D Gaming

Sony has thrown its weight behind 3D in a very big way and Nintendo, in its own way, has done the same. Microsoft? It's still a little more conservative when it comes to moving the gaming experience towards the third dimension. Is Microsoft making the correct decision?

Speaking to Eurogamer, Senior Product Manager David Dennis claimed that Microsoft is allowing consumers to lead the way.

"There was a big rush by some other folks in the industry to convince people they want to play in 3D," he said. "You can question the motivations of why they want to make everyone go buy a new TV perhaps, but I think 3D has to fit in a natural way where it fits with the gameplay.

"Something we're watching and wanting to understand from consumers is whether this is something they actually want.

"Does it add to the gaming experience? Does it distract from the gaming experience? Is it something they want to play long-term? Or is it something they try a few times and then go back to regular 2D modes?"

Obviously Sony has a huge investment in 3D with its Bravia line of TVs, and the Nintendo 3DS' main point of difference is glasses free 3D. Microsoft, in that regard, has the luxury of being more conservative with 3D.

I find the approach quite sensible. The simple fact is that 3DTV penetration is low, plenty of consumers are against it, and most are unsure of what it actually does to enhance gaming.


Microsoft still hesitant on 3D [Eurogamer]


    "Does it add to the gaming experience? "

    Having played Left 4 Dead in 3D, the answer for me is HELL YES.

    However in reality 3D has a cost that many are unwilling to invest in, which is unfortunate because I believe for games that you just in want chill out and have fun, 3D can add something a little bit more.


    As I ran across Hyrule field in Zelda 3DS with the 3D up to half way, I was convinced this tech is worthwhile. It doesn't strain your eyes by throwing things in and out of the screen like some 3DS games do, rather it immerses you into the environment in a way that is quite amazing. I would recommend everyone tries this for themselves. It's hard to describe, but if Nintendo can retain the same feeling of Zelda 3DS with their new Mario, Kid Icarus and Starfox games, I'll be more than happy with the little handheld that could.

    I'm waiting for them to invent a 3D TV that doesn't need the glasses and has a wide viewing angle, then get cheap enough for me to buy.

    Even then I'm not sure if 3D really works well with my eyes, when it's full blast on Zelda OOT on the 3DS it's blurry and I have double vision but it seems to work fine on the halfway mark but I still feel lightheaded after a while. I haven't watched a 3D TV or even been to a 3D movie to test those out.

      Oddly enough, I haven't had any trouble with the 3D in Zelda, even when it's cranked all the way up.

      the only time I have any bother is when I'm on the train and it's shaking. :(

        I tried doing the archery game with the motion sensing on while I was on a bus, it didn't go well!

        That's the worst thing.
        It's so hard to use 3D whilst moving, which in turn wrecks the whole point of a handheld.

    The Wii proved that it can be profitable to wait for the (TV) market to lead. Now that HD TV has reached saturation point, Nintendo can sell to the converted.

    I bought a TV and PS3 in a single transaction - Its a steep sell when a console costs thousands of dollars.

    I'm still not sold.. i'm glad Microsoft still aren't tacking it on.

      Couldn't agree more!

      Absolutely. I'm really not keen to buy a 3D television really ever if I can avoid it. Headaches aside, who the hell knows what years of 3d watching is going to do to peoples eyes / brains. Thousands of years of evolution have gone into the way we process images and see scale / death perception and all of sudden its now being warped for entertainment.

      The xbox already plays games in 3D, as far as i know nothing needs to be added or tacked on.
      COD Blacks Ops plays in 3D. Developers just need to use it the right way.

      3D is the future of gaming in my opinion.

        It does, though not as seamlessly as the PS3 or Blu-rays.

        Black Ops (like Avatar) on the 360 renders in side-by-side format, which halves your horizontal resolution and requires you to configure your TV each time you turn it on. The PS3 outputs alternate-frame 3D using the HDMI 1.4 standard, so there's no loss in resolution and the TV automatically figures it out.

        The downsides of the PS3's approach are that other quality tradeoffs might be required instead, and that 1080p in 3D is currently limited by HDMI 1.4 to 24Hz (though up to 60Hz in 720p).

      I loathe 3D games and movies using current technology. I feel so tired after playing a 3D game, I hate it. I try to see my movies in 2D sessions too.
      I'll join the bandwagon when it's true holographic, so my brain and eyes aren't fighting with each other about what they're seeing. :P

    3D is not really for me, but I don't see any reason for developers to NOT support 3D for those who want it and have the equipment for it. As long as the standard 2D version doesn't suffer (which it doesn't), then yeah go nuts with the 3D for all I care.

    It's really just a gimmick and I don't think it adds anything to the experience at all, imo.
    In fact, I usually hate going to the movies and having to watch it in 3D.


      3D makes me feel naseous and gives me headaches.
      I'm happily awaiting the day it fades into obscurity.

      Ditto. If I can't find a cinema that has the sense to show a movie in 2D, I won't be watching that movie. Completely dulls and darkens the colours, not worth it for a gimmick that's only interesting for a couple of minutes.

        See it's this reason why 3D should never be mainstream.
        It's about 50/50 on people who have problems or not.
        I don't think they can ever make 3D the standard. It would be basically saying "if you can't handle 3D, bad luck"
        And if that's the case, 3D will only ever be something tacked on, which is just a waste of time and money.

    I think it does add something to the experience, but given that reactions are so varied and the technology is so new, I think Microsoft is making the correct decision. 3D gaming on the PC is pretty cool, but due to the cost and the annoyance of glasses I could easily see it going away again in a couple of years time. I think the same is true for 3D on the consoles and possibly film.

    Perhaps in time the technology will become a little more elegant and we won't need the glasses, maybe then it will be something all consumers enjoy, but for now staying cautious is probably best.

    A couple of weeks ago, LG sponsored a StarCraft 2 tournament in Korea played and watched (live audience) entirely in 3D. I think if professional gamers can adopt it, the rest of the market would be more willing to follow.

    I don't think the Xbox is capable of outputting 3D images, so they're waiting until their new console can be released.

      Of course its capable of 3D, the original Xbox and PS2 was as well, jaysus... you a fanboy? 3D is a gimmick and until it is used in a video game in such a way that the game play is not only enhanced but different and unobtainable in 2D it will stay a gimmick. I am sure the Wii is capable of 3D too mate... but if you are gonna live in a bubble I suppose ignorance is bliss... and not in reality!

        Technically he's right, the Xbox 360 cannot output a proper 3D signal (nor could the Wii, PS2 or original Xbox).

        It can however render both eye viewpoints and squash them into a single 2D frame, which can be unpacked by most TVs into a 3D view. It's not as seamless, but it works with almost any hardware, even old VCRs.

          Technically you're wrong... Avatar for the 360 can and has outputted 3D is the same resolution (Xbox actually has higher resolution textures and a higher frame rate), size and scope as the PS3. A 3D visual signal is capable across all platforms, MS isn't supporting it yet as they don't see the consumer buying into it. I love Wipeout and playing it in 3D you soon forget it has the 'added' depth and it plays the same as the 2D version. Sony is using it to sell TV's too remember.

    Games need to be made to use 3d as a design feature, not a gimick - it's not something you can just tack on, as the movie industry has shown us(since apparently basic logic doesn't apply here).

    Possibility of improving gaming? Yes.
    Currently improving gaming? Not really.
    Probably because of studio execs who aren't gamers only looking at short term profit margin? Quite probably.

      3D will never be a fundamental feature of a game until saturation of 3D-capable displays has reached a point where such a game will sell well enough.

      So long as the majority of buyers are restricted to 2D only, any game that offers 3D cannot depend upon it, so until then it'll stay a "gimmick".

      Luckily, that's no worse than e.g. high definition or surround sound support - something that can enhance your experience, if you have the equipment, but that isn't required to enjoy the game at all.

    Microsoft are possibly worried that their hardware wouldn't be able to cope with the extra strain of doing things in 3D. You have to have pretty high framerates to be able to do it and the 360's tech is getting fairly long in the tooth.

      Microsoft would be a lot more sure of 3D gaming if they just happened to be one of the major purveyors of 3D televisions.

    Whether or not MS are unsure, every other media seems to be heading that way, it shouldn't be too much hassle nowdays to incorporate the feature, as long as it's optional.

    The funny thing is that I think 3D would actually suit all the Kinect titles, given the interactive nature of the device.

    Though, I'd be more thrilled if MS weren't thinking as much and started making some more games, perhaps something different!

    I only have one good eye... so 3d isn't something that works for me.
    I'm happy without it, and I'm holding out for solid state holograms anyway.

    I reckon Microsoft could actually use 3D TV's to render Positional 3D (Similar to the 3DS with Tracking) from the players point of view by head tracking with Kinect and actually create gameplay features... then it should become a useful viewpoint to enhance or possibly change the manner we can play a game.

    I'm sure Microsoft's opinion on 3D will change once they can implement it better on their next console.

    I think the ol' 360 is already straining graphically. To have it pushing out the required 60 frames for 3D is only going to reduce the quality of the viewing experience we get today.

    I'll expect it on the next gen consoles but I'm not going to begrudge Microsoft what amounts to a smart trategic decision this gen.

    Well I bought a Sony Bravia TV during the christmas promotion which came with a free PS3, 2x 3D goggles and a receiver. I didn't really care for the 3D but when I tried out Black Ops and Super Stardust it blew me away. Now I alway's check the '3D' section at JB's too get some 3D movies (check out how much avatar 3D cost on ebay).

    I think if you own a 3D capable TV you will enjoy it more. If you dont have one, you'll call it gimmick.

    Microsofts hesitation is understandable. At the minute, they would be selling to a small market - those who own 3D televisions. It's different from the 3DS and 3D in cinemas; neither of those requires spending a small fortune on a 3D TV to use.

    Just like I'm glad Christopher Nolan isn't caving in and doing it for The Dark Knight Rises.

    The new Transformers movie, surprisingly isn't all "action scene here where, when watching in 2D you can tell that was edited/filmed to come at your face"

    It just adds a level of tackiness to the film personally. I can see why every animating film is having it, it probably works better on this genres. But, I've seen some in 3D and perhaps in a few more years it will reach a standard where it's genuine and not a gimmick. But for now, I've learnt my lesson and refuse to pay the extreme price of an added layer of distraction.
    I also like my films bright and it seems no Director, as yet, has still fixed that issue with 3D films.

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