Word on the street is that Microsoft will be giving its Xbox 360 an upgrade to the third dimension this E3.
With just two weeks to go before E3 kicks off in Los Angeles, expect the usual rumor mill to start blazing up right about … now, really. Eurogamer is reporting that Microsoft is set deliver an upgrade for its Xbox 360 capable of displaying stereoscopic 3D in a manner identical to rival Sony’s PS3.
For the tech-heads in our audience, that means that the Xbox 360 will be displaying “full-on HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic 3D in the 1280×1470 twin 720p framebuffer configuration,” delivering a 720p image to each eye to simulate depth. The stereoscopic 3D functionality will supposedly be patched into the console via a firmware update, as was the case with the PS3.
“They’d be mad not to do it, is all I can say,” said the Eurogamer source, who is reportedly familiar with Xbox 360 development. “The machine is not only very capable, it’s more capable than the PlayStation 3 of doing stereo … assuming you have a HDMI Xbox.”
The source also hinted that the new 3D would be revealed two weeks from now in Los Angeles. “E3 is coming up … Microsoft is going to have to go on stage to say something, aren’t they?”
While the debate still rages on whether 3D gaming (and 3D movies and TV, for that matter) is a genuine upgrade for videogames or a short-lived fad, it’s one area where Sony’s PS3 handily outstrips Microsoft’s Xbox 360 – on account of it being able to display stereoscopic 3D while the 360 cannot, naturally.
Last year, Microsoft’s Aaron Greenberg told VG247 that the 360 already had the hardware to display 3D, but Microsoft wasn’t going to force consumer demand. “The capability is there. The question is whether or not the consumer demand is there. That’s the unanswered question. We’re not a consumer electronics company that’s trying to sell 3DTVs, so we have the benefit of waiting until the market responds.”
From this, one can only assume that Microsoft has judged that the consumer demand is, in fact, there. That is, of course, assuming the rumor pans out – Microsoft has refused to comment, and we won’t know for sure until E3 in June.
Maybe you’ll be able to take 3D pictures of yourself with the Kinect. Who knows?