Xbox 360 going 3D? (Answer: sort of)

Promotional deal between LG, Microsoft sparks rumor firestorm; console-maker confirms South Korea-only Avatar pack-in promotion with 3D-capable HDTV--but promises more 3D games to come.


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Source: Prolific tech blog Engadget.

What we heard: This morning appeared to be a one-two punch of major Microsoft news. First came a slip-up by a Microsoft Saudi executive that revealed Project Natal is launching worldwide in October. Second was the Engadget report, which bore the headline "Xbox 360 3D gaming a reality with LG partnership."

Engadget's piece was based off of a South Korean press release, but the Amsterdam-based author of the article didn't identify which company issued it. The blog did post a picture (top) of what were (presumably) LG and Microsoft executives playing a 3D game on a LX9500 LED HDTV above cobranded LG and Xbox 360 promotional materials. "The image above is unmistakeable [sic]: 3D gaming on an Xbox 360 with the help of an LG 3D television," declared the article.

LG and Microsoft are teaming up to bring 3D to the 360…provided you like Avatar and live in South Korea.
LG and Microsoft are teaming up to bring 3D to the 360…provided you like Avatar and live in South Korea.

Coupled with the headline, that last line set off a wave of reports declaring that Microsoft was jumping on the 3D bandwagon with both feet. Such a move would counter Sony's plans to make all PlayStation 3s 3D-capable via a firmware update later this year.

However, a closer look at the evidence shows that Microsoft's plans are of a much smaller scope than its rival's. On March 29, LG issued a press release to promote the launch of the LX9500 3D HDTV "next month"--i.e. April--although the set still appears to be unavailable. According to a rough translation, the hardware-maker touts a massive bundle, which will include the LX9500, a 3D-capable Blu-ray player, an Xbox 360, an HDMI cable (needed for 3D), and an "Avatar game title."

Avatar already brought 3D gaming to the Xbox 360 last December.
Avatar already brought 3D gaming to the Xbox 360 last December.

Indeed, the game shown in the photo is the critically panned movie-tie-in Avatar (see screen for comparison below), which was released last December with out-of-the-box 3D capability with stereoscopic 3D-compatible TVs. Engadget said the promotion also extended to other "3D-capable Xbox 360 games," of which there are few. Those include the movie tie-in G-Force, which came with old-school red-and-blue 3D glasses, and the just-released game of the year edition of Batman: Arkham Asylum, which uses TriOviz 3D technology to work on any television.

The official story: Microsoft offered the following statement: "As we've said before, 3D games are available today on Xbox 360 and will continue to evolve. Today, you can buy a 3DTV and wear glasses to play games like Avatar and Batman: Arkham Asylum. The promotional partnership with LG announced in South Korea today is specific to the South Korean market, but is further evidence that as 3D adoption grows, Xbox 360 will support 3D games and entertainment."

Bogus or not bogus?: Bogus that Microsoft has announced a new Xbox 360 with 3D capabilities, which some outlets are reporting despite Engadget's explicit caveat that "we're not seeing anything specific claiming new Xbox 360 hardware." Not bogus that Microsoft is hoping to expand its Korean market share--and test the 3D waters--in a cross-promotion deal with LG.

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Avatar image for bochap76

I hate 3d, just a ploy to get more money out of the consumer. The added benefits aren't even remotely close to the cost premium. shutter glasses or polarized with overlapping images flashing are totally useless. Currently 3d, while getting rid of the blue and red glasses, isn't volumetric at all; thus, leaving flat objects and characters that distract more than adding immersion to the game or film. From now on I will avoid 3d movies after watching Avatar, How to train your dragon, and RE: Afterlife. I enjoyed avatar at home in 1080p 120hz over the blurry, dark, stuttering, eye straining, migraine inducing, wast of money, that the theatric release was. While HD 3d at home looks considerably better than the local theater, the 1500 dollar premium for an occasional 3d movie or game just isn't worth it. For me personally a hundred bucks is where I draw the line. I could care less if this technology became common place or not.

Avatar image for brizzock

This article just contradicted itself several times. The Avatar game, which sucked, was released in December 2009 with 3D capability, as are several other games already. Yet it says "bogus that Microsoft will release 3d capable box", it already is capable, I dont get it. Apparently the original 360 was already 3D capable, theyre just werent too many tv sets and consumer dollars behind it yet. How exactly do you copy another company if you didnt even try and were years ahead of them?

Avatar image for MacenKrace

A typical copycat move from M$. Does this mean a new model of the old Xbox 360? What about the rest of us who still have older models with no warranty? If this means buying a new Xbox then it sucks. P.S. I don't think there are many ppl who would buy a 3D HDTV set just for this... at least except americans.

Avatar image for eal-zubieri

@thenephariouson there is two types of 3d technology the first is the one with red and blue glasses which sucks and completly ruin the colors on the screen and second one is the modern one with true HD support and with black glasses(the one that is used in avatar) the first technology is supported with any console since games now have this feature(like avatar the game and batman arkham asylum) and the link that you sended to me is clearing out that can handle the old technology since it said that there games today runing 3d.

Avatar image for thenephariouson

@eal-zubieri, Sorry but you 'think' wrong. << LINK REMOVED >>

Avatar image for thenephariouson

@convictedninja, Like me.

Avatar image for convictedninja

Great, yet more useless technology that anyone with even remote eyesight problems can't use. 3D glasses don't work if you have worse vision in one eye than the other!

Avatar image for eal-zubieri

i don't think the 360 can handle it because it uses an older version of the hdmi (1.2) and most 360s don't have hdmi ports which is a big problem since 3d technology needs hdmi 1.4 in which the ps3 can update the port(1.3 to 1.4) and can output two full hd images at the same time which is important if you want which 3d in HD.

Avatar image for Carpe_Noctum

While 3D is nice for a movie here and there, constantly using it would be bothersome. I saw Avatar in IMAX and while it looked good on the huge screen, about halfway into the movie I wanted to take the glasses off and watch it in HD. The 3D removes some clearity and everything still looks flat, just on different plains. I have no interest in 3D, I want more Polys and further draw-distances and higher-rez textures ect..

Avatar image for Kleeyook

Dudes, I only have my ten-year-old SDTV to play my PS3, not to mention that I wear glasses. :(

Avatar image for blehbeast1234

Random, but how can people think that HD is mainstream now? More people have it, of course, but there's no way in hell that most Americans have HDTVs, let alone Blu-Ray players, and soon to purchase new 3DTVs. People still have standard def and are fine with it. I agree with people before me who said "better games instead of better tech." It's better tech, maybe, but tech we don't need. Just look at the horsepower of consoles today.

Avatar image for TheoleDominion

@Darkmoone1 - you made me laugh, i agree this is hardly a break-through if you're still using traditional 3D glasses. Now if the Natal technology is able to project and bend light, then they may actually have something then. But really I don't think I want that kind of technology in my living room, I don't think my heart could take it. lol

Avatar image for Darkmoone1

Don't know why 3d gaming is so big. Oooooo you see the game pop out of the screen, but in return you have buy this Tv, and wear these stupid A$$ glasses! Let me know when stuff goes Holographic.

Avatar image for Hydrolix

"As we've said before, 3D games are available today on Xbox 360 and will continue to evolve. Today, you can buy a 3DTV and wear glasses to play games like Avatar and Batman: Arkham Asylum." That's all I meant. You can play 3D on the Xbox today. What difference does it make whether that is accomplished by software or hardware?

Avatar image for aGiantSquirrel

@Hydrolix Xbox 360 doesnt have 3d support yet. This article says that Xbox may soon go 3d like Sony. Hence, the word "copy." But, Im not saying copying is a bad thing. Everyone copies each other. But, some games themselves already include 3d support, and thats probably what you were thinking. The games have 3d support for the red and blue 3d lenses, but it is rumored that Microsoft, like Sony, will soon be able to support Real 3d games. There is a difference between the two types of 3d, and maybe thats where youre confused. Dont ask me what the difference is. To me, 3d is 3d, I dont understand.

Avatar image for TruXael

@Hydrolix That statement is sooo false, that even you are aware that you're making it up. NO console is 3D ready yet! All those MULTIPLATFORM 3D games that exist now, use their own in game built in technology that operates on either a 3D ready TV or not, depending on which game we're talking about. The fact that Xbox has 3D available games like Avatar and Batman:AA (which by the way these games are also on the PS3) by no means, does that translate into the Xbox being 3D ready. LOL

Avatar image for Nuk1euz

@Autolycus A 3DTV without the need for glasses have been in development for the past 5+ years.....I believe Toshiba or Panasonic were developing it. They said something about overlapping images to create an optical illusion, making one eye see one way and the other eye see another way, which then creates a 3D image. The article was even posted here on Gamespot 5 years ago or so, i remember reading it here and on a few other sites.

Avatar image for PumpkinBoogie

@swamptick, ..uhm, what the hell are you talking about. How did you manage to figure that a talk about 3D, in general, is showing any 'Song girls' obsessing about MS? Man, please...why don't you take those random 'fanboyish' comments elsewhere...:roll:

Avatar image for xXZak-ataKXx

lame dude! lol

Avatar image for swamptick

I love all the Sony girls over here obsessing over Microsoft and the Xbox 360! Pure, unbridled envy is an ugly thing.

Avatar image for Hydrolix

@agiantsquirrel How is MS copying? Their unit is already 3D enabled and no one elses is...

Avatar image for Hydrolix

@M3ran What do you mean "you dont stand quality"? LG's higher end TVs have some of the best picture qualities available. As far as "no way.not gonna happen." MS has already said that it IS happening. Did you even read the article?

Avatar image for M3ran

what a joke they teamed up with LG???? no way.not gonna happen. you dont stand quality

Avatar image for Autolycus

ill wait till the human race is smart enough to wait for the 3d tv without glasses, which was shown at this years CES

Avatar image for macwr

Let me know when u come up with a 3D HDTV that dosent require me to wear 3D glasses and look like an idiot in my own living room

Avatar image for 0Aragorn0

I find it kind of amazing on how many people claim to not see the point in 3D TV but then turn around and whine if a game comes out in 720p instead of 1080p. Not saying 3D tv/movies/games are revolutionary, but should we just stop advancements and go back to green 16 pixel tvs? Or should have stayed in black and white when color came out?

Avatar image for stheno67

3D gaming is not going to be for everyone. I personally know people who can't view 3D movies because they cause headaches and/or motion sickness. I wonder if there have been any long term studies on people of the effects of extended 3D viewing.

Avatar image for Ladiesman17

freak show!! ;)

Avatar image for atopp399

Big business has lots of money to spend on marketing and companies all want to capitalize on the next big thing. It is the TV manufacturers and movie studios pushing 3D telling us we NEED it to have a good viewing experience. It is no secret that going to a 3D movie costs a few dollars more than a standard movie. Because of that suddenly we NEED 3D to have a great viewing experience.

The same was true of TV manufacturers telling us that LCD televisions running at 120Hz are worth hundreds of dollars more than a 60Hz television when a year ago the HZ of a TV was just fine print no one cared about. The only reason people think it is true is because of side by side demos of scrolling text in Best Buy that doesn't simulate real world viewing. Now the newest thing is 240Hz. Give me a break. Most people would have no idea what Hz a TV is running at if there wasn't a big sign and side by side preprogrammed comparison right in front of them even if they are watching football or hockey. But, I guess people want their CNN scroll bar to look smoother or something.

Avatar image for Hvac0120

Who decided 3D was "the next big thing" for video entertainment? I'm sure there are plenty of people excited about this, but most people I speak to are not very enthusiastic about it. Call me when we move on to holographic video.

Avatar image for xGlenn11x

3D Is only good when it wants to be. The only 3D movies I have seen that are good were Avatar, Monsters vs Aliens, and a couple of others that I can't even remember.

Avatar image for FaintRain

3D3D3D3D3D3D3D3D3D3D3D again and again.......*sigh*

Avatar image for Skargamer

@Flint247 I think it was because of Avatar. O.O hence the name of the game up there...:|

Avatar image for quiksurfer

hell yeah. doesnt understand whats with the hype on 3D

Avatar image for benboz

I don't know what is so good about 3D? You put on these stupid glassess which can annoying after a time and I rather watch with no glasses and in normal view. I don't need 3D to disrupt my gaming experience even online.

Avatar image for Pete5506

I am not a big fan of 3D, as of now the stuff to do it at home is way overpriced. With time the price will drop but how long will that be?

Avatar image for Phazevariance

I think head tracking for mobile devices will become mainstream faster than 3D games on your TV... mainly because the iPhone 4G will have a camera on the front making it possible on that massive seller.

Avatar image for JDWolfie

3DTV's right now are way too expensive and the price on HDTV's is starting to signficantily come down. There is a very small audience who owns this tech. I wouldn't totally jump on board and the way the economy is right now, it's just not smart.

Avatar image for BloodMist

3D is an overpriced gimmick that, with the standards already set, will see little use in the home market.Simple as that.

Avatar image for devildothack

We just finish with the HDTV transition and now 3D? I see the benefits of HDTV but don't see any of 3D. Perhaps, I am 3D impaired because I been to about 4 films in 3D and I wasn't "wowed" by the effects. Sure, they look nice in some parts but it looks darker and smaller screen size than the original 2D version. They should keep improving on graphic technology to make it look more realistic than unrealistic 3D effect...

Avatar image for Gelugon_baat

Microsoft is trying to market its goods in South Korea again!? With the promotion of Halo in 2007 being a huge disaster and the Korean Free Trading Commission having slapped Microsoft willy-nilly in anti-trust lawsuits, Microsoft sure is persistent. If Microsoft wants to make it big in South Korea, it should have beaten Activision to getting at Blizzard in the first place.

Avatar image for brad12d3

@ blackangel209 To be fair Avatar was groundbreaking with it's technology. Best Picture? No. Great Story? Meh,... it was alright. Honestly would have expected more from a story James Cameron claimed to have had in his head since he was a kid. Anyways the technology broke some new barriers. It took about a year to develop the algorithms to convert the facial expressions from video cameras in front of the actor's faces to the 3d models completely precise, and streamlined. Of course James Cameron has always been on the forefront of special effects technology. He actually started off working in special effects. T2 helped pave the way for movies like Jurassic Park and I am sure the technology in Avatar will bring about a new era of special effects.

Avatar image for reeree746

sort of?

Avatar image for lock445

ONLY if games are made for this in mind, and are good games in and of themselves.

Avatar image for zar144

Another sign of the end of the world: 3D Gaming :(

Avatar image for Eezyville

How will Xbox 360 go 3D without a high definition media format like Bluray?

Avatar image for Captain_Spoono

how about making a good game, before new tech.?

Avatar image for Ohaidere

"3D is here to stay" Yeah that gets thrown around about every 15-20 years, then everyone remembers how stupid 3D is.

Avatar image for aGiantSquirrel

Good job Microsoft for copying once again. Oh well, copy away, doesnt matter though because I doubt too many people will jump into this 3d video game craze thats going on. I just bought a TV, and I have no plans to buy a 3d tv for many years from now. I like the one Ive got right now. As for playing video games in 3d for many hours straight, long term, I just have to wait to see what negative health effects it will have on those who play too many 3d games. I hear its not health because it can permanently impair your depth perception, and hand-eye coordintation. But, for many gamers, that wont amount to being a very big loss, lol.

Avatar image for deactivated-5d27a0be87356

The combination of 3D and Natal could be promising, im guessing the first run through will be rough, but maybe next gen. Imagine picking 3d images up in mid air? A la Tony Stark in Iron Man? Of course he has the equivalent of 1000 Natals and holographic projectors in his basement, but im sure we could throw an apple with our goggles and 1 Natal... limited by our TV screen of course...