Stereoscopic 3D technologies is a topic that is discussed pretty widely both among movie and video games industries. But while there are companies claiming that stereo-3D (S3D) is the big thing for tomorrow, it may turn out that S3D will find itself important only the day after tomorrow. Following Electronic Arts, Microsoft Corp. said that it would take years for stereo-3D games to become popular.
"It is projected that less than one 0.5% of all TVs in the U.S. this year will be 3DTV. 3DTVs will make up only 5% of the TV installed base three years from now,” a Microsoft representative said on the sidelines of the company’s press conference at E3 trade-show, reports IGN web-site.
From the hardware perspective, Microsoft Xbox 360 can support stereo-3D output; for example, Avatar: The Game, Crysis 2 and some other titles either already support S3D on the Xbox 360 or will do so once they are released. However, Microsoft is unlikely to put a lot of efforts into development its own stereo-3D titles for the current-generation hardware. Even if three-dimensional televisions have around 5% of the U.S. installed base in three years, it may not make sense to roll-out an AAA title supporting 3D, but rather to concentrate on other aspects of game-play.
Moreover, it may make a lot of sense to start adoption of S3D technologies with the next-generation Xbox. In fact, the original Xbox did not support high-definition video games despite of the fact that there were a lot of HDTVs available on the market in 2003 – 2005 timeframe. As a result, when Xbox 360 was released in late 2005, it clearly had one huge advantage over the predecessor. Quite naturally, though, Microsoft does not comment on features of its next-generation hardware.
“We closely and constantly evaluate consumer trends. If there is demand, we have demonstrated in the past that we are able to quickly dedicate resources to respond to consumer interest,” the representative is reported to have said.
But while Microsoft may not be exactly interested in enabling stereo-3D on the Xbox 360, its arch-rival Sony Computer Entertainment is more than interested in S3D technologies since besides PlayStation 3 consoles it also sells televisions as well as Blu-ray 3D content. Moreover, even Nintendo demonstrated interest in stereo-3D technologies when it unveiled plans to implement an S3D screen into its portable 3DS console, which may also potentially indicate a plan to enable stereo-3D games for its next-generation console that will succeed Wii.