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Microsoft Supporting 3D Games, But Unsure Of How Big They'll Become

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Posted January 12, 2010 - By pklepek


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The Most Awkward Job At CES 2010 (Of Course, It Involves 3D)

You couldn't walk more than a few feet without running into a 3D-enabled TV at CES 2010. Sony was showing several demonstrations of PlayStation 3 games with 3D flipped on (Super Stardust HD was particularly impressive), while Microsoft was only showing one, an Xbox Live Arcade game called Scrap Metal. Plus, it wasn't the "new" 3D -- it was the "old" 3D. Does that say something about Microsoft's stance on the 3D revolution the tech industry was pushing at CES? I asked.

"From the technical standpoint, we are fully 3D capable. We have 3D games running today," said Microsoft's Xbox group product manager Aaron Greenberg to me at CES last week.

Greenberg conceded that it's possible Microsoft will embrace 3D...eventually. Maybe.

"As consumer interest for 3D grows, we'll grow with it," he said. "I think right now we're unsure what level of interest there is from consumers to really want a 3D experience in the living room. Many, many years from now when it becomes a reality, we absolutely can support it, we do support it today. If developers want to make more 3D games, they can."

In addition to Scrap Metal, Greenberg pointed to Avatar: The Game as another 3D-supporting game on Xbox 360. But in an unsurprising turn of events, Microsoft would rather encourage developers to look at Project Natal as a way to change the way games. He did admit the 3D works great at the movies.

"I think 3D is a great experience in the theater and I thought Avatar was fantastic," he said, "but there's a lot of challenges about 3D in the living room. I don't know about you, but when I play games or watch TV, I've got my phone, I've got all kinds of things going on. I get up, I get down, I'm looking outside at the weather and it's...I'm not in a dark theater, wearing glasses, staring at a screen. I think it's just a different environment."

Because the tech industry is pushing 3D so hard, however, Greenberg says Microsoft's technically on board. From a first-party perspective, they're going to remain on the sidelines for the time being.

"It [3D] is the hot thing at CES and we've got 3D on the show floor, so we've checked the 3D box if that's important to people," he said. "If it becomes really important and people want to do more with it, we're absolutely happy to support it."

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Microsoft Supporting 3D Games, But Unsure Of How Big They'll Become
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