Microsoft: 3D may not be the future

Thursday, 17th June 2010 14:12 GMT By Joe Anderson


The world of gaming may be buzzing after the reveal of the Nintendo 3DS and Sony’s emphasis on 3D gaming at E3, but Microsoft UK boss Neil Thompson has dismissed 3D as “an interesting technology of the future” that’s still too expensive for consumers.

Speaking with Eurogamer at E3, Thompson instead revealed that he thinks Microsoft’s offering of controller free gaming is a much more valid option:

“If you look at the costs of entry into the living room and when that’s going to become mass-market, we think the offering with Kinect and the natural user-interface we’re bringing, that’s a more compelling proposition for consumers over the coming years than maybe looking at 3D at this point.”

Thompson refused to be drawn on the price of the Kinect, while another MS employee earlier said that it will be revealed at Gamescom later this year.

Microsoft has yet to confirm if the Xbox 360 will support 3D in the future.

More through the links.



  1. Mike

    It’s ridiculous. 3D is the worst thing to have happened to the film and game industry in a long, long time.

    It’s just another excuse to not innovate. First it’s Nintendo with it’s new peripherals and now 3D. All these things do is take the focus from the fact that we’re not getting anything new.

    #1 5 years ago
  2. mington

    smell o vision

    #2 5 years ago
  3. reask

    Is this code for the 360 doesn’t do 3D?

    #3 5 years ago
  4. Erthazus

    I don’t agree at all. 3D is the future. I don’t know about Sony stuff and won’t get new 3D TV for this generation because i have a nice HDTV.

    but i have 3D HD Monitor with 3D Nvidia glasses and it’s awesome and they can sell that cheap camera to every mom they want. I don’t care.

    + i will get 3DS for sure.

    So when 3DS will be released i will have already 2 3D Products. So, Microsoft here is wrong.

    #4 5 years ago
  5. djhsecondnature

    Microsoft doesn’t think that a feature they’re providing is the future…? Surprise surprise… Wait, where have I heard this before… *thinks about the HD-DVD vs. Blu-ray war*

    #5 5 years ago
  6. Stephany Nunneley

    @2 – :D

    #6 5 years ago
  7. ninjanutta

    Ive just got back from the sony centre after trying out the bravia 3d tv and ive got to say,im very impressed,it made avatar in the cinemas look crap,in full hd the 3d pops and looks amazing,i cant wait to see killzone 3 in motion.Its a little pricey at 1800 pounds for a 40″ but i will still be getting one by the end of the year,i fully beleive that its the future of gaming and you will miss out if you dont get one.

    #7 5 years ago
  8. Blerk

    For once I actually agree with them. The tech as it stands is both expensive and wonky. It’s a distraction from more important stuff at the minute which Sony are pushing purely to flog expensive tellies to people who don’t know any better.

    #8 5 years ago
  9. get2sammyb

    It is the future. It’s not the immediate future. But it is the future. I don’t know how long it will take, but 3D will eventually be in all TVs at a mainstream consumer friendly price. And eventually, that 3D will be possible without glasses.

    These are the first steps. They are baby steps. This is for the early-adopters for now. I wish people would stop talking like the 3D we’re seeing at the moment is the furthest the tehchnology can go (as developers and manufacturers get better, so will the effect), and also like the price won’t come down.

    #9 5 years ago
  10. Dralen

    Microsoft, I think your making a huge mistake going down this path.

    #10 5 years ago
  11. SOMI

    3D is surely going to be one of those things that pushes innovation in gaming yes virtual boy had it but tat was over 10 years ago technology has advanced since then and developers can handle 3D more effectively now.

    #11 5 years ago
  12. NiceFellow

    Company with no vested interest in 3D says it’s not great, Company with a vested interest in 3D says it’s great.

    Go figure.

    #12 5 years ago
  13. Telepathic.Geometry

    I agree with get2sammyb, way down the line, it’ll be considered standard, the same way that HD is now considered standard by even Nintendo die-hards like myself.

    But how far into the future? A decade or two methinks…

    #13 5 years ago
  14. DrDamn

    Something which you may not have noticed in the Sony store. The set you viewed (HX803) doesn’t come with glasses or transmitter (other sets have this built in) – however an extra £200 gets you 2xGlasses+Transmitter+PS3+3DGameBundle (that’s over £500 worth of stuff). If you already have a PS3 then trade it in at Game and they will give you £190 for it. So that makes the glasses + transmitter bundle effectively free. You can also get another £100-£150 off Sony TVs by bringing in any old crappy TV (doesn’t even have to work).

    #14 5 years ago
  15. daytripper

    @11 yeah but at what cost? how much is a 3d tv at the moment? a lot of people are only just grasping HD and Blu ray and now 3d is being pushed to the front. its a big rip off as far as i’m concerned, they’ve marketed this too early.

    #15 5 years ago
  16. SOMI


    I’ve seen 3D TV’s range from £1,600 to £3,000 but I can afford both at the same time but I’m no where near ready to shell out that much cash in one yet!

    #16 5 years ago
  17. DrDamn

    Samsung LE40C750 40″ LCD 3D TV retails at £1200 in Currys.

    #17 5 years ago
  18. daytripper

    @16 same here, while i’m a technical nerd at heart and love new stuff, this whole 3D thing just feels wrong simply because of the timing of it all, HD TVs are really over the past few months starting to gather pace into regular households so having to fork out the sort of starting price from the 1k range for something like 3D…I cant see a big que for it in all honesty, not now anyway. I applaud Sony for wanting to bring something like this mass market but the timing of it is not on.

    #18 5 years ago
  19. DrDamn

    This is how HDTV started and got to where it is today. If 3DTV is going to get there then it has to start this way. It’s not going to come in overnight, HDTV has been 5 years+ in getting to where it is now.

    #19 5 years ago
  20. daytripper

    we’ll see. once 3dtv appears around the £600 range holographic TV will be there or maybe UltraHighDefinition and people will have to change tvs again or feel through marketing and ad campaigns what they have only purchased a short while back is now inferior.

    i’m thinking of the mass market, more sales more success more justification for buying it.

    #20 5 years ago
  21. Eon

    I think 3D is the future, but not the present. I see 3D marketed everywhere now but I for one won’t be investing in it until I believe it is worth while (I guess in a few years time).

    #21 5 years ago
  22. Amored

    Only 3D device thingy I’ll get in the near future is a Nintendo 3DS. And that is not because of the 3D feature… but the amazing games that will be released for it + the improved graphics :)

    EDIT: I still have 7 DS games, even though I sold my DS about 18 months ago.

    #22 5 years ago
  23. Gadzooks!


    Right on, but it’s even worse than that.

    What we have evidence of is that any game running in 3D has reduced framerate and resolution.

    Onviously 3D uses considerably more memory as large numbers of objects that would have been hidden from view in a 2D view might be visible or partially visible in a 3D view. This adds overheads in processing and memory usage, not to mention the dual framebuffers.

    The question is whether devs will bother to write two renderers, one for low-res 3D and one for higher res frames using different occlusion routines.

    Everyone will feel the reduction in overall quality that 3D brings, whether you use 3D or not.

    Devs will have to spend more time developing so budgets will get strained harder and more code paths equals more potential bugs.

    Add to that the incredibly small portion of users that will have 3D and it’s very clear that it is way way too soon to try to introduce 3D to the mainstream.

    I dont want my games gimped because a few guys with more money than sense are buying into this crap before its viable.

    #23 5 years ago
  24. OlderGamer

    I won’t be 3D gaming anytime soon.

    At some point it would be nice if the industry would double their efforts and focus on stuff the core gamers actualy want to play.

    Thank you Nintendo for making 12 year old girls and nongamers everywhere a coveted demographic. So much time and enrgy, not to mention, game developing resources go into casual games, motion controls, and soon 3D games. All of which means that what we as a whole like to play and want to see is less and less the main focus of what is being made and being planned for.

    I don’t want Move. I don’t want Kinect. And I don’t play the Wiis waggle games. These things are all gimmicks. All designed to be flashy and apealing. The trouble is that none of if is playable long term. The games lack depth and substance.

    It is also bad for the games industry, as much of the very market they are trying to capture … aren’t part of the game buying market. Look at the Wii. At the 3rd party software on the system. It doesn’t sell.

    I see 3D as just another step along the same path. The technology will no doubt be neat to behold. But how will it actualy enhance the games we play? The early 3D tech is rough to say the lest. Between a need for glasses(hello inner nerd), and the documented fact that many none epileptic players have had siezures. Not to mention just plan bad headaches while playing.

    So why do it? 3D. Because millions of none gamers everwhere own a Wii. Because someone, somewhere believes that games need to change. Because a suit sees a way to sell a hot new tech(no doubt that they have a vested interest in). Because the general public likes fads. Because motion controls and 3D sound futuristic.

    All I am saying is be VERY cautious about what you wish for, and what you buy into. If all the game industry offered was a better Wii(3D or not), would you be a happy gamer?

    #24 5 years ago
  25. JonFE

    The worst part with 3DTV market penetration is that it has to persuade customers to get a new TV set although they may have recently purchased a HDTV.

    In this regard, HDTV’s had it easy, because the vast improvement of LCD/LED/Plasma technology over CRT technology almost sells itself (in parallel to DVD vs VHS).

    On the other hand, 3DTV’s, while impressive themselves, are not easily appealing to anyone who has purchased a HDTV in the last couple of years (in parallel to BluRay vs DVD).

    OlderGamer + a billion

    #25 5 years ago
  26. g00nerz

    4D is the future now dudes. Now that it has been decided the fourth dimension is not ‘time’ but ‘sense’, I’m looking forward to my home TV squirting water, blowing wind and shooting smoke out the sides. Christ that just sounded like a porn film.

    #26 5 years ago
  27. Gadzooks!

    “I’m looking forward to my home TV squirting water, blowing wind and shooting smoke out the sides. Christ that just sounded like a porn film.”

    3D games can go suck a tailpipe, but your idea? SOLD!!!! :)

    #27 5 years ago
  28. cookiejar

    Microsoft are backing HD-DVD-3D. The REAL next gen HD 3D format.

    #28 5 years ago
  29. DrDamn

    Or – as is the case with SuperStardust HD – devs will discover a number of extra optimisations when trying to work with 3D that end up benefiting the 2D game. Recent 3D patch also enhanced the 2D game significantly. Essentially a lot of adding 3D is about optimisation, devs spending more time on that can be a great thing for 2D gaming too.

    #29 5 years ago
  30. Amored

    @cookiejar – Yupp. And all the major porn-companies are joining them. With all HD-DVD-3D-movies you buy, you’ll get a fresh, warm pie.

    #30 5 years ago
  31. Blerk

    3D porn, what a horrible idea. That’s the last thing you want coming right at you out of your TV screen!

    #31 5 years ago
  32. Amored

    Some people even get a stiffy from watching feet, so don’t be surprised…

    #32 5 years ago
  33. Gadzooks!


    The SSHD improvements are nothing to do with the 3D tech, that’s just revisiting years old code.

    #33 5 years ago
  34. DrDamn

    They are revisiting the code to get 3D to work with it – isn’t optimisation essentially revisiting code?

    #34 5 years ago
  35. Gadzooks!

    They could have revisited the code at any time and made the same enhancements. Such revisions will not be commonplace.

    When developing new code they will go through the same optimisation cycles they normally do for a game, except the optimisations will be for a lower target resolution/framerate so I dont see the benefits necessarily following to the 2D rendition of the game.

    Chances are the optimisation they go through will cost time that should have been spent on gameplay elements, artwork and story.

    3D is not free. There is a cost in terms of manpower and system resources.

    You may be happy taking a hit to game quality so you can view it in 3D. I however will not be playing any games in 3D and am not happy about having my game quality reduced.

    Furthermore, knowing that 3D has an impact on quality I will think twice about buying any game that supports 3D.

    #35 5 years ago
  36. DrDamn

    The first thing they did was bring the game bang up to date with their current engine. Then they set about making extensive optimisations. Optimisations they then put into the 2D version.

    See thread about charging more for 3D game – I don’t mind, if fact I think it’s sensible for the reasons that its a costly exercise than largely benefits the majority. I see no evidence to back up your claims though – just an example which shows the opposite.

    #36 5 years ago
  37. Gadzooks!


    We will have to agree to disagree.

    #37 5 years ago
  38. DrDamn

    Fair enough – but factually that is what they did with SSHD –

    3D is an additional feature they will put in if they can and think they will get enough *extra* sales to justify the cost. Doing it at detriment to the 2D version when there is such a small market would be stupid for any dev. For many years to come the primary focus is still going to be 2D – they have to compare favourably to other games on the market.

    #38 5 years ago
  39. Massiveslag

    Microsoft are simply doing the sensible thing and sitting back and letting the competition do the running. The initial years of mistakes, blind alleys and low consumer uptake will be all Sony’s and to a certain extent Nintendo’s to experience. Once the technology is proven and has a higher install base, MS can simply enter the market with all the costly R&D and consumer feedback already taken care of by their competition, allowing them to have a lower price point and utilise their marketing strength IF the technology proves to be a winner with consumers.

    They’re doing the same with Kinect; all the evidence points to core gamers (the most lucrative sector) being largely uninterested in getting their sweaty butts off the sofa. For the moment it’s just a Wii rival, which is a proven market, but if the core adopt Move then it would be fairly easy to bundle a small ‘buttoned’ peripheral to allow for more ‘core’ gameplay mechanics.

    #39 5 years ago
  40. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    Fuck it, I say we just skip 3D, and go right to further virtual reality developement…

    (holodeck anyone….lol)

    #40 5 years ago
  41. daytripper

    @40 i’m with you, get it done!

    #41 5 years ago
  42. Gekidami

    Holodeck, yet you want to skip 3D? Hum… I see the flaw to this plan. :D

    #42 5 years ago

    3D with glasses is FAIL.

    If they get rid of the glasses I might say that 3D has some longevity. Otherwise, I don’t see it being any better than the 3D visionaries comic I had in about 1989…

    #43 5 years ago
  44. Gekidami

    You can get 3D without glasses (afterall, Nintendo didnt invent their 3DS tech). Aslong as you’re willing to spend even more on a TV.

    #44 5 years ago
  45. ivycrew707

    Maybe just make some cooler looking glasses so you don’t feel like a dork when you wear them

    #45 5 years ago
  46. theevilaires

    No M$! You’re not the future. You should have thought about Blu-ray,HDMI,and 3D a little more before trying to beat SONY to the market and now its about to back fire big time.

    Uncharted 2 was your first warning.

    #46 5 years ago
  47. LordCancer

    3d is for the baboons.

    #47 5 years ago
  48. Dr.Ghettoblaster

    (Psssst……it was a joke #42) ;)

    #48 5 years ago
  49. sam_spade

    I would have thought MS would be behind this. If the DS can present a 3D image without a fancy 3D screen and just using tracking on the camera, surely with Natal the effect can be reproduced?

    3D is going to be the future, anyone who thinks it can’t add gameplay with a combination of the emerging tech is seriously short of imagination.

    #49 5 years ago
  50. Catkiller

    3D with glasses is NOT the future!!!! You bloody Nintendo! you made it again. 3DS is the revolution! Anyway, alhough 3D might be the trend, we still will be playing games like Tetris, Mario, Sonic (hope that Sega wont screw the SONIC 4 – like the other Sonic games since Knuckles) etc. PURE GAMEPLAY, this is alpha and omega!!!! Please, dont forget it…

    #50 5 years ago

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