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 Stereoscopic 3D coming "soon" to Xbox 360 
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Stereoscopic 3D coming "soon" to Xbox 360

Blitz co-founder spills the beans


By Ben Hardwidge

A leading games developer has claimed that Microsoft is planning to announce stereoscopic 3D support on the Xbox 360 "soon."

The claim was made by Blitz Games Studios' co-founder Andrew Oliver at a recent Westminster eForum seminar, and comes on the same day that Sony officially announced stereoscopic 3D support for the PlayStation3.

Read the whole story here.

Read full article...


Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:31 pm
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I'll believe it when I see it.

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Thu Jun 10, 2010 6:50 pm
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E3 announcement for Xbox 360 stereo would look great; seems like there are some changes within Microsoft after all. However, I'd wish they announced a brand new console with full support for stereoscopic 3D...


Thu Jun 10, 2010 11:22 pm
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No new console, that goin to happen when we see pricey CPU plus GPU systems fade away in favor of many many core plus babysitter cpu.

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Fri Jun 11, 2010 7:14 am
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I don't know where have you been in the last 10 years, but modern graphics processors already have four to five hundreds of "shader cores".

Placing them inside the CPU package won't make the combination any cheaper. A better manufacturing process such as 22 nm certainly will cut the costs, because you're getting like 1/17th of the surface of a 90 nm chip with the same complexity, which means more yeld from the same sized waffer and cheape parts, and ability to trade up performance with cost (i.e. get 16x faster chip for the same price, or a 8x faster chip for 1/2 the price, etc.).


Fri Jun 11, 2010 10:37 am
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If Microsoft really does announce some kind of 3D initiative, then it's going to be very interesting to see how they handle the issue of millions and millions of Xbox 360's lacking an hdmi port. The one nice thing about Microsoft and 3D, is they could give you the option of running it in Checkerboard format, because they don't need to force you to buy one of their new overpriced TV's, considering they don't sell TV's, lol.

My guess is that Microsoft will announce something about 3D at e3, but it won't be anything earth shattering. I'm guessing they will announce about 5 or 6 games that are going to have Stereoscopic support. They already did that deal with Samsung in Korea, where they have to supply them with 6 stereoscopic games. So maybe the same 6 games will be coming to the USA, and that will be the gist of their announcement.


Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:43 am
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Im talking about the rendering pipeline, the current ones wont work in this multicore scenario when you have computing happening and all. Next console graphics api might not be opengl or directx but CUDA or other parallel programing enviroment. Computing is the next step, and d3d or gl are just ghosts of the past there, unnecesary limiting factor.

Besides I would love the sight of a GF100 derivative as the preemptive component obviously (rather than that AMD Fusion weakling ha-ha, and banwidth crippled top end chips) , hopefully its not that away with all the transmeta engineers at nvidia.

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Fri Jun 11, 2010 11:54 am
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What the hell are you talking about tritosine ?

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Fri Jun 11, 2010 3:32 pm
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o well read it for urselves:
http://graphics.cs.williams.edu/archive ... PG2009.pdf

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Fri Jun 11, 2010 4:51 pm
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Writing games is one thing, writing 3D APIs is another. Tim Sweeney is a game programmer, I don't think he really graps what's the complexity of a 3D rendering API. He should continue trying programming games, and leave serious things to people who know better. To each one his domain of competence...


Fri Jun 11, 2010 9:30 pm
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Anthony1 wrote:
how they handle the issue of millions and millions of Xbox 360's lacking an hdmi port. The one nice thing about Microsoft and 3D, is they could give you the option of running it in Checkerboard format
Yes, even though half of Xbox 360 units lack HDMI ports, you don't really need it for the half-res formats. Most current TV sets have VGA input, and this year's 3DTVs do seem to support both 1080p60 and 720p60 with half-res stereo encoding formats from the analog VGA, and signal quality will not be an issue with a good cable.

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My guess is that Microsoft will announce something about 3D at e3, but it won't be anything earth shattering. I'm guessing they will announce about 5 or 6 games that are going to have Stereoscopic support
Hopefully not, because it will be a non-announcement.

I'd guess they would annouce a new firmware and a new version of SDK that supports both HDMI 3D formats (on units with a HDMI port) and a wider range of VESA formats to allow passive PC monitors and some plasma/DLP TVs with non-CEA resolutions, over both HDMI/DVI cables and analog VGA.

Support for 120 Hz monitors and projectors with an Xbox glasses kit accessory would be nice, however 1920x1080 @120 Hz and 1680x1050 @ 120 Hz require a dual-link DVI port and thus a new revision of the console. If Xbox 360 is indeed getting a new revision with 45 nm CPU and GPU, dual-link DVI as a possibility as well - they could handle it with a Type B HDMI 1.3 connector to save space, or (let's get Unreal) by replacing VGA and HDMI with a DisplayPort 1.1 with self-powered active convertor.


Last edited by DmitryKo on Mon Jun 14, 2010 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:24 am
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Fredz wrote:
Tim Sweeney is a game programmer, I don't think he really graps what's the complexity of a 3D rendering API
Technically, in this case you don't need to design an API, you just run everyting on the general-purpose CPU. This paradigm fails on the hardware side though.

CPUs just don't align well with massively parallel SIMD model of GPUs. Most general-purpose algorythms are not massively parallel and do not need to process massive loads of data in a predictable manner. You can't gain much by increasing bus width or cache size of the CPU, since the code locality is small but there are quite a few conditional jumps which make prediction hard. On the other hand, GPUs have a very linear code path with very few conditional jumps, but they must process insane amount of pixels and triangle, so they need a wide bus width and a large amount of very fast memory. So to make the CPU an effective graphics processor, you need to make it into, well, a GPU. What's the catch I must ask?

tritosine wrote:
Im talking about the rendering pipeline, the current ones wont work in this multicore scenario when you have computing happening and all. Next console graphics api might not be opengl or directx but CUDA or other parallel programing enviroment.
If you're talking about the Larrabee model, it failed to reach the consumer market don't you remember because it couldn't catch up with traditional GPUs. General-purpose computing cores are never as fast as specialised cores, so it's either complete flexibility or best performance, and game developers in the last 10 years have always pushed for performance and are willing to accept the tradeoffs.

Well, except for Tim Sweeney who dreams how CPUs will get so much powerfull that he can return to writing software renderers and promotes his ideas since al least 2005, but this never happened as processors hit the 4-5 GHz limit and so the industry had to resort to parallel computing techniques.

As GPUs get more powerful and include thousands and tens thousands shader cores (which will still happen until we get to the 11 nm somewhere in 2020-2025), they will be able to run more complex programs, maybe eventually RenderMan-quality shaders and ray-tracing in realtime. But these will still be specialized cores which run very specific instructions very efficiently, and not general-purpose CPU cores - even if they end up being in the same package or on the same die as the CPU.


Sat Jun 12, 2010 1:41 am
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PS. http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/2843 ... ing_3D.php

Quote:
GDC Canada: Zargarpour On Gaming's Key Role In Popularizing 3D

Microsoft's Habib Zargarpour suggested that the success of stereoscopic 3D in the home is "up to the game content... much more so than film and broadcast."

.... when the industry has fixed the standardization problems, there are exciting new gameplay concepts and really startling visual effects using 3D. But some effects will fall down when converted to stereoscopic - particularly trees and normal mapped effects, which will end up looking flat.

He concluded by referencing hardware such as Natal and PlayStation Move, suggesting: "With upcoming natural user interface hardware... think about how 3D can enhance that. You're using your body to interact with the game - but what if you can now see depth and that's part of the experience?"

Zargapour noted that this interaction "is a huge opportunity" to make a whole new experience for players, and these new interfaces combined with 3D may truly become the next level for video game interactivity.


Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:29 am
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I've seen some normal maps looking really great in stereo and as far as game consoles are concerned, everything is standardized.

Mr Zargarpour seems to be looking for excuses for his department being late.

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 3:35 pm
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Microsofts big E3 day came and went. No 3D announcements on their part.

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Mon Jun 14, 2010 6:36 pm
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Yeah, I've done some searches on Microsoft and S3D, and there really hasn't been any news whatsoever. Pretty lame. I wonder what that Blitz games guy was talking about?


Sat Jun 19, 2010 2:40 am
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As much as I am a huge s-3d supporter I actually think ms "laid back" strategy might be right for them.

ATM they need to convince people that their own kinect system beats the wii and Sony's move.
Then, let's say in 2 years they could launch a bright new console, much more powerful then the current generation to truly support s-3d gaming once enough people have their 3d home theaters set up for it.

I think Sony will struggle to deliver both, s-3d and ever better graphics on their ps3 and where gamers would smile down at the casual games delivered with kinect, for s-3d they would expect their high end games to perform just as well in s-3d as in regular mode.

So, IMHO it's more of a strategic waiting game on the part of ms

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Sat Jun 19, 2010 7:57 am
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Quote:
Xbox 360 to play the waiting game with 3D
In a statement today, Microsoft noted, "It's projected that less than one half of one percent of all TVs in the U.S. this year will be 3DTVs. And 3DTVs will make up only 5% of the TV installed base three years from now."

So Microsoft has no plans to actively pursue 3D gaming at this time.
That's disappointing.

BTW, "do nothing" is not even a strategy (i.e. "A plan of action intended to accomplish a specific goal"). And Kinect is going to have hard time competing with Move/Eye, given its higher price and the fact that it lacks any physical controller that you can hold in your hand.


Last edited by DmitryKo on Tue Jun 22, 2010 9:53 am, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Jun 22, 2010 2:20 am
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DmitryKo wrote:
That's disappointing.

"Do nothing" is not even a strategy (i.e. "A plan of action intended to accomplish a specific goal"). And Kinect is going to have hard time competing with Move/Eye, given its higher price and the fact that it lacks any physical controller that you can hold in your hand.

If the kinect was combined with stereoscopic 3d, then it would be a far more impressive piece of hardware... Imagine having objects floating in front of you that you can actually interact with. As it is, it's quite pointless other then, maybe, the dance games?


Tue Jun 22, 2010 3:26 am
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DmitryKo wrote:
That's disappointing.

"Do nothing" is not even a strategy (i.e. "A plan of action intended to accomplish a specific goal"). And Kinect is going to have hard time competing with Move/Eye, given its higher price and the fact that it lacks any physical controller that you can hold in your hand.


well their goal is to make money. their strategy is to wait for a reasonable saturation with s-3d enabled tv's
if their analysis shows, that by the time their desired saturation is reached (lets say 50% of their target audience) they can release a new console with "full s-3d power", I would call doing nothing atm a reasonable strategy.
why invest money into something now (marketing, educating developers, developing new drivers?) if they can't profit from it in a similar way as sony sells their 3D TVs ?

on the part of the kincet, I could easily envision a 50cent foam-lightsable as a controller for, well lightsable games.
my guts say that kinect wont be so great as they advertise but it was the same with the wii. I'm just hoping its something that evolves with time and in 3-4 years we have a high precision 5.1 motion capturing system.

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Tue Jun 22, 2010 4:50 am
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android78 wrote:
If the kinect was combined with stereoscopic 3d, then it would be a far more impressive piece of hardware... Imagine having objects floating in front of you that you can actually interact with.
Exactly. It's not only about pop-out objects though - at the Sony's presentation at 3D gaming summit, there was a demo of look-around capabilities of the Eye camera, and that was quite impressive.

If you recall, DDD/Tridef was offering similar feature in their drivers but the implementation was far from perfect because the games did not support it directly and some things are impossible to overcome in the drivers. Now with the release of Move SDK, developers can have full control over look-around, so console game titles may start using it. Hopefully Kinect SDK has a similar mode.

craylon wrote:
their strategy is to wait for a reasonable saturation with s-3d enabled tv's
why invest money into something now (marketing, educating developers, developing new drivers?) if they can't profit from it in a similar way as sony sells their 3D TVs ?

Their "strategy" is to make excuses in the face of the dissapointed crowd. As I said earlier, they could at least update the firmware to allow the developers to utilize HDMI 3D modes for gaming. That would be a much smaller investment than preparing a new slim Xbox 360 S with a 45 nm chip which has CPU, GPU and eDRAM in the same package.

Quote:
by the time their desired saturation is reached (lets say 50% of their target audience) they can release a new console with "full s-3d power"
By the time it happens, hardcore stereo gamers will migrate away to Sony, just because PS3 Slim costs only $100 more than the cheapest Blu-ray 3D player.

Quote:
on the part of the kincet, I could easily envision a 50cent foam-lightsable as a controller for, well lightsable games.
Unfortunately, a 50-cent foam does not feature orientation sensors, and we're yet to see how Kinect will handle that future Star Wars lightsaber game.


Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:28 am
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by the time their desired saturation is reached (lets say 50% of their target audience) they can release a new console with "full s-3d power"
By the time it happens, hardcore stereo gamers will migrate away to Sony, just because PS3 Slim costs only $100 more than the cheapest Blu-ray 3D player.

If the purpose is to play 3d blurays I agree. Yet the Xbox has no bluray drive anyway.
For the purpose of s-3D gaming I think time will tell how well the PS3 handles the additional load. For me it seems that hardcore gamers expect their next game to be even more visually appealing then their last and they will be the first to scream out aloude if only a single frame is dropt for the sake of stereoscopic gaming.
Maybe MS looses a handfull of stereoscopic fans but ATM, if you can shell out $2k+ for a 3d-TV, what stops you from buying both consoles plus kinect, move and a 3DS on top of it all ?

As I said, if it takes another 2-3 years till half the regular households have a 3D-TV then the race probably begins anew with the next generations of xboxes and ps

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Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:48 am
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craylon wrote:
If the purpose is to play 3d blurays I agree
I'd imagine that people decide to buy PS3 not just for Blu-ray since standalone Blu-ray 3D players are still a tad cheaper, they'd probably want to try some PS3 exclusive titles like Killzone as well.

Overall, letting your user base consider the competition is quite a dangerous situation for Microsoft, because once you have the competitor's console sitting next to your Xbox, you might eventually exit the fanboy mode and come to realization that PS3 is not really that much worse as you'd imagined. The users might then want to try the stero 3D mode, especially when 60-inch 3DTV from Mitsubishi starts from $1000 plus $200 for Mitsubishi HDMI 3D converter and VESA-enabled wired glasses kit from eDimensional. And once you've got yourself a couple of stereo 3D titles, you'd probably want to play them on the next PlayStation as well, especially when your PS3 Slim has a good resale value as a cheap Blu-ray player. So you end up buying a next PlayStation. I'd belive this is one of the worst nightmares for Xbox product managers at Microsoft, especially when some of them were given the boot just recently.

Quote:
For the purpose of s-3D gaming I think time will tell how well the PS3 handles the additional load. For me it seems that hardcore gamers expect their next game to be even more visually appealing then their last and they will be the first to scream out aloude if only a single frame is dropt for the sake of stereoscopic gaming.
From the reviews I've read, stereo-enabled titles on the PS3 are optimized to death and developers try to squeeze every last bit out of the hardware until their games perform well in stereo 3D.

Quote:
if you can shell out $2k+ for a 3d-TV, what stops you from buying both consoles plus kinect, move and a 3DS on top of it all ?
Mitsubishi 3D DLP start from $1000, and LG has not even announced their own plasma 3DTVs which they have been showing on CES 2010 (their plasmas tend to be the cheapest).

Then again, as I said, Microsoft could provide support for cheaper stereoscopic monitors for the PC, that is support PC resolutions and timings.



PS. Xbox 360 to play the waiting game with 3D

Quote:
In a statement today, Microsoft noted, "It's projected that less than one half of one percent of all TVs in the U.S. this year will be 3DTVs. And 3DTVs will make up only 5% of the TV installed base three years from now."

So Microsoft has no plans to actively pursue 3D gaming at this time.


Tue Jun 22, 2010 10:15 am
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