Stereoscopic 3D coming "soon" to Xbox 360

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 PlayStation 3.

PS3 games such as Wipeout HD, PAIN and Super Stardust HD have all now been given a 3D makeover.

Games industry news site Develop attended the seminar, titled "2020 Vision - web-enabled television, 3D and future TV tech," and quotes Oliver as saying: "Microsoft are going to be making an announcement about it [3D] at some point soon."

Oliver co-founded Blitz Games Studios with his twin brother Philip over 20 years ago, and he's also famous for creating the 8-bit Dizzy franchise in the 1980s. Now working on big titles such as Dead to Rights Retribution, the Leamington Spa developer works closely with both Microsoft and Sony.

"There's lots of games coming on the PlayStation 3 very shortly in 3D," he noted, while admitting that the stereoscopic 3D situation on the Xbox 360, "has been rather quiet."

Of course, "soon" could mean absolutely anything, but Develop speculates that Microsoft could be gearing up to announce stereoscopic 3D support for the Xbox 360 at E3 next week. It's a fair assumption, but it might also detract attention from the launch of Microsoft's new Natal control system.

Oliver says that developing a game that supports both normal TVs and 3D TVs is not necessarily a big task. "It is just a case of adding a mode into the options menu, so there's no need for two different products," he explained.

However, EA's CEO John Riccitiello recently predicted that it would take a good three years before stereoscopic 3D became a standard in gaming. The big cheese of EA reckons that it's easy enough to add 3D support to an existing game, but properly developing a game to take advantage of the extra dimensions will require a lot more work.