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Microsoft will announce 3D for Xbox 360 at E3

Microsoft will announce full stereoscopic 3D functionality for the Xbox 360 gaming console at this year's E3 gamer-fest if hints dropped by a Microsoft insider are to be believed.

Eurogamer quizzed its unidentified source on the planned improvement, which would see the Xbox's 3D credential matching those of the Sony PlayStation 3 with full HDMI 1.4 streoscopic visuals at 1280x1470 - or a full 720p image set for each eyeball if you like.

Asked if an official announcement would be made at the E3 gamer gathering, which starts on June 7th in Los Angeles, the insider said, "They'd be mad not to do it, is all I can say. The machine is not only very capable, it's more capable than the PlayStation 3 of doing stereo, assuming you don't have one of the old crappy ones with the composite leads... assuming you have an HDMI Xbox."

The PS3 has had comparable 3D since June last year but, despite being heavily promoted, the technology has failed to make a major impact with only a handful of games taking advantage of the shuttered-glasses technology.

An even smaller number of Xbox games have launched with the capability of running in 3D, but using an inferior technology which uses a single 720p framebuffer to send images to both eyes.

It's not clear whether consumer demand is there yet for 3D gaming with the vast majority of fan forum posts being distinctly underwhelmed by the possibility.

Users with older consoles and non-compliant TVs are highly unlikely to upgrade both in order to play already headache-inducing games in 3D wearing bulky glasses which need to be recharged every couple of hours.