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Full stereoscopic 3D hitting Xbox 360

"It's more capable than the PlayStation 3."

Full stereoscopic 3D is set to hit the Xbox 360, Eurogamer can reveal.

This stereo 3D support works exactly like the PlayStation 3's 3D effect. In other words, full-on HDMI 1.4 stereoscopic 3D in the 1280x1470 twin 720p framebuffer configuration.

This would mean a 720p image per eye.

When asked for information on this planned improvement, a source familiar with Xbox 360 development hinted at an E3 announcement.

"They'd be mad not to do it, is all I can say," said our source. "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 a HDMI Xbox.

"The bottleneck is more on the graphical throughput for rendering out in stereo."

So, when will Microsoft announce full stereo 3D support for the Xbox 360?

"E3 is coming up," is all our source would offer. "Microsoft is going to have to go on stage to say something, aren't they?"

Stereoscopic 3D gaming is one of the PlayStation 3's most-touted features.

It was unlocked on the machine in June last year with a firmware update, making it the only console on the market with support for full stereoscopic 3D gaming.

A number of PS3 games run in 3D, including Gran Turismo 5 and Killzone 3.

A handful of Xbox 360 games have launched under the "stereoscopic 3D" banner, including Crytek's Crysis 2 and Treyarch's Call of Duty: Black Ops.

But they all render using 3D techniques based on the principle of two distinct images crammed into one 720p framebuffer.

This new change is set to occur through a firmware update. While it is unclear exactly how Microsoft will enable full 3D, there is more than enough bandwidth to sustain it, even on HDMI 1.1, let alone the 1.2 the Xbox 360 uses.

"We're a fully 3D-capable console today. We support 3D games that are in the market today," Microsoft's Aaron Greenberg told VG247 last year.

"The capability is there. The question is whether or not the consumer demand is there. That's the unanswered question. We're not a consumer electronics company that's trying to sell 3DTVs, so we have the benefit of waiting until the market responds. We're going to take probably more of a pull than a push approach."

Microsoft told Eurogamer this afternoon that it "does not comment on rumour or speculation".