Like it or not, 3-D gaming is a trend that's pretty much here to stay, with several new titles supporting the format on both the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3. Epic Games is the latest company to jump on the bandwagon, as they have announced that they will be adding 3-D support to its upcoming Gears of War 3, releasing for Xbox 360 next month. But it may not be the full 1080p 3-D gaming that you'd expect...
Talking with Eurogamer, executive producer Rod Fergusson explained why 3-D support was added to the game. "We asked, could we do it?" explained Fergusson. "It felt like something we wanted to have. It was a feature we didn't want to be deficient in. When you look at Gears 1, it was what people used to demo HD at the time. It's still fledgling technology. It's still a niche feature. But it was something we could support, so we felt, why not?"
Several 3-D supported titles have been released for Xbox 360, including Call of Duty: Black Ops, Green Lantern: Rise of the Manhunters, Crysis 2 and, most recently, Captain America: Super Soldier. There's no question that Gears 3 will be one of the more popular releases to support it...even if it's not entirely fully supported 1080p HD 3-D.
"It's a little bit jaggier in certain areas," Fergusson said. But the difference is "not huge". "Instead of 720p you're at five something."
"It was something that came in really late in our process. It wasn't something where we said, OK, we're going to design the game from the ground up for 3D. It was more of a post-process 3D, where we're like, OK, certain things need to be adjusted, but for the most part it generally works.
"It's great. I love the qualities it provides, the window into a world. That's what the 3D gives you. Having that depth of character, and being able to see that separation from the reticule and the creatures in the background – it's a different experience but it's a really good one."
It's a shame that the Xbox 360 doesn't quite fully support 3-D on the same level that the PlayStation 3 does (practically every game that comes out for that nowadays has 3-D enabling), but Fergusson believes that day is coming. "As you look forward, in the next XDKs [Xbox Development Kit] coming out of the Xbox, it'll have more support for 3D or more higher quality for native support for 3D," stated Fergusson. "We're supporting the current state of the art for Xbox. Moving forward, the Xbox will be able to take it further."
It's just a matter of when. But we'll take some nifty looking Horde-shooting 3-D action anyway. Because that's how we roll.