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Microsoft's Spencer: Stereoscopic 3D Gaming Promising, Not 'Really Accessible' Yet

Microsoft VP Phil Spencer tells Gamasutra his company "isn't closing its eyes" to stereoscopic gaming on consoles, but the lack of home penetration for 3D TVs means the tech isn't "really... accessible".
Microsoft Game Studios' corporate vice president Phil Spencer sees the potential in stereoscopic 3D technology on home consoles, but suggests it is not yet ready for the mass market. Speaking to Gamasutra in a new in-depth interview, while the executive noted the interesting benefits 3D technologies can offer, he argued that the hardware requirements, namely stereoscopic displays and glasses, have yet to to reach a large audience. "I can’t enable your house for‭ ‬3D," says Spencer, "‬It’s cool,‭ ‬and I played Batman: Arkham Asylum all the way through with my‭ ‬3D glasses on,‭ ‬but it’s hard for me to see this as really being accessible.‭" "My main point was that for most people on the planet right now,‭ ‬even if the game supports it,‭ ‬their home environment does not," he added. While the vice president expressed skepticism on the current reach of 3D technology -- recently referring to the tech as "more like a science experiment", something he now believes "wasn’t exactly what I meant" -- he remains open to its potential in the future, and even noted that Microsoft has run internal tests with 3D games on Xbox 360. "We’ve had first-party games running in‭ ‬3D in the studios," said Spencer. He added that Microsoft plans to see how the market evolves before using 3D stereoscopic technologies more widely in any of its retail products, unlike PlayStation 3 creator Sony, which has a number of flagship first-party titles running in 3D. Spencer said that Microsoft plans to "let third parties see what might be possible,"‭ before embracing 3D technologies. "But the technology makes a ton of sense," he commented. "We’re not at all closing our eyes to the technology." Finally, one possibility in the longer-term is that Microsoft's just-launching Kinect could be paired with 3D technology, creating stereoscopic images that viewers could interact with. In concluding, Spencer acknowledged: "I think it’s an interesting place to think about‭ ‬3D input with‭ ‬3D output.‭ ‬It creates some cool scenarios.‭ ‬And this is stuff people in the deep bowels of the studios are working on,‭ ‬just kind of pushing...."

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