While it may not be catching on with the same speed and success as high-definition, 3D looks to be the next frontier for manufacturers of televisions and electronics. In the games arena the PlayStation 3 is currently the only console offering full stereoscopic 3D, but according to industry sources, that won’t be the case for long. Rumors are now pointing to Microsoft adding stereoscopic 3D to the Xbox 360 in the near future, with an announcement of the move at this year’s E3 seeming increasingly likely.

Owners of an Xbox 360 and a television supporting 3D are currently able to enjoy games like Black Ops and Crysis 2 in the glorious third dimension, but with both images being combined to form the ultimately 720p image.

That apparently isn’t tapping into the console’s full potential, at least according to a source claimed by Eurogamer. In the mystery insider’s opinion, the fact that Microsoft hasn’t released a firmware update making full stereoscopic 3D – presenting a completely rendered 720p image for each eye – is only a sign that the company is waiting to announce it.

With PayPal updates on the way to the Xbox 360, there’s a chance that Microsoft will finally be getting around to adding other features like 3D performance that used the system’s hardware to its maximum potential. According to the source, it’s the kind of announcement that would fit perfectly into the company’s press conference at E3:

“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 a HDMI Xbox.

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

While it’s still a minority of gamers who have the ability to play their games in 3D, and likely an even smaller group who could tell the difference between the two forms of 3D technology, there’s no reason that a system shouldn’t offer the best visuals it’s capable of. Gaming is the future of 3D, after all.

What may come as the biggest surprise is that the hardware inside of the Xbox 360 still seems capable of exceeding expectations this long after its initial launch. With more and more features to roll out with firmware updates and new disc formats, the major console makers might just be able to keep current consoles until 2014 as they’ve planned.

We don’t know what the next discovery will be in regards to, but it’s already looking like Microsoft is going to have a long list of announements to make at E3. With no shortage of triple-A titles to hype up for a fall and holiday release, and a massively increased Kinect library, the addition of full stereoscopic 3D support may end up being a throwaway mention.

But not to those who will be able to enjoy the difference. So what’s your opinion? Do you already play some games in 3D, and if so, will this make the decision between PS3 and Xbox harder? Let us know in the comments.

We’ll keep you posted for any confirmation or response from Microsoft.

Source: Eurogamer