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I've read in various places that the Xbox 360 only supports 3D through 2D-to-3D conversion technologies such as LG's 2D-to-3D conversion (not meant to be an advertisement, I swear).

I notice the back of the Gears of War 3 box says that it supports 3D. Does this mean it supports 3D through 2D-to-3D conversion using component cables (broadcasting a special signal optimized for conversion to 3D) or should I upgrade my Xbox 360 to one of the new ones that supports HDMI at the same time I pick up my new TV tomorrow?

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I can't authoritatively state this (so I'm putting it in a comment), but I'm fairly sure that 3D display is only supported via a digital connector (HDMI, DVI, Thunderbolt, etc). –  CyberSkull Sep 25 '11 at 10:30

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You can use component cables to play Gears 3 in 3D. I just did on my own HDMI-less console. You might get a better image quality with the HDMI, but the 3D affect does work with component cables.

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Yes, I noticed that Gears 3 uses a side-by-side stereoscopic picture rather than a 3D signal (like the PS3) and the TV can convert that to a 3D picture. Kinda lame on Microsoft's part not to mention that as I already bought the new console. Oh well, this one is quieter anyway (it doesn't sound like a helicopter taking off). On another note, not all 3D TVs will support a signal that large through component (I didn't even bother trying with my TV). –  KPthunder Oct 11 '11 at 16:13

I just called Microsoft at 1-800-4-MY-XBOX and they verified that I do need HDMI in order to play games in 3D.

I did not ask anything about LG's 2D-to-3D conversion. I imagine it would work the same way I used to make 3D images in Photoshop with a single camera. For the right eye you cut a little bit off the left side of the picture and for the left eye you cut a little bit off the right side of the picture. That works, but it of course doesn't match using two cameras to shoot the content.

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It depends on a game and the definition of 3D. While many 3D games on Xbox 360 require HDMI for 3D support, there are some that can be played in 3D even without HDMI, if you have other proper means for the 3D viewing. There has been some debate about what does and what does not count as "real" 3D, but in its simpliest form, even red/green- glasses count as 3D. Also, there are some stereoscopic 3D video glasses (such as older Vuzix Wrap video eyewear glasses) that can be connected to Xbox by using composite connectors or similar input solution.

Some Xbox 360 games that can be played in 3D without HDMI (Side-By-Side, Top-And-Bottom, TrioViz or anaglyph) are:

  • Assassin's Creed: Revelations
  • Assassin's Creed III
  • James Cameron's Avatar
  • Batman: Arkham Asylum - Game Of The Year edition
  • Batman: Arkham City
  • The Dishwasher: Vampire Smile
  • Enslaved: Odyssey to the West (Requires "Pigsy's perfect 10" DLC)
  • Gears of War 3
  • Invincible Tiger: The Legend of Han Tao
  • Sega Vintage Collection: Alex Kidd & Co ("Super Hang-on" only)

There might be more, but these are the ones I have personally tested or otherwise know for 100% certainity. I typically use Vuzix Wrap 230 Video Eyewear for 3D gaming.

Of course, using HDMI for 3D means increased clarity and sharpness in graphics, and for some 3D games and formats it is an absolute requirement.

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