I am playing Gears of War 3 in 3D. My problem is that the Xbox guide doesn't appear to support 3D. Does anybody know how to fix this? Enabling 3D in the Xbox settings doesn't do anything. Achievements come up the same way. Basically the game is 3D but everything built in to the system isn't.

Here are some images:

First, I do have 3D enabled in the Xbox settings:

3D is enabled

Next, take a look at what Gears of War 3 looks like when the TV has 3D turned off (if I am not mistaken, it is a 2160x1920 image that the TV is scaling down to 1080x1920):

3D is on in Gears of War, off on the TV

This next image shows what happens when I turn 3D on for the TV (it is now a standard 1080p image with both halves of the previous image being interlaced in polarized light for the glasses):

3D is on for the TV

Now I'll pull up the Xbox Guide (TV is still in 3D mode):

Xbox Guide, TV is in 3D mode

Here is that same image when the TV is not in 3D mode:

Xbox Guide, Gears of War 3 in 3D mode, TV in normal mode

It may be difficult to see, but the game went back to the split images (see second photograph) and the guide is just sitting in the center overtop the images. Achievements do the same thing. Basically, they are not being split into 3D frames and it is actually painful whenever I pull up the guide or earn an achievement. That's right, I feel physical pain whenever I earn an achievement.

There must be a way to make the Xbox interface come up in 3D as well.

  • I suggest you complain to MS about this. Preferably on their xbox forum where they know other users will see it (although if you make them look too stupid they will "censor" your post by penalizing its ranking in the forum's search function). The more people that complain, the more likely they are to bother fixing it.
    – Hugh Allen
    Commented Jul 1, 2013 at 1:56

1 Answer 1


The reason for the weird system popups is that the Xbox doesn't support 3D natively. It's just the game itself that outputs two half-size images on a normal 2D output. The TV then pulls out the two images and displays one to each eye when you put it manually in 3D side by side mode.

If you look at the Xbox guide during Gears with the TV in 2D mode what you see is what the TV uses to split the two images. It will take the left half of the screen with the left half of the dashboard and display it to the left eye (only) in 3D mode. The right half of the dashboard goes to the right eye (only) so the two eyes see totally different content.

If the dashboard knew that the game was in 3D side by side mode it could potentially show two smaller squashed and repeated dashboards, one on the left and one on the right so that both eyes see the same image in 3D, but it doesn't.

Also you're not seeing a 2160x1920 image. You're seeing a 1280x720 image as generated by Gears, with each half of the image dedicated to one eye. The 360 then upscales to a single 1920x1080 image. The TV further upscales the image for each eye to fill the screen. So it's 640x720 per eye upscaled to 1920x1080 per eye on an active 3D display, or sidescaled to 1920x560 on a passive 3D display. Either way it will look blocky.

  • I knew why the guide was showing the way it was, but now you're telling me that I beat Gears 3 in a low resolution. I feel so dirty... I guess on the Xbox 360 I'll start using the TV's built in 2D-to-3D conversion which actually works very well.
    – knpwrs
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 15:39
  • And on another note, my PS3 handles 3D beautifully. Native and everything. I don't even have to set my TV to 3D mode, the PS3 outputs a 3D signal and the TV automatically switches over.
    – knpwrs
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 15:40
  • All 3D games on the Xbox output, at most, half resolution. Several of the AAA 3D games on the PS3 output at sub 720p per eye even though it's capable of 720p output purely because they haven't optimized the game engine enough or the PS3 doesn't have the grunt to do it (similar problems on the Xbox too).
    – Gazman
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 22:27
  • So to answer your original question directly: There is no way to fix the system popups that don't display correctly in 3D. MS needs to add an API to better support 3D interaction with games so the dash knows what 3D mode the game is in. That's do-able in an update, but I don't think we'll see full resolution.
    – Gazman
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 22:29
  • Uncharted 3 is supposed to be awesome in 3D. I believe it stays full res. And again, if the resolution is killing me I can always use the (surprisingly good) LG 2D-to-3D conversion.
    – knpwrs
    Commented Oct 12, 2011 at 23:00

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