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3D on Xbox 360 was a "science experiment," says Spencer

Microsoft exec believes 3D has a role in gaming, but isn't significant yet

Microsoft's Phil Spencer has put his cards firmly on the table with a stinging yet indirect assault on Sony's 3D business model, telling press that current 3D technology isn't mainstream enough to become successful.

Speaking to CNN, Spencer made it clear that he doesn't believe that expensive 3D televisions and glasses will break the 3D market in the home, although he did admit to liking the glasses-less concept of Nintendo's 3DS.

"For better or for worse, people just don't really have TVs in their house right now that are going to do 3D in a way that's going to work," Spencer told CNN. "I like the 3DS, you don't have to wear the glasses."

Spencer's views seem to be firmly focused on upsetting the plans of Sony, who have invested heavily in the 3D market with films, PS3 3D support and 3D televisions themselves.

"As a corporate mandate, I don't need to sell you a new TV, that's not part of my business model. Other companies maybe have that part of their business model. I don't."

Recent NPD figures showed a significant increase in sales for the Xbox 360 compared to the same month for last year, whilst PS3 figures were down considerably. The market penetration of 3D televisions has been far lower than many interested parties had predicted.

Microsoft's only console experience with 3D so far has been the stereoscopic 3D release of Batman: Arkham Asylum as part of a game of the year special edition.

"It felt a little more like a science experiment than something that's going to go touch millions of people," Spencer remarked in reference to Arkham. "Clearly, we're not going to ignore 3D. I think it is something that will play a role in entertainment."

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Dan Pearson