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No 3D Blu-ray support means the Xbox One is no longer your "one" device

Microsoft has done some spectacular flip-flopping on the Xbox One's next-gen vision. The one thing they have been consistent on, however, is the idea that the Xbox One is, well, the one and only device you need for the living room. But now, just two weeks before launching its purported one-stop-media-shop platform, Microsoft has revealed that the Xbox One will not support 3D Blu-ray playback--at least not out of the gate. So, if you want to watch 3D Blu-rays, you're going to need at least one other device connected to your TV. This... well, to be honest this is about as big of a deal as stepping on gum on your way to work. But, it does undercut Microsoft's "one" message.

One could read Microsoft’s omission of the functionality as a response to 3D in the home being a non-starter. ESPN 3D has just been yanked from all cable providers, and it's likely to take the remaining reservoir of 3D TV channels with it. But the fact remains that many televisions available today include 3D capabilities, and most major new-release films have a 3D option available. Even so, and call us hair-hairsplitters here, but it simply doesn't make sense that this wouldn't be included at launch if Microsoft wants to be the all-inclusive media hub.

I mean, it’s called the One. That's the name they chose--the name that only made sense in the context concepted by marketing suits and focus-testing. But now it's not the one, even if it's called that. Confusing, right? 

Between all of the Rokus and Chromecasts and PlayBoxes hogging my HDMI ports, the appeal of a single device that does everything is actually pretty strong. And, before this crack appeared in its visage, it was a compelling hook that could have given the Xbox One the edge over the arguably more-anticipated PS4 in the eyes of some users.

The number of people currently using 3D HDTVs (6%, in case you're wondering) isn't important, not in the consumer sense of the word--but that's the logic Nintendo flaunted when it left HD out of the Wii, and everyone knows how that shook out. The real takeaway is the message, and how this muddies an already shaky premise that only works if it's totally, 100% true. This all-in-One media hub is now a maybe all-in-Two.

13 comments

  • Wrathier - September 30, 2014 1:19 a.m.

    Well for me it truly suck. I have a 3D capable TV, a Sharp 60" bla bla bla and I love 3D. Even though I do not really buy 3D movies yet, I download them and watch them trough my media server I build for the purpose. - Basically I have with the One 3 Blue-Ray players connected, so it is not a big deal. But I want to GAME in real 3D. - My TV can of course make 2D to 3D, but it just isn't the same :(
  • Grandaddy - November 18, 2013 11:04 a.m.

    Any average blu-ray player can be updated to play 3D, the same it will be for the One. This is just silly headline grabbing. Besides, if you can afford a proper 3d tv you get yourself a cheap 3d blu-ray player, surely, they are not exactly expensive these days.
  • larkan - November 12, 2013 8:55 a.m.

    Truly a shame for the 10 people in the world that actually use the 3D on their TV.
  • Shnubby - November 12, 2013 7:30 a.m.

    It was never going to be the only "one" machine in my living room anyway, since it doesn't play N64 cartridges! Hehehe :P
  • Swedish_Chef - November 12, 2013 4 a.m.

    And lo, upon hearing the news the gaming world let out a collective "meh".
  • mothbanquet - November 12, 2013 5:22 a.m.

    Nay, that is far too enthusiastic a response...
  • imran-khan - November 12, 2013 2:30 a.m.

    Its a nice article. But the question is, from where do you get these awesome news.
  • squdgybuttnugget - November 12, 2013 2:26 a.m.

    This has tipped me in the direction of the ps4 I've preordered the xbone day one edition so might cancel it or sell it on eBay
  • Vonter - November 11, 2013 10:10 p.m.

    Things are going to get interesting by the end of next week. ONE versus FOUR. Who's servers gonna crash first? Who will create more buzz? Will Knack and Killer Instinct will compete with the upcoming blockbusters? What unproved rumors will arise? All of this and more will be told on your same game time and your same game channel. Also Mario and Zelda. :p
  • shawksta - November 11, 2013 10:05 p.m.

    YEEEEEEEAH There's a difference between not having HD and 3D 3D doesnt actually help the quality, its just for fun and cool effects, otherwise for the most part the things that isnt focused turns out blurry
  • Eightboll812 - November 11, 2013 8:08 p.m.

    I think the phrase "no longer" implies that a rather larger crack didn't already exist in that "vision". Two that I can think of are the fact that you still need a cable/sat box if you have a TV service, and that the Xbone doesn't include a TV DVR capability on the HDMI input. Since I've seen statistics on Americans that have either cable or sat for TV anywhere from 70-75% of households, that makes that 6% of 3D pale in comparison. So for roughly 75% of Americans, it's already a 2 box solution in the living room. I guess this article shatters the illusion (delusion?) for those that were misled by the "TV, TV, TV" talk, and didn't realize they weren't getting an all-included set top box out of the deal.
  • GOD - November 11, 2013 7:48 p.m.

    Also the "6%" link at the end is a dead end.
  • GOD - November 11, 2013 7:47 p.m.

    I would say that this would be a problem for the Xbox One, but only if they can't patch it in at a later time. If the current model can not now or ever play 3D Blu-Rays, then I think for some people, and I'm talking about those who don't have 3D TV's right now as well, might cause them to choose a PS4 instead. If you were looking to invest in a 3D TV down the line, it's certainly more reasonable to invest in a PS4 rather than a $100 more expensive Xbox One and a an additional Blu-Ray player just to play 3D movies. On the other hand for people who plan to eventually get both consoles, or already have a PS3 (since they all have been updated to support 3D ) or other Blu-Ray player which already supports 3D, then this is completely a non issue. My main point still stands though, that whether or not they can patch it in later makes a big difference. If they can patch it in if/when 3D TVs become more widespread then it won't hurt them to not have it now when no one is really concerned, but if they can't patch it in, it won't hurt them now, but it can definitely hurt them down the line if/when it's something consumers care more about.

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