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Xbox 720 may pack 3D tech, job spec hints

Microsoft could be working on baking 3D goodness into its next Xbox, a Microsoft job specification suggests.

A job listing on Microsoft's site suggests the software behemoth could be planning to focus more on 3D in the next Xbox console.

The listing, spotted by BGR and posted on the console-maker's website, is for an 'Algorithm Research & Development Engineer for Xbox team' to work for Microsoft in Israel.

It asks for people who are keen on "image processing algorithm and 3D imaging technologies which will serve millions through the world".

"Responsibilities include algorithm design and implementation into state of the art 3D imaging systems," the listing continues.

It's a million miles from conclusive, though in January gaming site IGN reported that the next Xbox (dubbed the Xbox 720 -- a number that will make sense to anyone who knows their maths or ever played Tony Hawk's) will sport a processor that supports 3D.

The current Xbox does offer some 3D support, but Microsoft hasn't made a feature of the third dimension in the way Sony has with its PlayStation 3 console. Maybe that will change with Microsoft's next bit of kit.

While it's best to take this rumour with a fistful of salt and wash it down with seawater, I'm still going to take a minute to ponder what a 3D Xbox would be like.

Perhaps Microsoft is thinking about pairing 3D tech with its motion-controlled Kinect peripheral. I can see how a bit of voice control or arm-waving could make 3D games feel even more involving.

Of course, even if the next Xbox does support 3D, you'll need a 3D telly to use it with. Microsoft knows hardly anyone owns one of these flashy sets, so if three-dimensional gubbins is an option in the Xbox 720, it'll probably be merely an extra option for those with a fancy TV, rather than a gameplay requirement.

I'm not too impressed with 3D, and I don't mind confessing I'd rather see Microsoft leave the technology alone for the next Xbox. More often than not, adding the third dimension to entertainment just proves distracting, and those glasses are a royal pain in the rump.

A Microsoft exec has said the follow-up to the Xbox 360 won't be out this year. But we might still see the new console shown off at the E3 trade show in the summer. That's a long time to wait, so pass the time by chucking your own Xbox 720 predictions in the comments, or on our Facebook wall.