Gears of War 3 is the latest game to leverage its numerical modifier by adding 3D support (first pioneered by classic films like Jaws 3-D and SpyKids 3-D), and joins other participants like Killzone 3, Uncharted 3, and Resistance 3. "It felt like something we wanted to have. It was a feature we didn't want to be deficient in," Gears producer Rod Fergusson told Eurogamer. "When you look at Gears 1, it was what people used to demo HD at the time."

Ironically enough, the tradeoff for 3D support in Gears 3 will be sub-HD resolutions. "Instead of 720p you're at five something," Fergusson said. "It's a little bit jaggier in certain areas." If it sounds weird to hear an Epic employee suggesting that an Epic game is anything less than a technology high-water mark, there's a reason for it: 3D support "was something that came in really late in our process," Fergusson explained. Instead of building in 3D support from the ground up, Epic instead opted for a post-processing effect that "generally works," he said. The technology is most likely TriOviz, which was accepted into Unreal Engine's Integrated Partners Program last year.

Fergusson says while 3D is still "a niche feature" we'll begin to see better support for it on the Xbox. "As you look forward, in the next [Xbox Development Kit] coming out of the Xbox, it'll have more support for 3D or more higher quality for native support for 3D," Fergusson said. "Moving forward, the Xbox will be able to take it further." And we're sure Epic and its ubiquitous Unreal Engine will be right alongside.

Update: Epic just confirmed that Gears 3 uses TriOviz. Here's the statement:
"Gears of War 3" uses Darkworks' TriOviz technology, which is integrated with Unreal Engine 3, for stereoscopic 3D support. All "Gears of War 3" gameplay and cinematics have S3D support, and this extends to split-screen play as well.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.