Is the next-gen Xbox console capable of transforming our rooms into game worlds?
Like it or hate it, it’s hard to deny that the first next-gen console, the Nintendo Wii U, has an interesting hook to it. That’s something that defines the hardware of various cycles, as an attempt to expand on how we play games, can be seen as either a revolution, or a cheap gimmick. Has Microsoft found their revolution with their upcoming Xbox 360 successor?
A CVG report has revealed that Microsoft has patented a new technology, called ‘environmental display’, that could potentially project a 3D environment in your gaming den. According to the report, the images that are beamed outwards, can only be seen with the use of Kinect 3D glasses, spectacles codenamed Fortazela.
If it sounds a tad salt-pinchey, it may very well be, but it sounds fantastic nonetheless, as the patent description reads:
Interactive media experiences, such as video games, are commonly delivered by a high quality, high resolution display. Such displays are typically the only source of visual content, so that the media experience is bounded by the bezel of the display.
Even when focused on the display, the user may perceive architectural and decorative features of the room the display is in via the user’s peripheral vision. Such features are typically out of context with respect to the displayed image, muting the entertainment potential of the media experience.
Further, because some entertainment experiences engage the user’s situational awareness (e.g., in experiences like the video game scenario described above), the ability to perceive motion and identify objects in the peripheral environment (i.e., in a region outside of the high resolution display) may intensify the entertainment experience.
According to Patently Apple the tech allows for users to experience “an immersive display environment”, and is “provided to a human user by projecting a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces around the user. The peripheral images serve as an extension to a primary image displayed on a primary display.”
In the demo image above, the user is playing an FPS game, with the level layered over the room in use, wherein the player can move around and attack, and even interact with the environment, catching a sneak attack in the process;
“Gestures performed by the gamer while playing a video game may be recognized and interpreted as game controls. In other words, Microsoft’s Kinect will allow the gamer to control the game without the use of conventional, hand-held game controllers.”
Could this be the future of gaming from Microsoft that requires some serious hardware? After all, consumers have proven to be more than interested in getting off the couch to play games, and this could take things to a new level. And as fantastical as it sounds, the technology is there. After all, look at Augmented Reality, and imagine that applied to such a scenario.
Unfortunately, Microsoft has also proven to be capable of releasing devices that don’t exactly work perfectly the first time around, and who knows what manner of space-saving requirements will be necessary to implement such technology, if it was a part of the Xbox 720.
But if it is true, R50 says Sony starts work on implementing a Star Trek style holo-deck suite in their PS4.
Does this hint at a new version of Kinect for Xbox 720? We’ll have more as it happens.