You might have heard of the full game headset supported by Carmack called Occulus Rift, well Microsoft has something else in store for everyone. A full immersive game system involving your own 4 walls.
A recent patent revealed by “Patently Apple”, from Microsoft, shows a project as displaying gaming experiences. The projector display the environment of the game on the walls around the play, and sounds like having the benefits of 3D gaming without the 3D glasses we love.
If you’ve ever wanted to have your living room filled with a video game, then you’ll love this project Microsoft’s cooking up
Remember the headsets you could wear that put inside a tank and seemed awesome? As mentioned, we’re getting one of those with John Carmack’s virtual reality headset and other companies that are building one; however, Microsoft is taking that experience outside of the headset and literally into the living room through a projector.
Basically the player’s video game and projects a peripheral image onto environmental surfaces. The device, like Kinect, sits on top of the television and displays the image. Perhaps Microsoft wants to put this functionality in Kinect; it would move beyond the motion sensing gimmick even Nintendo is differentiating from with Wii U.
The idea is that the image is the peripheral images you’d see in-game. In other words, you’re not always looking at the content on the walls. You’re still playing the game. It sounds kind of awesome to have the images on walls turn as I turn. An example in the Patently Apple report is an enemy is behind the players, its image projected onto the rear wall. The player may turn around and see the enemy.
The user in the patent is playing Kinect, and playing a first-person shooter. It seems Microsoft is looking for Kinect to control advanced games that require quick, precise movements. Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor failed to deliver on its promise. Kinect couldn’t reliably interpret quick motions, causing a critical slamming of the title.
Imagine playing competitive multiplayer games like this? It would be … mind blowing. Granted it may take two generations of technology to get reliable performance; nevertheless, I’m getting excited about this technology. Providing it works. The doubt I have is the dynamic between the image on the TV and the images on walls, and the quality of the image.
The image projected is 360 degrees in red-blue-green (RGB) color. Whether this will be a feature of Microsoft’s Durango Xbox remains to be seen.
Note by oliversk: While I strongly believe there is a market for full-headset game systems like the Occulus Rift, a lot of people will be uncomfortable wearing it. It’s something for the hardcore gamers. The bigger market that includes casual gamers will go for Microsoft’s immersive game system (and possibly Sony’s and Nintendo’s spin-off) – which will be much more comfortable and familiar for the average gamer. Plus having a projector definitely has other advantages too. Kudos to Microsoft for claiming this patent – it will be worth a fortune in the future. Possibly, Nintendo, Sony and even Valve will have to pay licensing fees to Microsoft for building a similar hardware in the near future. Smart move, indeed.