Microsoft were not expected to have a big CES 2013 following after it was confirmed that Steve Ballmer wouldn’t be giving his usual annual keynote speech as we’ve seen in the past. That means that whatever small announcements that Microsoft did make in Las Vegas, they were not expected to be anything related to gaming. However, that’s all changed as the company has surprised everyone by showing off a concept video for Xbox IllumiRoom – new technology which will allow users to play future Xbox games (and systems) with an innovative strobe lighting system that expands beyond the boundaries of your television set.
We’re pleased to say that it looks pretty amazing too on first glance. It’s also great to have a big gaming announcement at CES too after Sony failed to deliver on this part, and after watching the concept ourselves we can’t help but think what the future looks like with the IllumiRoom technology up and running on the next-generation Xbox console.
Microsoft has said that by using IllumiRoom and their Kinect technology together, they’ll be able to create a new gaming experience by projecting visualizations across the area in which you play in, even extending the field of play and inserting motion affects as well. The video below gives you a great idea how this new technology will work and Microsoft has said that the effects seen in the video are live – ie no editing post production.
It looks like developers may be able to create different IllumiRoom features, depending on the style of game that users are playing at one time – this would obviously require even more development time, but the results could be fantastic depending on how long developers spend to get it right.
It’s just a concept for now though, let’s not forget but there’s no denying that this could be something special indeed. It could even go on to be one of the defining features of the Xbox ‘720’, as Sony and Nintendo would have to sit and watch while they ponder introducing something similar at a later date. Even then, Microsoft’s inevitable patents for the tech may prevent Sony and Nintendo from copying this anyway.
A lot of people are saying that it’s just a gimmick, but we think it looks great. Imagine playing a next-generation horror title on the Xbox with the game enhanced in the background with all sorts of visualizations – it would make the game ten times better easily. Watch the amazing concept video below and give us your thoughts on how it may work with the next Xbox system.
Are Microsoft on to something massive here?