Everyone’s probably played a video game at least once in their lives. We know we’ve run ourselves off Rainbow Road more times then we can count! But, no matter how much fun we have shooting blue winged shells of doom at our opponents, we’re starting to get over the whole controller-in-hand concept of gaming!
We don’t just want to hit a bunch of buttons to make things happen. At this point, we could do that with our eyes shut! No, we want full-on immersive gaming that makes us feel like we’re right in the middle of the action, and Microsoft is helping to make that happen. Developed by Microsoft Research, RoomAlive is a new way to really get in the game.
You can basically think of RoomAlive like the Kinect system for your current Xbox, except this Kinect system has been hitting the gym 7 days a week! Instead of just one Kinect, the RoomAlive system is comprised of multiple Kinect sensors paired with LCD projectors. Those different pairings, coupled with some advanced super-techy software, then create a 3D map of whatever environment they’re installed in. Floors, walls, furniture, even your dog is mapped by the depth-sensitive software to help create the environment you’ll eventually be playing in. What is then projected on the pieces and parts of your room is a fully augmented reality that actually interacts with you as you play!
Take the system’s Whack-A-Mole game as an example. On any standard system, you’d just hit the A button until your finger fell off in the hopes of whacking that pesky rodent right on the knoggin. On the RoomAlive system, you’ve got full control! You actually run around your room kicking, stomping, and hitting the mole with your very own limbs. Or, you can hunt it down and use the special gun controller to shoot the mole whenever it pops up. But that’s just one example of what this system can do! Just imagine Fruit Ninja projected on all the walls around you! Mind. Blown.
But, no matter how awesomely amazing having this kind of system would be, it’s not perfect. The system is ripe for home installation because everything can auto-calibrate, and it would be a huge step up from the Oculus Rift since we wouldn’t have to stick ginormous goggles over our entire faces, but we’re all forgetting one important thing and that’s the price tag. For this setup, you’ll not only need multiple Kinect sensors at $49 a pop, but you’ll need more than one projector (and you’ll probably want the good, expensive kind), plus all the software. And that’s one gaming investment most are just not willing to make! However, the system isn’t exactly boxed up neat and pretty, ready to hit the shelves. Any concept of price is based on building everything yourself, and not just buying the whole system at Target.
And, when that magical day will actually come where you can buy this is a complete and utter mystery. At this point, it’s probably safe to go out and buy a regular, old gaming system. By the time this comes around, you’ll probably have had plenty of time to save up again!
(Story via Mashable)