IllumiRoom Could Make Me Want a Microsoft Console [VIDEO]

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Posted by Snail (8578 posts) -

DISCLAIMER: While expressing my lack of interest for Microsoft's consoles emphasizes the point I'm trying to make with this thread, I also don't want to start a flame war, so I'll try to keep my explanation as civil and reasonably limited as I possibly can.

**

So I've never been too keen on the Xbox 360.

Even back when it launched, a console that didn't pack in wi-fi, was prone to crashing fatally, and was noisy as heck didn't really do it for me, inexpensive as it might have been. I had grown fond of some Sony titles, but not many Microsoft ones, so I decided to skip it. I didn't hate it, but I felt like the 60GB PS3 was exactly what I wanted.

These days most of my time playing games is spent on the PC, a platform where an incomprehensibly large number of Xbox would-be-exclusives now end up being released. So even though they've produced an altered, more robust, quieter version of the Xbox, most of the truly-exclusive titles that actually made me want to want one are now, at least, about 4 years old - from back when X360 exclusives would stay there. Couple that with the joke that Xbox LIVE has become when compared to rival services, and I am assertively anticipating the PlayStation Orbis will be my next-generation console of choice. Basically, even though I'm aware there are great exclusives to be had, I had passively shrugged off the notion of ever owning a Microsoft console.

Until I saw this.

This is awesome.

While the video is only a proof of concept, it was recorded live, with no added visual effects.

Just try to imagine all the potential behind this technology. Besides the type of gameplay they're showcasing, can't you just picture some weird, art-house, possibly non-eucledian indie title turning your living room into some sort of traumatic acid trip environment? My God, if there's a reasonable amount of "next-generation Xbox" titles that are compatible with this, then all my money. All of it. If this IllumiRoom tech actually gets adopted as a standard for every exclusive - which is very unlikely - then just NNNNNGGGGGHHHHHHH.

That said, this is still prototype technology, so it probably won't be integrated with Microsoft's impending console - not at launch, anyway. Maybe this will end up being some sort of mid-cycle add-on, much like the Kinect was for the 360. In any case, given how extravagant the concept of "living-room-wide projection" sounds, this IllumiRoom business will probably end up being quite pricy if/when it finally comes out, and for that reason probably won't gather a large enough audience to justify mass adoption in video-games. But one can dream.

For more on this topic, check out this article. There isn't a whole lot more info to be had, but might as well give it a read. This is neat as fuck. What do you think?

#1 Edited by Snail (8578 posts) -

DISCLAIMER: While expressing my lack of interest for Microsoft's consoles emphasizes the point I'm trying to make with this thread, I also don't want to start a flame war, so I'll try to keep my explanation as civil and reasonably limited as I possibly can.

**

So I've never been too keen on the Xbox 360.

Even back when it launched, a console that didn't pack in wi-fi, was prone to crashing fatally, and was noisy as heck didn't really do it for me, inexpensive as it might have been. I had grown fond of some Sony titles, but not many Microsoft ones, so I decided to skip it. I didn't hate it, but I felt like the 60GB PS3 was exactly what I wanted.

These days most of my time playing games is spent on the PC, a platform where an incomprehensibly large number of Xbox would-be-exclusives now end up being released. So even though they've produced an altered, more robust, quieter version of the Xbox, most of the truly-exclusive titles that actually made me want to want one are now, at least, about 4 years old - from back when X360 exclusives would stay there. Couple that with the joke that Xbox LIVE has become when compared to rival services, and I am assertively anticipating the PlayStation Orbis will be my next-generation console of choice. Basically, even though I'm aware there are great exclusives to be had, I had passively shrugged off the notion of ever owning a Microsoft console.

Until I saw this.

This is awesome.

While the video is only a proof of concept, it was recorded live, with no added visual effects.

Just try to imagine all the potential behind this technology. Besides the type of gameplay they're showcasing, can't you just picture some weird, art-house, possibly non-eucledian indie title turning your living room into some sort of traumatic acid trip environment? My God, if there's a reasonable amount of "next-generation Xbox" titles that are compatible with this, then all my money. All of it. If this IllumiRoom tech actually gets adopted as a standard for every exclusive - which is very unlikely - then just NNNNNGGGGGHHHHHHH.

That said, this is still prototype technology, so it probably won't be integrated with Microsoft's impending console - not at launch, anyway. Maybe this will end up being some sort of mid-cycle add-on, much like the Kinect was for the 360. In any case, given how extravagant the concept of "living-room-wide projection" sounds, this IllumiRoom business will probably end up being quite pricy if/when it finally comes out, and for that reason probably won't gather a large enough audience to justify mass adoption in video-games. But one can dream.

For more on this topic, check out this article. There isn't a whole lot more info to be had, but might as well give it a read. This is neat as fuck. What do you think?

#2 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

Dude this does look pretty damn interesting. Some of the stuff with the extended view was a little dumb but imagine stuff like projected UI elements? or the snowflakes were cool. Something like Rez would be UNREAL on this thing. Get the drugs ready for that.

#3 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -

What would be cool is if you could put it in a say 4' x 4' room or even smaller that is pitch black. Where you could actually feel like you're in a cockpit of a car or in a FPS playing a road rash style game where cars are coming up beside you and you can just turn your head around to see what's behind you. That's true potential right there.

#4 Edited by Snail (8578 posts) -

@Jams said:

What would be cool is if you could put it in a say 4' x 4' room or even smaller that is pitch black. Where you could actually feel like you're in a cockpit of a car or in a FPS playing a road rash style game where cars are coming up beside you and you can just turn your head around to see what's behind you. That's true potential right there.

IMAGINE THAT IN SPACE WITH SPACESHIPS AND ASTEROIDS AND STARS AND OTHER SPACESHIPS

#5 Posted by MariachiMacabre (7048 posts) -
@ArtisanBreads

Dude this does look pretty damn interesting. Some of the stuff with the extended view was a little dumb but imagine stuff like projected UI elements? or the snowflakes were cool. Something like Rez would be UNREAL on this thing. Get the drugs ready for that.

Rez or even FEZ. The background stuff in Fez, like the stars and constellations, would look awesome.
#6 Edited by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

I saw Halo and maybe Bungie's Destiny project. I will buy a New console DAY1. PCs are all about Power which is nice but some times it is about the gimmick that will have potential. The Kinect 1.0 was a beta toy i'll admit, i bought one i know the risk but every new xbox will include one so ill embrace that shit .

#7 Edited by Jams (2959 posts) -

@Snail said:

@Jams said:

What would be cool is if you could put it in a say 4' x 4' room or even smaller that is pitch black. Where you could actually feel like you're in a cockpit of a car or in a FPS playing a road rash style game where cars are coming up beside you and you can just turn your head around to see what's behind you. That's true potential right there.

IMAGINE THAT IN SPACE WITH SPACESHIPS AND ASTEROIDS AND STARS AND OTHER SPACESHIPS

#8 Posted by BaneFireLord (2909 posts) -

That looks kinda dumb. Outside of very specific use cases (puzzle or rhythm games, for instance) I can't see something like this adding anything to games except annoying flashing lights on the periphery of my field of view. The only way I can see this ever amounting to more than a gimmick is in the circumstance described by @Jams.

#9 Edited by Snail (8578 posts) -

@BaneFireLord said:

That looks kinda dumb. Outside of very specific use cases (puzzle or rhythm games, for instance) I can't see something like this adding anything to games except annoying flashing lights on the periphery of my field of view. The only way I can see this ever amounting to more than a gimmick is in the circumstance described by @Jams.

You can see situations in the video where they use the projector(s?) to increase the field of view. That alone sounds pretty cool, and relevant to gameplay.

#10 Posted by Demoskinos (14561 posts) -

Eh.... I'm not really digging it.

#11 Posted by cruxking (204 posts) -

Well I can say that if this is a standard feature of the next X-Box I'm officially more interested. That said i still probably going to end up not getting one for about a year or so after it launches.

#12 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@Snail said:

@BaneFireLord said:

That looks kinda dumb. Outside of very specific use cases (puzzle or rhythm games, for instance) I can't see something like this adding anything to games except annoying flashing lights on the periphery of my field of view. The only way I can see this ever amounting to more than a gimmick is in the circumstance described by @Jams.

You can see situations in the video where they use the projector(s?) to increase the field of view. That alone sounds pretty cool, and relevant to gameplay.

Being able to put UI elements off the screen alone would be pretty awesome to me. Keep the image itself clean.

#13 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

#14 Edited by BaneFireLord (2909 posts) -

@Snail said:

@BaneFireLord said:

That looks kinda dumb. Outside of very specific use cases (puzzle or rhythm games, for instance) I can't see something like this adding anything to games except annoying flashing lights on the periphery of my field of view. The only way I can see this ever amounting to more than a gimmick is in the circumstance described by @Jams.

You can see situations in the video where they use the projector(s?) to increase the field of view. That alone sounds pretty cool, and relevant to gameplay.

I was using field of view in reference to my own personal field of view of the TV and the room I'm in, not of my character's FOV.

@Demoskinos said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Thats where I'm coming from. Just like the Kinect I really suspect this is going to be a "if you have the right living space" kind of scenario.

And that's my other problem with this proof-of-concept. I don't have a gymnasium to play games in. Hell, I barely have a corner.

#15 Posted by Demoskinos (14561 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Thats where I'm coming from. Just like the Kinect I really suspect this is going to be a "if you have the right living space" kind of scenario.

#16 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Oh the walls are all bare and white in that video?

Nope.

#17 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Oh the walls are all bare and white in that video?

Nope.

and you can't make anything useful out...

?

what are you saying

#18 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Oh the walls are all bare and white in that video?

Nope.

and you can't make anything useful out...

?

what are you saying

What wasn't clear?

The tech doesn't need bare white walls to work. If they can put a line on the wall they can put UI. Things like damage direction indicators, a compass, whatever.

#19 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Oh the walls are all bare and white in that video?

Nope.

and you can't make anything useful out...

?

what are you saying

What wasn't clear?

The tech doesn't need bare white walls to work.

I watched the video three times before my original comment, and then once more after yours to make sure I wasn't crazy. I thought, surely no-one would get this upset if I wasn't wrong.

The only time it looks nice is when there's full immersion - the rest of the time is just distracting flashes of light. During the times they have the full immersion, you'll notice they still have the UI on the TV. Think about it. They do that because you would not be able to make out the UI if it was projected on a book case.

#20 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

@ArtisanBreads said:

@HaltIamReptar said:

What are the crazy living rooms you guys all have that just have loads of blank white that would make projected UI elements practical?

Oh the walls are all bare and white in that video?

Nope.

and you can't make anything useful out...

?

what are you saying

What wasn't clear?

The tech doesn't need bare white walls to work.

I watched the video three times before my original comment, and then once more after yours to make sure I wasn't crazy. I thought, surely no-one would get this upset if I wasn't wrong.

The only time it looks nice is when there's full immersion - the rest of the time is just distracting flashes of light. During the times they have the full immersion, you'll notice they still have the UI on the TV. Think about it. They do that because you would not be able to make out the UI if it was projected on a book case.

Yeah I'm really angry over here dude. Give me a break.

I'm not telling them to project a map onto your wall. Stuff like I said: a compass, damage direction indicators (red arrows or what have you in FPS games), different bars. Those would completely work.

If it can put a line on the wall it can do those things.

#21 Posted by Cold_Wolven (2210 posts) -

It looks pretty damn cool, if ever there was a reason for me to take the Kinect out of the wardrobe it would be for this.

#22 Posted by Captain_Felafel (1552 posts) -

If this is what they're hedging their next generation hardware on as its main selling point, then it's going to be a bummer generation.

#23 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

If this is what they're hedging their next generation hardware on as its main selling point, then it's going to be a bummer generation.

It's definitely not. It uses Kinect, which I assume will be packed in with the next Xbox, but also a third party projector. Just seems like a feature I guess.

#24 Posted by Snail (8578 posts) -

@Captain_Felafel said:

If this is what they're hedging their next generation hardware on as its main selling point, then it's going to be a bummer generation.

It definitely isn't. I highly doubt we'll even see this technology incorporated with their next console at launch.

#25 Posted by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads said:

Dude this does look pretty damn interesting. Some of the stuff with the extended view was a little dumb but imagine stuff like projected UI elements? or the snowflakes were cool. Something like Rez would be UNREAL on this thing. Get the drugs ready for that.

@ArtisanBreads said:

Being able to put UI elements off the screen alone would be pretty awesome to me. Keep the image itself clean.

@ArtisanBreads said:

Oh the walls are all bare and white in that video?

Nope.

@ArtisanBreads said:

Yeah I'm really angry over here dude. Give me a break.

I'm not telling them to project a map onto your wall. Stuff like I said: a compass, damage direction indicators (red arrows or what have you in FPS games), different bars. Those would completely work.

If it can put a line on the wall it can do those things.

"stuff like you said" This is the first time you're saying anything. This seems like horrible miscommunication between us. "UI" to me sounds like health bar, map, etc., none of which you can practically assume will there be space for on the wall. Simple stuff like an arrow, sure. I'll give you that.

#26 Edited by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@HaltIamReptar said:

"stuff like you said" This is the first time you're saying anything. This seems like horrible miscommunication between us. "UI" to me sounds like health bar, map, etc., none of which you can practically assume will there be space for on the wall. Simple stuff like an arrow, sure. I'll give you that.

I edited the post to put what I meant by UI. This really isn't a big deal.

The tech doesn't need bare white walls to work. If they can put a line on the wall they can put UI. Things like damage direction indicators, a compass, whatever.

They aren't doing a map with it but they could do plenty of more simple things, even stuff like health bars or ammo counters could be optionally included. If you can read the projections you can use it, if not you don't have to. Even console games are giving you more and more options to customize UI these days.

@HaltIamReptar said:

@ArtisanBreads: I don't have a dog in this race. You're right and it could have been said from the start; this isn't a big deal. I misread your tone. My bad.

It's all good.

#27 Posted by ThePhantomStranger (353 posts) -

I'm really wondering how they're projecting all that. Just a standard projector hooked up to a Kinect?

The scanning bit makes it seem that they're taking the varying set up issue into account. All really intriguing stuff.

Oh and something something negative...

#28 Edited by HaltIamReptar (2029 posts) -

@ArtisanBreads: I don't have a dog in this race. You're right and it could have been said from the start; this isn't a big deal. I misread your tone. My bad.

#29 Posted by Ares42 (2573 posts) -

Here's my big quandry... you're buying a projector, but it's not showing screen footage and it's projecting on to a crap background. Why not buy a projector and a screen and just have a big ass display ? Why would you want a small TV with a lot of extra fluff when you could just buy a bigger display ?

Online
#30 Posted by believer258 (11629 posts) -

Better than Kinect.

OK, it looks cool, but I can't see myself buying an Xbox for one, or even buying one after owning the next Xbox. I do not mean to talk it down; rather, I mean to say that I'm not sold and it's gonna take a good bit more than that to sell me on it.

#31 Edited by Snail (8578 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

Here's my big quandry... you're buying a projector, but it's not showing screen footage and it's projecting on to a crap background. Why not buy a projector and a screen and just have a big ass display ? Why would you want a small TV with a lot of extra fluff when you could just buy a bigger display ?

If they do release this technology I wouldn't be too surprised if they also came out with their own cheap Xbox-branded projector capable of handling this.

#32 Posted by Jams (2959 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

Here's my big quandry... you're buying a projector, but it's not showing screen footage and it's projecting on to a crap background. Why not buy a projector and a screen and just have a big ass display ? Why would you want a small TV with a lot of extra fluff when you could just buy a bigger display ?

It's definitely an "extra" type peripheral like a racing wheel. At least until they can go all holodeck with it and give you a virtual reality type experience without the headset.

#33 Posted by Ares42 (2573 posts) -

@Snail said:

@Ares42 said:

Here's my big quandry... you're buying a projector, but it's not showing screen footage and it's projecting on to a crap background. Why not buy a projector and a screen and just have a big ass display ? Why would you want a small TV with a lot of extra fluff when you could just buy a bigger display ?

If they do release this technology I wouldn't be too surprised if they released their own cheap Xbox-branded projector capable of handling this.

So, a bad projector projecting on a bad surface in a room that is probably unevenly lit. Sounds great =)

Online
#34 Posted by Snail (8578 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

@Snail said:

@Ares42 said:

Here's my big quandry... you're buying a projector, but it's not showing screen footage and it's projecting on to a crap background. Why not buy a projector and a screen and just have a big ass display ? Why would you want a small TV with a lot of extra fluff when you could just buy a bigger display ?

If they do release this technology I wouldn't be too surprised if they released their own cheap Xbox-branded projector capable of handling this.

So, a bad projector projecting on a bad surface in a room that is probably unevenly lit. Sounds great =)

The projector being sufficiently good means capable of producing those images. It doesn't have to have stellar quality because it won't be on a cinema-screen, and it's not in the center of your field-of-view. It would be there to add that pretty damn sweet immersive, engulfing effect, and it really would just have to be good enough for that. I can picture that being priced at about the same price as the Kinect at launch.

Also notice that the projection "integrates" into the scenery, in a sort of augmented reality kinda way. You seem to be dismissing that.

#35 Posted by Gerhabio (1977 posts) -

It looks really neat. I see it more as adding ambient than anything useful gameplay wise, though.

They show mostly first person shooters but I liked the snowfall in the the kart game most.

#36 Edited by Lego_My_Eggo (982 posts) -

@Ares42 said:

Here's my big quandry... you're buying a projector, but it's not showing screen footage and it's projecting on to a crap background. Why not buy a projector and a screen and just have a big ass display ? Why would you want a small TV with a lot of extra fluff when you could just buy a bigger display ?

Most people do not have a space where they can have a screen the size of a wall to play games on, and displaying a lager field of view im sure would be a performance hit on any hardware. This would let people use there normal TV for a high quality image as the main display, and a projector to show a lower quality view of the rest of the world around them, to help with immersing them in the game world. If they use a cheap projector, since it is showing a low quality image anyway, and assuming it wont take to many resources away from the main game, this could be really cool to use. But i am assuming this won't be standard with the new Xbox so only a handful of developers would ever use this, if it ever comes out even.

#37 Posted by Aegon (5398 posts) -

This seems annoying and dumb. I feel like whatever the price for the projector/setup is won't be worth it for just some peripheral visual noise.

#38 Edited by MonetaryDread (1991 posts) -

@believer258 said:

Better than Kinect.

OK, it looks cool, but I can't see myself buying an Xbox for one, or even buying one after owning the next Xbox. I do not mean to talk it down; rather, I mean to say that I'm not sold and it's gonna take a good bit more than that to sell me on it.

Wait, are you saying that you are not a *dramatic pause* believer?

#39 Posted by SMTDante89 (2545 posts) -

Something looks weird about how everything's illuminated around the hands in a first person shooter, but not at least some legs or something, it just doesn't quite look right to me.

#40 Posted by FesteringNeon (2158 posts) -
your face, it's melting
#41 Posted by Snail (8578 posts) -

@FesteringNeon: That's actually my Windows 8 lock screen, and my header image on Twitter.

#42 Posted by Unequivocable (214 posts) -

Does anyone remember that strange text-dump forum thread that was supposedly all the 'inside scoop' on all the new consoles from some secret 'industry insider'? Most of it seemed either completely common sense stuff or else batshit insane, and one of the craziest parts was where it talked about how for the Durango it would have the ability to project images on the walls of the room to make immersion deeper. I remember it being one of the more unbelievable things in those supposed rumors. When I saw this video I was shocked--not so much by what it does, but by how out of all the crazy things in those rumors, that's one of the ones that now seems actually possible. Weird.

#43 Posted by prestonhedges (1965 posts) -

What a dumb idea.

#44 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3740 posts) -

@Unequivocable said:

Does anyone remember that strange text-dump forum thread that was supposedly all the 'inside scoop' on all the new consoles from some secret 'industry insider'? Most of it seemed either completely common sense stuff or else batshit insane, and one of the craziest parts was where it talked about how for the Durango it would have the ability to project images on the walls of the room to make immersion deeper. I remember it being one of the more unbelievable things in those supposed rumors. When I saw this video I was shocked--not so much by what it does, but by how out of all the crazy things in those rumors, that's one of the ones that now seems actually possible. Weird.

Yeah there's this patent image out there for this very thing.

#45 Posted by mlarrabee (2885 posts) -

That looks fantastic. If only it'll be all we (and they) hope.

Kinect is brilliant in our heads, too...

#46 Posted by xMEGADETHxSLY (446 posts) -

I saw Halo in there and MAYBE BUNGIE'S Destiny project

#47 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

@believer258: Same here. It looks pretty neat, but I would find the feature to get old quick.

#48 Posted by Evilsbane (4529 posts) -

Just the look of this is cool enough to make me want it it may not add much but if it looks That Cool whatever thats awesome!

#49 Posted by TooWalrus (13135 posts) -

I actually have the perfect wall for this- if it's not super expensive, I'd try it out.

#50 Posted by Colourful_Hippie (4330 posts) -

I have no idea what's going on in that video.

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