Microsoft shows off its “Holodeck” system to recreate your room into a more intense cinematic experience. Microsoft has refused to revel details on how this works until it is presented in Paris at the CHI conference on human-computer interaction this April.
Imagine your game spilling off from your screen onto your entire room wall. That should make things more interesting for sure. It will move gaming to a whole new level. Microsoft has submitted a patent application in the US Patent Office. Patent application ‘Immersive Display Experience‘ was filed by Gritsko Perez on behalf of Microsoft on 2 March 2011.
The idea has been sketched out shows that the foal point of the game will be seen on the screen, but the surrounding area will fill your room walls.
Microsoft has described the Holodeck as,
It augments the area surrounding a television screen with projected visualizations to enhance the traditional living room entertainment experience.
User enjoyment of video games and related media experiences can be increased by making the gaming experience more realistic. Previous attempts to make the experience more realistic have included switching from two-dimensional to three-dimensional animation techniques, increasing the resolution of game graphics, producing improved sound effects, and creating more natural game controllers.
Again, this seems to be a counter to Apple’s iGlasses, except that this is more multi-viewer than single viewer. The peripheral image would be created by a 360-degree projector and would adjust as the gamer moved around in the game, and in the room. Eye-tracking tech would ensure that the scene shifts as the user looks around it. A special built in mechanism would avoid shining light into the user’s eyes.
Perez’s application also suggests that the image could be adjusted to the shape and even color of the room to optimize the experience.
Yesterday, during Samsung’s CES keynote, Microsoft’s Eric Rudder made a brief appearance to demonstrate Microsoft’s vision for extending computing interactions. Rudder, who is Microsoft’s Chief Technology Strategy Officer, revealed a Microsoft Research project called Illumiroom that takes advantage of surfaces around your display to augment and enhance your experience.
Illumiroom uses Kinect for Windows camera to scan your environment, and then uses a projector to project an extension of the image being displayed on the screen onto the walls and other surfaces. Illumiroom uses the appearance and the geometry of the room (captured by Kinect) to adapt the projected visuals in real-time without any need to custom pre-process the graphics. The most obvious application of this is gaming. However, this technology could find its way onto a lot of different segments. Microsoft has published a video that shows Illumiroom in action with games like Red Eclipse and Supertuxkart, and the effect is simply stunning. Illumiroom projects your gaming environment onto external surfaces in your room and provides an experience that is both immersive, engrossing, and uber-cool.
Microsoft has already patented the concept behind Illumiroom, and a is promising to publish the research paper at ACM CHI 2013.
Gaming is a phenomenon which is scoring big in the media industry. A lot of effort is being put into it with respect to design, development and time. It has become an area that is circulating a lot of money and more and more people are getting hooked on to playing games. Conventional wisdom tells us that gaming is fun. True that! However, gaming has moved beyond that and it is starting to have other uses than just entertaining people. For example, businesses are incorporating games into their marketing activities as a means to connect with consumers and potential consumers.
A recent example that backs up the former claim is a company that operates in the FMCG (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) sector – Reckitt Benckiser (RB). It is a company which has traditionally dedicated its efforts to develop products for daily use. However, as part of its awareness drive, the company has sought refuge in gaming. The latest game it has incorporated in its awareness campaign is called Profile DeRBy. Essentially, it is a psychometric test based on statistical probability which aims to provide an understanding to people regarding what careers choices they should make. This includes students, university graduates and people who are seeking jobs in today’s fierce job market. The company’s blog states the game is “fun, a bit cheeky and creative. It is a profiling tool disguised as a game to provide practical feedback to such people” about their respective professional personalities. Check out this video:
The example above is clear substantiation of the fact that gaming is increasingly getting involved into more practical uses. It is turning into a critical marketing tool and an important consumer engagement driver. The dilemma that remains is what fate traditional marketing would adopt given the technological development.
If you are a hardcore gamer, you think you need to know your professional traits, Profile DeRBy is a good place to start.
Do let us know you results and overall thoughts in the comments section below!
Back in July, Valve started a blog and gave exciting news of Steam being ported over to Linux. This involved porting of Valve’s Steam client and some game titles over to Ubuntu Linux. On making the port, it was seen that Left4Dead 2 runs faster on Linux at a higher FPS, than on Windows. What started as “Steam’d Penguins“ back in July, is nearing its first milestone now, with Steam for Linux ready for internal testing from next week, and due for a private beta testing sometime mid-October.
Things have been going well. We will be having an internal beta starting next week and a private external beta for 1,000 users sometime in October.
The internal beta will run only until next week, after which the Steam client will be released for a private beta. This private beta will be limited to 1000 users, and it is not confirmed whether the availability is on a first-come first-serve basis. However, Valve has talked about a signup page for the external beta, the link for which will be announced later.
As Valve brings Steam to Linux, gaming on Linux will become more exciting with native games being developed exclusively for Linux. Going further, Valve must also release Linux versions of its own game titles to support its Steam client. This porting of Steam will boost gaming on Linux, and create a new ecosystem for gamers and game-publishers.
If you are someone from the early era of mobile adopters, you might be familiar with the classic Snake game which came preloaded on Nokia mobiles starting in 1998.
I remember spending hours and hours playing the game on the cellphone beating records and scores alike. In the years that followed, there were several iterations and enhancements of the games and the mobile gaming market exploded with the introduction of games like Angry Birds and others. However, the classic version still remains favorite of many users.
If you are nostalgic about playing the Snake game on your mobile and don’t have it on your latest smartphone, you can relive those old days by playing a HTML5 version of the game online.
Have you played the Snake game on your mobile? If so, do let me know your thoughts on what you thought of the game back in the days.
eBay is definitely a place where you can snag a good deal on anything and everything. In fact, people also list their countries on sale there (See: Greece for Sale on eBay, Iceland as well). However, looks like someone put their game collection on sale at eBay this time and it fetched a bomb of a price.
The sale listing, which went with the title “BIGGEST COLLECTION EVER? 22 SEGA / NINTENDO / PC ENGINE FULLSETS,FACTORY SEALED!”, managed to sell for 1 million Euros or approximately $1.23 million. All this for a set of 7000 games.
The buyer of the product is a proud owner of all the games ever released on the Nintendo home systems, Sega systems and NEC systems. The entire package consists of 22 sets consisting of game cartridges, GameCube sets and more. You’ll find descriptions of the products included here.
The game collection sale is not the most expensive item ever sold on eBay though, but would beat the $1.2 million Honus Wagner baseball card sold in 2000 yet not as expensive $140 million yacht sold in 2005 according to Yahoo. The buyer might also have to pony up some additional fees and a 1000 Euro shipping charge and can expect to see his booty in 6-9 business days.
While the games are definitely something worth keeping, but would you pay 1 million Euros for it? Is the person who bought it crazy or just a passionate collector of games? You let me know.
This is turning out to be a positively great week for Indie game fans. Just a few days ago, the cross-platform “Because we May” promo went live. Now, we have another stunning indie-games deal in the form of “The Indie Gala V”.
Indie Gala follows the pay-what-you-want model that has been popularized by the massively successful Humble Indie Bundle. The fifth edition of Indie Gala V contains as many as twelve new indie-games. However, how many you actually end up getting will depend upon your tip. Minimum payment of $1 grants you access to four games, but you will need to pay $5.99 or more to get access to all the twelve games in the bundle. Not only that, folks who beat the average will get access to indie music (presumably game soundtracks) and additional goodies that will be revealed in the second week. If you stick with the default split, a part of your tip will also go to charity. This edition of Indie Gala is supporting AbleGamers (charity for children and adults with disabilities) and the Italian Red Cross. It’s worth noting that the retail price of the games on offer adds up to $150, while the current average tip amount in Indie Gala is only $5.27.
If you are a gamer, last week was probably pretty torturous for you. The eagerly anticipated Diablo III hit the shelves about a decade after its predecessor, but most gamers couldn’t play the game due to crappy DRM and sloppy Blizzard infrastructure. While Blizzard continues to firefight with infrastructure upgrades and hotfixes, Ron Carmel of World of Goo fame has strewn together a neat little package that should cheer you up.
In an initiative called “Because We May”, several indie game developers have come together to offer their games at deep discounts (typically 50% or more). Unlike most other similar promotions, “Because We May” is as platform agnostic as you can get. It features games for Windows, Windows Phone, Mac, iOS, and Android. The promotion will last til June 1, and is meant to celebrate online stores that gives developers the freedom to determine pricing.
Games on offer include World of Goo, Osmos, Super Meat Boy, Beat Trip Runner, Penny Arcade, Dungeon Defenders, Zen Bound 2, Fieldrunners, Riptide, and dozens of other stellar indie titles. Head over to becausewemay.com to check out all the games on offer.
Sennheiser has finally launched the internationally acclaimed and popular Xbox gaming headsets in India. These first ever headsets from Sennheiser specifically designed for Xbox have been honored with the 2012 Red Dot Design award. The Sennheiser gaming headsets – X320 and X2 – assist gamers in not just great audio experience but also communicating effectively with teammates or opponents. The headsets include features specifically developed for Xbox gaming and are backed by a worldwide warranty of two years.
Priced at INR 7,990, the Sennheiser X320 has an outstanding open-acoustic design with their patented CircleFlex ear cups and is very comfortable when worn for hours of gaming as you indulge in a mission in Call of Duty. The amplified stereo sound boosts the Xbox 360’s audio experience while the pro-noise cancelling microphone ensures that only the gamer’s voice is heard. The headset comes with an interesting feature that allows gamers to mute the microphone by raising just the boom eliminating the need for buttons.
If you are looking for an economical option, the Sennheiser X2 is priced at INR 1,790. The headset offers a great gaming experience and is very lightweight, although durable. The audio experience is uncompromised with precise speakers and noise cancelling microphones for an easy and effective communication with teammates or opponents.
We all remember that game in our childhood which stole our hearts and made us wait 12 years for its next iteration. That game which, despite its few flaws, we would play for hours and hours, again and again because it was simply the most legendary RPG of its time. Yes I’m talking about Diablo II, what else? After over a decade of waiting, lovers of RPG can now lay their hands on Diablo III, which is poised to become THE most epic game ever once players have a chance to lay their hands on it. Barely a day after the massive worldwide launch, people are disappointed. People are upset. Blizzard’s servers are unable to handle the load of users logging on to authenticate the game, resulting in a massive outrage all over the Internet. Diablo III requires an “always-on” connection even in single player mode, irking those who have an internet connection with a download cap, those who are often on the move and thus do not have a qualifying internet connection (Blizzard requires a “Broadband Internet connection”, specified in their requirements) and those (like me) who want to play in offline or single player mode and want nothing to do with Auction House or multiplayer mode.
Why is it wrong?
What is upsetting is the fact that Blizzard has confirmed that there will be no offline play in future either. There will be no segregation of single player and multiplayer modes like there was in Diablo II. But the thing really upsetting me is that other companies are now slowly and steadily moving toward this trend. There were numerous reasons for Blizzard to require an “always online” connection. Primarily, Blizzard wanted to safeguard the economy of the D3 world by preventing abuse of the system through which users could cheat and sell items privately, or hack and create duplicate items; basically, what goes on in WoW. They also wanted users to have internet connections so Blizzard can check for pirated games.
What this has resulted in is that the major gameplay mechanics are shifted server side. Enemy /map generation. Character creation and saving. Majorly, it will all happen online and will be saved on Blizzard’s servers. While this will help in using the same character that you have put so much work into, in both the single and multiplayer modes, and also reduce to quite an extent the abuse of the economy of Diablo III and help Blizzard earn a few more monies, it will also require you to sit in a place with at least 3G Internet if you want to play the game without many lags. This is a bad move for those who spend majority of their time traveling and want some monster killing on-the-go.
Another bad move by Blizzard was not ensuring proper load handling capabilities for their servers, especially on launch day. While I agree that things like these happen, this was a really bad move on their part, especially when people are paying $60 for a game they have waited for for 12 years. And Blizzard is, since a few years now, known for making bad moves. Case in point — No official LAN mode for Starcraft?! That IMO is quite idiotic.