Here it is we were all afraid that Microsoft's next step for the Xbox brand would be Kinect 2.0 or Kinect 3.0, where you get to smell the stench of fail. However, MS is at least attempting to step away from Kinect long enough to introduce the new gaming gimmick known as Illumiroom.
As showcased in the five minute video above, the camera projector is a novelty device for those of you who don't suffer from epilepsy and allows certain effects and visual game properties to “pop out” and project themselves on the walls.
If you like flashy things or stuff like augmented reality only ramped up by a scale of 10, you might like the Illumiroom effect(s). The projector basically sits on a coffee table in front of your TV and it interacts with the game you're playing, allowing for certain effects and projector possibilities like making snow fall, or rain droplets pelt the area around your gaming room, during play. The projector works in conjunction with Kinect and requires a fairly bright room in order for the effects to show up properly.
This is basically a projector centric version of things like the Kor-FX sensory technology or the amBX's augmented light and sound technology, which is currently available on the market right now. The former even rocks some impressive rumble technology all for under $200.
I don't really see this as being very cool at all. By and far this is like a step backward from something like the Oculus Rift, which has some serious potential as the next generation of video game interactivity. If Illumiroom will be competing with Oculus Rift, it's going to be a hard justification choosing one interactive device over the other given that Illumiroom has a lot of distractions happening outside and around the game, which I can imagine being off-putting during competitive games.
I'm also curious how things like split-screen and local multiplayer will work? Or is this one of those things where it's aimed at single-player gameplay with online social interactivity being the replacement for local multiplayer?
Anyway, these are just promo videos and I'm sure come May 21st Microsoft will unveil additional details. I can't say I'm impressed because I'm really not, but I'm sure people who enjoy novelty experiences or really liked the original Wii will have a blast with something like this. You can learn more at the official website.