Microsoft motion-sensing deal confirmed?

Source: Silicon Valley business blog VentureBeat. What we heard: Last week, the Internet was abuzz with word that Microsoft was in talks to acquire a small firm specializing in motion-sensing technology. The reports all traced back to an article in the Israeli daily Haaretz, which claimed...

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Source: Silicon Valley business blog VentureBeat.

What we heard: Last week, the Internet was abuzz with word that Microsoft was in talks to acquire a small firm specializing in motion-sensing technology. The reports all traced back to an article in the Israeli daily Haaretz, which claimed that Microsoft was prepared to shell out $35 million to subsume startup 3DV Systems, located in suburban Haifa.

What makes the potential deal interesting to gamers is that 3DV Systems specializes in a cutting-edge form of camera-based motion-sensing based on defense-industry research. The company claims its ZCam camera is more advanced than the PlayStation EyeToy or Microsoft Vision, and will provide better motion sensing than the Wii as well.

The 3DV site describes the technology thusly: "For the first time ever, you can use your body freely to control games, no wearables required, no limitations attached. Move your hand, leg, head or finger in any direction and setting, moving quickly or making fine, minor movement--all these gestures are easily detected and understood by the system, creating a unique, personalized, and immersive gaming experience. This experience is complemented by the ability to combine your own 3D image inside the game scene, in real time."

According to Haaretz, "Microsoft apparently plans to use 3DV Systems' technology in its own gaming technology, probably in the Xbox 360." Today on VentureBeat, former San Jose Mercury News reporter Dean Takahashi replaced that "apparently" with "definitely." "My sources confirm that this is true," he said of the deal. Takahashi, who demoed the ZCam himself, said its "motion detection was accurate, much more so than with the Wii."

The official story: "Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation."--A spokesperson on Microsoft's rapid PR response team.

Bogus or not bogus?: Not bogus. Takahashi didn't literally write the book on the Xbox--he wrote two of them: Opening the Xbox: Inside Microsoft's Plan to Unleash an Entertainment Revolution (2002) and The Xbox 360 Uncloaked: The Real Story Behind Microsoft's Next-Generation Video Game Console (2006). If any journalist has the contacts inside Microsoft to confirm or deny the deal, it's him.

Discussion

349 comments
Elite_Baller
Elite_Baller

pretty cool but i don't think it's a "wii killer" I think that Wii an Xbox 360 both are great systems that each have their own things that make them unique and different from each other. They each focus on different audiences, and genres. I really don't understand why people try to compare Wii and 360 when they are entirely two different consoles that are very different.

Amnesiac23
Amnesiac23 moderator

Hmm...this reminds me of Microsoft's Mii's--...uh..."Avatars". Stop stealing from Nintendo. I have all 3 systems and I love them all. But I just can't stand when one company copies another. But that's the way it is I guess, it's all about the money. It is a business after all...*sighs and bangs head on desk*

xXZak-ataKXx
xXZak-ataKXx

If Microcrap hasta put motion sensers in their controllers,then they are not doing well.The 360 is dying quick. Its has no HD disc to support anymore,and there controllers are trash. I like both the PS3 and the Wii better than my junkie 360. GO SONY AND NINTENDO

dkjjabs
dkjjabs

Trust M$ to back Israeli but that's a different thing all together, these things never work your in the movies was grate fun but still looked bad the one time I did get it work well was when I pinned a white sheet to the wall witch help but still not altogether, what was bad is that it was not worth the wife's score when she walked in. So please to all company's that have and are thinking about camera games mapping face's on to your character is cool but all out games are not we do not have white walls white floor and white everything to make these things work.(if they did in the first place)

monlosez
monlosez

Finally Microsoft is a mixed between hardcore and casual.

JoshiiWah
JoshiiWah

Just another way to write Wii all over your system, eh Microsoft?

Spider-Jim
Spider-Jim

Gimmick do I hear Gimmick? Yes I believe too many games rely on the motion sensing on Wii, don't get me wrong it has some amazing games (Metroid , MarioKart). But I've played quite a few that couldn't hold my attention for long. If it comes out like the EyeToy did for PS2 with it's mediocre game list then I really won't care.

redsnake9111
redsnake9111

still looks like just a gimmick for mini-games to me.

daabulls23
daabulls23

I wonder if it will be more sensitive than the Wii when the new Wii peripheral comes out. Looks pretty neat, though.

darkboy90
darkboy90

This is stupid first the eyetoy then the wii controller which can break tvs, now this. The picture above shows a guy shooting a freethrow of air wow. How is he suppose to run in the video game by running into the tv or running around the room? What about furniture, switching players in a video game,all the moves in a video game. This thing is gonna make video games too real for people. Some gamers like me don't want that.

Warrior427
Warrior427

I like the Wii and thats what Im going to stick with, there motion sensitivity is greatly implemented into there games and this will probebly just be another eye toy

tonicmole
tonicmole

Boy, this became a console war quick. Play and like what you want and leave the rest of us alone. Your not going to prove anything to anyone, but on the subject of the camera, it once again relies on the games. The vision camera could be cool, but no one uses it. Also it may very well be something they have planned for the next xbox and not actually the 360.

TheImporter
TheImporter

Also, Sony did something like this years ago with the EyeToy, albeit not that effectively. On top of that, Sony has been developing software that would allow them to use the PlayStation Eye in a similar manner. Anyway, if I wanted to use motion control more in my games, I'd play my 360 and PS3 less and my Wii more.

TheImporter
TheImporter

@jtthegame316, You have some nerve calling anyone a fanboy, especially when you write that Sony relies on third-party developers and that Sony doesn't put out any good games on their own. You, sir, need to only look in the mirror to see a fanboy. Your statement that Sony doesn't develop any good games on their own is wrong on so many levels. Sony has more good internal first- and second-party developers than Microsoft and maybe Nintendo (this one might be debatable. While Microsoft has a few decent franchises like Project Gotham Racing, Perfect Dark, Halo, and Gears of War (I love all these games), what other series have they created that have a timeless quality (Viva Pinata, Kameo, Kakuto Chojin, Brute Force, Sneakers)? And no you can't include third-party exclusives like Left 4 Dead (great game!) because Valve is not a first- or second-party developer, which was your claim. Sony Franchises: Ape Escape ICO Shadow of Colossus Gran Turismo God of War Syphon Filter Warhawk Twisted Metal Jak & Daxter Uncharted Socom SingStar Buzz Wipeout F1 Killzone Motorstorm Everybody's Golf White Knight Chronicles Dark Cloud Rogue Galaxy Folklore Genji Wild Arms Loco Roco Patapon Resistance Ratchet & Clank Infamous Sly Cooper Little Big Planet Heavenly Sword MediEvil Yep! Those are all horrible games.

HappyBB
HappyBB

I hope this gadget redefines motion-sensing in video game industry! Think of the possibilities. Let's just hope that if this technology does take off in video gaming, it will be used more widely, more accurately, more extensively, and professionally than the Wii!! The way that Wii's motion-sensing controlling scheme is implemented in games is really a let-down to me.

24k_Solid_Gold
24k_Solid_Gold

kinda concernced here, but hey, let's see what happens...

Custard_Machine
Custard_Machine

Considering that just over a year ago Bill Gates talked about using a camera for motion sensing in games this deal wouldn't surprise me - will be interesting to see how it works.

Glade_Gnarr
Glade_Gnarr

This would be very unwieldy. I mean, people complain you have to move a lot with the Wii and your armes get tired, but can you imagine playing sports on your living room?

wahyudil
wahyudil

good artist copy, great artist steal .... go on bill ... I mean microsoft ....

Phylyn5151
Phylyn5151

Im not sure if I can trust this yet. When I see it in person is when I will make my opinion.

Penalty_of_Hero
Penalty_of_Hero

Motion sensing is great when it's used in the right games. So hopefully this tech will be in "the right game". Also Microsoft wants a slice of that juicy cake that Nintendo is feeding on. If the Wii had been a flop I'm not sure Microsoft would think so much about it. Anyway aslong as it's done right I'm for it :) Would be nice to develop a game for Wii or "the new motion sensor thing" in this article (allready done it for Nintendo DS and it was great).

Merl57
Merl57

wow dont we love microsoft's no comment all the time really shows that they are a company that cares about their fans, I mean customers, just like how they treated their employees and asked for money back after laying off their employees

Gao_Wuji
Gao_Wuji

Like many interesting ideas and devices before this I would have to put my money on it failing. Most likely few publishers will seriously put in the effort to makes games for this. And if they do they will most likely be either be shallow superficial games relying solely on the gimmick of motion sensing to sell, or they will be full of broken gameplay. Maybe I'm just an old school type of guy but I still will take a joystick and buttons over motion senseing any day.

hatmans
hatmans

Too Little Too late? Microsofts attempt to move in on the Wii's Territory.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

on the motion sensing thing well i don't see what these people are moaning about that complain about it cause there is nothing forsing you to buy it. i think it is a good thing cause the more varity on a system the better. i don't know were i will bother with it would depend if there was actually any good stuff that worked with it.

jtthegame316
jtthegame316

brendanhunt1 you fanboy. bring games like gears of war,too human and halo 3 is not ruining gaming. sony was ruining gaming. if the saturn and dreamcast would of out sold playstations or sega would have had money to throw at them like microsoft do then gaming now would have been better than it is since sony dominating. all sony do is rely one third parties it is rare a good game is actually by sony. if it was not for microsoft gaming would suck cause one company dominating is a bad thing. with sega not being in hardware no more thank goodness microsoft stepped into stand up to sony otherwise gaming now would suck.

Jehuty-88
Jehuty-88

i suppose if the motion gimmick works then why not involve it if it gets the money and sales. i personally don't like it.

thk123
thk123

@ ActivistBike Lol, I thought you meant the bit about MGS being successful on the PS3, and I was like, that's not fanboyism, that's correct. Then I read his other post! As for this, meh. MS will probably over charge for it, I have my Wii for something different. If I believed that developers would take this as a serious opportunity to create new quality core gamer games, then I would be excited. Maybe I am being cynical, but I suspect this will just be a cheap money maker for big publishers, like the Wii has become.

SicklySunStorm
SicklySunStorm

Sounds very cool, I can't wait to see some footage of it in action.

Tandem_Toad
Tandem_Toad

I love more options. Just as long as they don't get rid of the controler, I would really like to see what it can do.

ActivistBike
ActivistBike

Hey Brendanhunt1, Stop being such a moronic fanboy. Fanboys like you are the ones ruining gaming. Now go have fun competing with other fanboys at the whole "my game is better than your game."

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

SalarianChemist mgs4 one of the most sucessful games on ps3

brendanhunt1
brendanhunt1

microsoft is ruining gaming, if everone went with ps3 then games would of been better

gamerkiduri
gamerkiduri

this is only a stupid rumor cause in 07 gamespot said tht they r gonna be motion sensors 4 ps3,pc and 360

gamerkiduri
gamerkiduri

microsoft is ruining gaming!just stick to pc will ya!!!!sony has always been the best!!! nintendo used to be gud until they got into motion sensing!!

gamerkiduri
gamerkiduri

wats the point!!!! i rather do sports etc in real life then motion sensing cause MOTION SENSING SUX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!as a hardcore gamer i dnt beleive in motion sensing gaming!!!! gaming iz ment to be using a controller unlike the crappy wii!plz dont ruin gaming !!!

necronaux
necronaux

Will this suck as bad as the PS Eye Toy?

V-FOR-VITIELLO
V-FOR-VITIELLO

microsoft should stop worrying about adding to the xbox 360 the new avatar system was gay and now theyre putting motion sensors in it, save it for the next xbox which better have blu-ray

gudni
gudni

We all knew that with the Wii´s popularity with motion sensing that both Sony and Microsoft would be in on it for the next consoles. So it´s not surprising at all that Microsoft is starting to invest in a company that specialize in the tech.

highvolts12
highvolts12

[This message was deleted at the request of a moderator or administrator]

highvolts12
highvolts12

LOL at salarianchemist. Probably one of the funniest most biased posts I have ever read in my days. Your statements are the most blind and ignorant statements I have read in a while. Especially since MGS4 sold 4.3m units worldwide. Sounds like you need to do research or work for microsoft.

enix165
enix165

Yay, I guess...but I hope it doesn't make the next Xbox into a Wii...D= I like button-mashing over arm-flailing...

SpikedStrider
SpikedStrider

I love it when news about Microsoft gets loaded with Sony BS. Seriously, I don't know if this is going into the 360, but if it does I most likely wont get it anyways. I never have been a fan of it. If it get's more people to get a 360 or if they find a way to make it better for games then I might get it. Right now the only game I like it with is Wii bowling and that's it. Ok maybe boxing too.lol

chief369
chief369

I believe that this is being looked at to narrow minded. MS the company is buying another company that specializes in motion detection. With the new rage in 3D tech and TV's, I am sure MS is just trying to get a leg up on the competition into the next generation of entertainment, whether it be gamins, TV, movies, or just everyday use of a PC. I think this incorporated with a true 3d system would be what the people of the 80's thought the world of the 21st century would be. Can't wait to see what develops out of this in the next 5 years.

SalarianChemist
SalarianChemist

Killzone 2 is the only shooter being released for 2009 that does not include Co-Op. It really is a big disappointment when you consider that Killzone 2 literally spent four years in development (twice as long as most games), yet fails to live up to the industry standards in the era it finally reaches the market. MGS4 sales really were a big disappointment. After just one month on the market, the monthly sales of MGS4 dropped all the way down to #34. This is the biggest drop in gaming history. The reason why it happened is because so many people were disappointed with MGS4 after they played it at their friends. The first batch of reviews of MGS4 were tainted because Konami/Sony forced websites and magazines to sign a contract saying that MGS4 could not be penalized for the long and annoying loading installs, the poorly designed cinemas that last up to 90 minutes, or the terrible online setup that requires you to register twice. Anyone who didn't agree to sign Konami's contract was not given a free copy of the game to review before the game was launched. Honest people who didn't sign the contract waited for MGS4 to launch, and rated it fairly--penalizing the game for all of its problems. This is why the second batch of reviews for MGS4 were so much lower than the first batch of reviews.

1425678786655
1425678786655

@demoman_chaos wow i didnt know a beated dead horse called halo sold over 8 million copies and its the most played xbox live game and getting 2 new map packs this year.. since when has it been dead? lol mgs4 only sold what? like 4 million copies? ohh thats half of halo's.. and you expect killzone 2 to sell more ps3's and kill the xbox? theres being a fanboy.. and theres just plain stupid.. you fail