Whenever we wax about the next generation of gaming, almost every specter of the imagination revolves around something big - big characters, big worlds, big budgets, big price tags, big-name games from big-name developers, and yes, big displays on an 80-inch liquid crystal 1080p high-definition TV (built-in surround-sound speakers optional).
But what if that last portion, the audio-visual experience, turned out to be vastly different? What if we got around to a Microsoft or Sony reveal of the Xbox “Durango” or PlayStation 4 — let’s say, at E3 2013 — and it turned out that our top-of-the-line gaming screens could fit in the palm of our hands? Or, for a more accurate phrasing, on the bridge of our nose?
Based upon a new set of Microsoft patents, such a future might be closer than we think. Patent Bolt enlightened us on two of the company's latest filings, centering around a video eyewear piece for mobile phone or MP3 users and a video helmet headset for Xbox gamers. The former resembles today's latest 3D TV glasses, while the later blends the sartorial stylings of Magneto in X-Men and Tom Cruise in Top Gun. Check them out below:
It's not known yet whether Microsoft has a specific release date in mind for the accessories. But with the company making strides in its motion-based Kinect sales and the Xbox 720 undeniably close to a reveal, such a push for greater interactivity is likely to be designed around the next generation.
How would it all work? Patent Bolt has the tech heavy low-down that includes details on possible stereoscopic 3D and a host of innovative visual techniques. Not only would wearers perceive images as 21-inch displays, but the lenses might also have the ability to render augmented reality, juxtaposing the HUD of an F-18 fighter jet or the physiques of virtual characters onto a real-life view:
Microsoft states that a compact display system may be coupled into goggles, a helmet, or other eyewear. These configurations enable the wearer to view images from a computer, media player, or other electronic device with privacy and mobility. When adapted to display two different images concurrently--one for each eye--the system may be used for stereoscopic display (e.g., virtual-reality) applications.
The bulky helmet and glasses might not become the next vogue fashion accessory (and we don't even want to imagine the onslaught of awkward commercials destined to ensue), but the features hinted at are definitely capable of pushing immersive gaming forward in the hands of the right developers. HUD views in H.A.W.X. or Ace Combat, helmet-cam in Madden or Forza, or even the basic FPS perspectives of Call of Duty or Battlefield would all serve up some exciting new gameplay opportunities.
While we've seen concepts come and go (including similar, but floundering helmet contraptions from the 90's) Microsoft seems to have the devices well planned out - early builds go back to 2010. Be sure to stay with Game Rant if anything else on the intriguing tech appears in our gaming lenses.
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Source: Patent Bolt