You’ve heard that this is the year we’ll likely see a new PlayStation, and as early as next week, in fact, but what you may not know is that we’ll also probably see a new Xbox from Microsoft this year, too, and it may have an interesting requirement.
While no other company has quite made motion gaming as wireless as what Microsoft did with its 3D depth sensor, microphone, and camera combined Kinect accessory, we’ve heard that Microsoft might be looking to make Kinect more than about games, with possible integration into the movie service, too.
Movie rentals could, as a result of this, be theoretically monitored based on how many people were watching, such as if you invited a few people around to watch a movie, the rental service could charge you based on how many were watching.
One possibility from this concept is that movies could move beyond their showings at the local cinema, allowing you to be charged for in-theatre movie screenings, streamed at home but charged for the same, and still protected with digital rights management.
If this is the case, we foresee a market for little audience silhouette cut-outs that could be placed in front of the camera, as a means of circumventing – or at least attempting to – this system.
For this to work, Microsoft will also have to overcome the Kinect’s issue with space limitations, a problem that currently affects owners of the Kinect with less than one metre of space to play in. At the moment, if your Xbox and Kinect are in a small gaming room, it’s very difficult to use motion gaming on the Xbox, even if you use one of the widening lens accessories, such as the Nyko Zoom.
At this point, this is all speculation, and we’re not sure if Microsoft would ever try to force customers to have a video camera running at all times for their gaming and media console.