Here's a wild one. We just got a tip from someone who purports to be in the know on Microsoft's efforts to beat the Wii at its own motion-sensing game, with some of the details lining up with what we were hearing last year along these lines. The word is that Microsoft is building a "sensor bar" of sorts, but instead of detecting the waggles of Wiimote-like controllers, it detects full body movement and sound, sans controllers. There are two sensors on the bar, along with a mic and a camera, and while our tipster has "no idea" how it actually works, it sounds pretty impressive. Here's a quick rundown of capabilities mentioned:
  • Full body and hand gesture control of games / characters.
  • In fighting games you kick, punch, duck, dive, jump and so forth with your body.
  • It also picks up small hand gestures like pinching, grabbing and scrolling.
  • There will also be video conferencing and games with video.
  • Trivia game over the internet with live images of each person playing. When a question pops up, they can clap to buzz in.
  • You can "move objects on your screen" and the other party can see what you're doing in real time.
  • Sensor detects only the person playing, not folks observing on the couch.
We're rather curious as to what those two mystery sensors on the bar are doing, since there's specific mention of a lack of controllers. Perhaps they add depth perception to whatever the camera is picking up on video, but we guess we'll have to wait and find out. Of course, this could all be an elaborate hoax, but for what it's worth the picture appears undoctored, and the story is plausible. Either way, it's only natural for Microsoft to be looking to duplicate -- and expand upon -- the wild success Nintendo has enjoyed with motion-controlled gaming. And if they don't, Sony sure will.

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Xbox 360 to get motion-sensing add-on with full body game control?