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Sneak Peek: Xbox 360 USB Camera Add-on

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  • Sneak Peek: Xbox 360 USB Camera Add-on

    It looks as if Microsoft is getting set to release a new USB camera peripheral for the Xbox 360 in the not too distant future. According to documentation obtained by IGN, the USB camera is aimed at improving the user's gaming experience, but it also adds several new potential capabilities to an already powerful home media hub.

    General Camera Specification
    First, here are the specs as referenced:

    USB 2.0 bus-powered device
    Smooth, near DV quality video: up to VGA 640x480 at 30 FPS
    High-def images: still photos up to SVGA 1280x980 (1.3 Mp)
    Manually adjustable variable focus: 2 feet to infinity
    Field of View: 43 degrees
    On board image processor
    Digital zoom, cropping
    Auto exposure, white balance, gamma correction, sharpness
    Long (~9 feet) cable to reach around large TVs
    Includes a headset for great audio.

    As you can see, this camera is no slouch when it comes to features and will provide image quality and performance on par to Apple's iSight (if the specification are accurate).

    Gaming Capabilities
    The Xbox 360 USB camera will most likely be first and foremost a gaming enhancement peripheral similar to the EyeToy released by Sony for the Playstaion 2. The EyeToy was a simple add-on device and was launched with a set of basic games that used motion to perform game features. The Xbox 360ís camera at first glance appears to be nothing more than a simple add-on peripheral. The camera, however, is reported to support a new capability called Ďgesture recognitioní that will translate your real life movements and incorporate them into the game play. Itís not clear exactly what this means, how it will materialize in actual games and if any game developers have signed up to support the camera.

    A brochure for the camera obtained by IGN noted that ďThese features provide developers opportunities for unprecedented levels of innovation and personalization, and enable gamers to customize and socialize in their game worlds in ways they never could before. Additionally, Xbox 360 Camera support is deeply integrated into the Dashboard, making every Xbox 360 console owner a potential customer for the camera and your camera-enabled game.Ē It certainly sounds like a compelling set of features that could enhance both simple and complex multi-player games alike.

    VoIP and Video Conferencing
    Instant messaging and voice chatting are already pretty mainstream as far as the demographic of Xbox 360 users is concerned, but no one has cornered the market on VoIP and Video Conferencing in the living room. This Xbox 360 would be the first set-top box to offer both VoIP and Video conferencing via an HDTV and could enable this service as a compelling add-on to Xbox Live or MSN Messenger. Xbox Live also has the micro-payment market in place to charge for any calls connected over the traditional telephony network if it so desired.

    Home Surveillance and Monitoring
    Itís not too hard to imagine a bunch of wireless IP cameras set up throughout the home to keep an eye the front door, driveway, babyís room or any other room in the house that might require monitoring. The most challenging part of any home surveillance system is actually getting the images displayed on a TV. There are complex solutions that involve line filters, channel modulators and RF distribution, but the Xbox 360 could provide a natural interface for viewing and monitoring IP cameras throughout the home easily on your television. It could also serve as a DVR for cameras that are set to motion detection.

    Wrap Up and Final Thoughts
    In general, the USB camera add-on should be a fun addition to the Xbox 360. If developers embrace its capabilities, it may even become critical to the overall gaming experience. Unfortunately, unless Microsoft decides to incorporate the camera into a key game such as Halo, itís likely to be more of a gimmick device than anything else. If that's the case, game developers would likely avoid incorporating the camera into critical game play unless they could be guaranteed that a large base of users will have the camera installed.

    Beyond the basic gaming enhancements, the addition of a camera provides yet another way for Microsoft to truly make this platform the hub of digital entertainment and communication in the living room. It already performs a wide range of media streaming applications via Windows XP Media Center and Windows Media Connect. Microsoft has chosen, however, to focus first on the gaming side of the equation. After all, it is a gaming platform first. My personal belief is that Microsoft has bigger plans for the Xbox 360 when Vista is released next year. Vista builds should all support the advanced media center capabilities (and more) that are currently only available in Windows XPMC (such as video streaming). Microsoft will have a perfect environment to launch its assault on the living room once the majority of home PC users have upgraded to Vista and the number of Xbox 360s reaches critical mass.

  • #2
    i cant wait to show some kids my penis

    Comment


    • #3
      that whole "capturing your images in real time" thing sounds sweet. Ive always wanted to play a game where if i want to look around a corner i need to turn my head, or hold out my hand to recieve something. sounds interesting
      i have a belly full of white dog poop and you lay this shit on me?

      Comment


      • #4
        Sounds completely unneccessary.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Confusious
          Sounds completely unneccessary.
          It's unnecessary to expand gameplay beyond the average controller?

          Do you like to play the same games over and over again?

          Personally, I'd like to think my mind is past the infant stage because I'm not entertained by repetitive bullshit...
          Last edited by CLiDE; 04-07-2006, 07:09 AM.
          change must come from within

          Comment


          • #6
            It's already bad enough playing with 13 year olds.. now I gotta look at them?

            No
            HEADSHOTS; NIGGA FUCK YO VEST

            www.***********.info

            Comment


            • #7
              i can almost feel the oily faces of the pre-pupesnt kids on my screen.
              If I can kick drugs, I can deliver a baby

              Charlie RIP
              LOST

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