Ars Technica has an intriguing take on the recent rumor (and leaked photo) of a webcam-based, motion sensing 360 controller: It already exists. The device in question might well be a console version of the ZCam from 3DV!
Far from being ungrounded speculation, there's a lot to back up Ars Technica's suspicion. Here's the case:
- Described as a "surfaceless Microsoft Surface," according to Ars, The ZCam does, literally, everything the Xbox controller is alleged to do. The ZCam was demoed on a PC at E3 2008, and it allows for full body and hand gesture control of games, even picking up small hand gestures like pinching, grabbing and scrolling. The ZCam would allow for video conferencing and control of media, just as the as-yet-unnamed Microsoft controller is rumored to feature.
- Back in February, there was talk that Microsoft was interested in buying the company behind the ZCam.
- Microsoft feels comfortable enough with its E3 announcements to promise to "completely transform how people think about home entertainment," which could be taken to mean they are going to announce something huge...like a controller-less control system.
Ars Technica makes another interesting point about the system (if it exists): Its main utility might come as a media controller as opposed to a game controller. Being able to remotely control your television without a remote control would be an awesome advancement, plus, it would help people like me, who lose everything.
We should (hopefully!) know all the details of this thing at this year's E3--if Microsoft really plans to launch such a revolutionary controller, they'll most likely show it off with the hype of the convention! If you want to be the first to see it, check out Microsoft's press conference on G4, and keep your web browser pointed to www.g4tv.com/e3, where we'll be covering every single aspect of E3 09 from every angle imaginable, including live streams of all major press conferences. It all goes down during the first week of June.
What do you think? If this rumor is true, will it really change gaming? Or do you see this more as a "Nintendo Power Glove" style gimmick that will never catch on or be as cool as you imagine it?