Further information regarding the PlayStation 3/Minority Report add-on has been brought to our attention, as well as some uses of the device which is expected to become available near the PS3 launch. The add-on, manufactured by Prime Sense, should be reasonably priced as, we are told, it is fairly cheap to manufacture.
The previously mentioned MegaGames friend has been extremely helpful and has provided some additional information on what gamers can expect from the device and how it is expected to affect gameplay.
According to our reliable source, the Prime Sense device was developed with the terminal Reality interface in mind and to that end, company engineers met the man behind the Minority Report concept. The idea is not new as EyeToy bears obvious conceptual similarities and the Microsoft/Gesture Tek products are expected to provide similar functionality. What is new is the freedom that the device will afford the user and the surprising accuracy with which it will interpret player movements into in-game moves.
The uses of the device may seem obvious but we will give you some examples which have already been demonstrated by Prime Sense. One such example of the use of the device is of a player tapping his fingers on a table and the device interpreting his movements as the keystrokes of a pianist. Another application demonstrated, perhaps more relevant for a gaming audience, is of a player performing martial arts moves while an accurate virtual representation uses the same moves to dispatch enemy ninjas. An even more impressive example shown was that of a player following on-screen dance moves, with no restrictions to movement, while his moves are accurately recognized as correct or wrong.
The final demonstration mentioned, is that of a player collapsing some pillars using his avatar. This demonstration highlighted how the virtual representation of the player will interact with the in-game physics.
According to our source these demonstrations are close to a year old so minor improvements should be expected while the actual uses of the device will depend on game developers as the demonstrations mentioned were created by Prime Sense staff.
This device is another example of how video game console creators are thinking of ways to increase the players involvement with the on-screen action. Microsoft's Peter Moore has already commented on the need to simplify video game controls and his expressed admiration for Nintendo's new controller is a matter of record. Sony is also exploring that avenue while Microsoft has been developing a Windows remote with many of the Wiimote features for a long time now. It may be the case that the next-gen console war will also include a battle or skirmish, of the input device.