Players of first-person shooter computer games traditionally play while seated with a keyboard, mouse, and fixed monitor.
However, these hardcore gamers soon may be unleashed from their stationary position to enjoy a realistic virtual combat experience with life-sized video images, projected on walls, ceilings and floors, all from a weapon-styled projection game controller they hold in their hands.
Among the first consumers to try a prototype of such a product will be the players and spectators attending the Intel(R) Extreme Masters PC gaming tournament in Edmonton, Alberta on Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13. Intel Corp., sponsor of the event, has invited laser display technology supplier Microvision, Inc. (NASDAQ: MVIS), of Redmond, Wash., to give gamers a first look at a new technology that projects a follow-you-anywhere video image – up to 200 inches across – from a handheld game controller.
Game players at the tourney who give the prototype a spin will experience "an immersive, 360-degree feel," promises Ian Brown, Microvision’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. "The company’s laser projection engine can show a distortion-free image on nearly any flat or curved surface. Consequently, the game goes along with the gamer and reflects the character’s position in three-dimensional space."
It’s no coincidence that Microvision also happens to be a main mover behind the emerging consumer-electronics product category known as "pico projectors." In September, the company started shipping its first SHOWWX(TM) laser pico projectors – based on its PicoP(R) display engine – to customers in the Asia Pacific region and Europe. But the game tournament demo in Canada will show off the versatility of Microvision’s PicoP display engine beyond the streaming movies, music videos, camera-phone snapshots and business presentations which are the media most likely to be shown with pico projectors.
"The game application takes advantage of our PicoP display engine’s infinite focus," Brown says. "We believe that Microvision’s technology can be used to create a new level of realism and interactive freedom for gamers. As the worldwide market for video games exceeds $50 billion, we are very excited to partner with Intel to showcase this new advance in gaming technology to the world’s best gamers at Intel Extreme Masters."
"Intel believes that radical innovations like Microvision’s laser projection engine will continue to drive the gaming industry forward," said George Woo, Intel Corporation’s Marketing Manager of the Intel Extreme Masters. "We are pleased to demonstrate how Microvision’s technology and the Intel(R) Core(TM) i7 processor Extreme Edition can create a new way for gamers to become immersed in the game world."