In-Camera Video Processing
The camera itself is capable of not only receiving the information, but also processing it. It’s no mean feat in something so small, and it allows the console to run unfettered, as the image processing doesn’t suck up all its bandwidth.
Thirty Frames per Second
The camera is capable of capturing 30 frames per second. If you need a standard for comparison, think about this: Television is displayed at 30 frames per second, most video games are displayed at 30 frames per second (though developers are striving to make 60 the norm), and film is captured and displayed at 27 frames per second.
Like any good video camera, the camera is also capable of taking still images (with 1.3 megapixels of memory) as well. Your faces can be imported into games or accompany your name on leader boards for even more recognition and fame.
Low Light Performance
We gamers love playing in the dark—most gaming environments have very low illumination, and the camera is designed specifically with that in mind.
To further illustrate the point, he mentioned, “It’s not just the camera, we have the microphone as well.” The microphone plugs directly into the controller and allows your voice to carry through to the recipient’s TV or stereo speakers.
The microphone connected to the Xbox 360 Controller allows group chat, unlike the Xbox 360 Headset. Video chat and video messaging with your friends will become an integrated part of the Xbox Live experience.
The specs for the camera are something to behold, and the ability to hold quality video chats with your friends is just plain neat. But what use does it have in gaming? Banerjee responds with a couple of interesting points. “It will open the door for the future of gesture gaming, and it goes hand-in-hand with the software that’s developed for it.”
In short, the camera offers developers the ability to add elements of gameplay that could directly respond to your own actions. For example, imagine controlling a squad of soldiers by silently gesturing where to go, instead of issuing a voice command and alerting nearby guards.
This ushers in a new generation of fun online motion detection-enabled games where you use your body to control on-screen characters over Xbox Live. The camera and microphone offer the functionality, so now it’s up to the game developers to find innovative ways to implement it.
These two accessories offer us a taste of the sort of innovation the next generation of gaming will bring. Now, let’s let our imaginations run wild and wait for developers to do the same.