by Nick Wingfield
Microsoft Copr. is developing a new videocam-
era for the Xbox360 console that will allow play-
ers to control games with the movement of their
bodies, people familiar with the matter said, an
effort to attract the casual players that have fueled
Nintendo Co.'s recent success.
The Microsoft device is a twist on Nintendo's
blockbuster Wii game console, which allow us-
ers to swing a tennis racket or other equipment in
games by holding a plastic wand in their hands.
Unlike the Wii, the Micorosft camera won't
require users to hold any hardware to control on-
screen action, the people familiar with the matter
said. The camera would sit near the television and
capture when players move their hands, legs or
A spokesman for the Redmond, Wash., com-
pany delined to comment.
The camera represents another effort by the
games industry to reach out to consumers with
more intuitive playing methods than traditional
game controllers, with their array of joysticks and
Microsoft's camera users 3-D technology, which
gives players more accurate control over games
than earlier game cameras did, the people said.
The potential suggessts Microsoft is step-
ping up efforts to gain ground on Nintendo, the
leader in the market for the current generation
of game consoles. A spokeswonman for Nintendo
declined to comment.
Although Nintendo recently signaled that de-
mand for its Wii may start to slow, it sold 601,000
Wii consoles in the U.S. in March, more machines
than Microsoft and Sony Corp. combined, accord-
ing to NPD Group, which tracks retail sales.
The Micorosft camera could be unveiled as
early as the E3 videogame industry conference
next month, though it likely won't be released un-
til next year, the people said.
Microsoft, which saw revenue in its games divi-
sion fall 1.6% to $1.57 billion in the latest quarter,
is likely to sell the camera first as an accessory
and could ultimately bundle it with the Xbox 360,
one person familiar with the company's plans
said. Pricing couldn't be determined.
The camera is based on technology that Micro-
soft developed inside its sprawling search arm.
Microsoft also recently acquired an Israeli start-
up called 3DV System Ltd., which has developed
a 3-D camera and holds related patents, accord-
ing to a person familiar with the matter.
In a email, Zvika Klier, chief executive of 3DV
Systems, said "unfortunately I can't comment
on the rumors surrounding this deal...We will
provide more information when we can."
Two people who work closely with Microsoft
said the company over a year ago was develop-
ing a motion control device similar to the Wii's
wireless controller, but shelved the project. While
rumors of a new camera have begun trickling out
onto game industry blogs, the device is cloaked in
secrecy inside Microsoft.
fuel n.燃料 vt.刺激 vi.加油
array vt.配置(兵力) n.列陣
unveil vt.除去...的面紗 vi.揭露出來
ultimately adv.最後, 終極地
bundle 捆, 把...紮成一包
sprawl vi.伸開四肢, 蔓生, 蔓延
cloak n.斗篷, 幌子