Microsoft IllumiRoom deemed too expensive for a consumer launch

By on September 2, 2013, 1:30 PM

Microsoft IllumiRoom, the proof-of-concept technology that uses an array of Kinect sensors and projectors to envelop gamers in the on-screen action, will likely never be sold to consumers. First shown off at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show, the device has been deemed too expensive for the average consumer.

During a recent chat with Ausgamer at Gamescom 2013, Xbox One director of product planning Albert Penello said he wouldn’t expect gamers to see it. He pointed out it was super neat if you’re in the lab and you have Microsoft money to set it all up, but it'd cost thousands of dollars for the average consumer to own.

True enough, I could see some diehard gamers throwing down a few hundred bucks for the visual experience but a few thousand is pretty much out of the question. The problem isn’t with the technology itself or even the Kinect sensors required but rather the expensive projectors needed to paint a room with gameplay.

As is the case with a number of prototype designs, this one is probably better left for the lab. Of course, it’s not a total bust either, as Microsoft could very well use some elements of IllumiRoom in future products – both for the Xbox One and in other areas.

What did you think of IllumiRoom? Would you have paid a couple hundred dollars for it or is it better off as a proof of concept for now?




User Comments: 17

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davislane1 davislane1 said:

As with most things that are 'way too expensive to bring to market', this will doubtless reach mainstream consumers in the future, so I'm enthusiastic about the concept. Would I spend money on it for gaming? Probably not. If I'm going to put down money for a VR room, I want an actual holodeck, not a cheap Chinese...err....American knockoff. :P

However, using this technology to build some type of ultra high-tech workstation...I'd pay for that. I'd pay for that without a second thought.

Guest said:

It looks amazing and I would love to see this come to life someday - but I don't think that will happen for a while.

I think some of these intelligent people should spend more time looking into vital technology rather than pleasure. Things like space travel and time warping for example =)

Renrew Renrew said:

Shades of the Holodeck. Beam me up Scotty.

JC713 JC713 said:

Cool concept, just not ready for prime time.

VitalyT VitalyT said:

Why smoke weed, IllumiRoom - game + hallucinogenic experience - all one one!

Sign up, get dumb today!

Truly yours, MS

NeurotechHD NeurotechHD said:

They just need to make a giant, low-resolution LED wrap that you can position behind your television set. You're not looking directly at this when you game, it's just for ambiance, so it doesn't need to be crisp or clear.

NeurotechHD NeurotechHD said:

They just need to make a giant, low-resolution LED wrap that you can position behind your television set. You're not looking directly at this when you game, it's just for ambiance, so it doesn't need to be crisp or clear.

Or, even better, just get this: [link]

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

The concept sucked, was never ridiculously expensive ($300 projectors, ... three at most?), had zero support, and was of debatable benefit anyway. Good bye.

DKRON said:

They just need to make a giant, low-resolution LED wrap that you can position behind your television set. You're not looking directly at this when you game, it's just for ambiance, so it doesn't need to be crisp or clear.

Or, even better, just get this: [link]

Is it just me or does gaming for say 10 years or so make my eyes adjust faster to light levels? Because I haven't had a problem with that since I was 12

Rasta211 said:

Wow, I was considering an Xbox because of this feature.

Well at least their honest it ain't worth it to the average consumer.

I do hope people in the future get to see this.

CrisisDog said:

It would have been one of the very few features I'd get an Xbox One for. Already have a projector and TV, wouldn't be too much to use them in the same room. Now it has become just another reason to stick with my PC for gaming. Triple monitors FTW! :-P

1 person liked this | Skidmarksdeluxe Skidmarksdeluxe said:

Why spend that much money on a setup when you can go to Syria & experience the real thing for a fraction? You'll also get the real time smell of burning flesh which this thing can't do. A no brainer if you ask me

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

Waiting for the 4D Home Hollow Deck 8K Dual Ultra HD Media Entertainment System.

Bink said:

I have a better solution. Which I think is much better... I'm a migraine sufferer, not an ideal condition for a gamer... this would do my head in...

3 monitor stand. With 3 monitors (4k) NVidia 780 4GB GFX card at a fraction of the price). But you need quite a big desk.

tipstir tipstir, TS Ambassador, said:

I have a better solution. Which I think is much better... I'm a migraine sufferer, not an ideal condition for a gamer... this would do my head in...

3 monitor stand. With 3 monitors (4k) NVidia 780 4GB GFX card at a fraction of the price). But you need quite a big desk.

Make it happen and post some pictures or even yet some videos on this project idea.

St1ckM4n St1ckM4n said:

3x 4K resolution monitors? Good luck running games on Ultra even with 4x Titan.

Bink said:

Make it happen and post some pictures or even yet some videos on this project idea.

I have a BenQ 27" LED 3D 120Htz monitor that does it for me. Gaming is very good indeed and very smooth.

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