Microsoft to challenge Wii and EyeToy with new tech?

Microsoft to challenge Wii and EyeToy with new tech?
Michael French

By Michael French

February 18th 2009 at 10:07AM

But format-holder refuses to comment on speculation surrounding 3D camera acquisition

Microsoft is looking to acquire an Israeli imaging company in a bid to 'anxiously outdo the Wii' according to new reports on the web this morning.

According to a report in the Israel press, the format-holder is looking to buying 3DV Systems and its camera-based motion-sensing technology and integrate it into its games business.

Reportedly, Microsoft will pay $35m for the firm, whose ZCams tech is in effect like Sony's EyeToy but with more precise imaging and motion sensing due to their 3D cameras.

Venturebeat's Dean Takahashi has also reported on the acquisition, recapping his own experiences with the tech during a previous demo: "When I did a demo of the technology, I was able to control a game just by waving my arms around. I could fly a plane by pretending to hold a joystick and also box against a virtual fighter by throwing punches toward the camera. The motion detection was accurate, much more so than the Wii, which uses relatively cheap but primitive accelerometers and infrared technology for motion detection."

3DV has been spending recent years trying to commercialise the 3D camera technology, saying it could release the camera at a sub $100 price. Which would make it a perfect add-on peripheral for the 360, of course.

However, Microsoft has told us it 'doesn't comment on rumour and speculation' - so for now any reports that the format-holder is looking to take on Nintendo at its own game are just speculation.