XIO to Launch Consoleless Gaming Console

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I know it sounds crazy but that’s pretty much what their press release said. It’s a wireless game console that will do away with game consoles they say.

Over 10 years in development and several patents, XIO (pronounced ZEE-O) is scheduled to be debuted at the 2010 E3 show June 15th-17th in Los Angeles, California. The XIO Virtual Gaming System could dramatically shake up the video console industry with the introduction of a system that requires no console and puts the player closer to reality than ever before.

Well I don’t know about the dramatic shake up. From the sounds of it, the unit is a haptic (force feedback) system that straps onto your arms and interaction is done through your movements so there must be some accelerometers not unlike the today’s motion controllers in there. That is unless they’re using a camera-based system like Project Natal is using and Sony tinkered with for some time.

XIO uses advanced exoskeleton technology used in the sports training and physical rehabilitation fields to provide the player with different responses based on the player’s body position, speed of movement, and other sensed data. In addition to audio and visual responses, XIO provides a controlled resistance to movement and other stimuli to provide realism to the action. This not only lets players feel as if they are actually performing the function, but also helps reinforce the correct muscle pattern for the activity being simulated.

The question is, how effective will it really be for gaming. Will there be able to be enough force such that when your character in a game can’t pick something up, neither can you? It seems on the dangerous side if you think about it and I can’t honestly see how that would work with just arm pieces

XIO devices now available for one or both arms are expected to be subsequently combined with shoulder, back and lower body attachments to add to the virtual experience. The use of an optional onboard computer and XIO headgear will allow the system to become totally self-contained on the user for inside or outside multiple player use.

OK now we’re talking. You could be in a whole virtual reality suit by the time they’re done and be able to block out the entire world for hours on end. It could be good for some fitness but can you see trying to play an FPS or something? I guess the headgear (are you looking at my headgear?!) would have to be pretty good to allow for that.

Although XIO is being demonstrated at E3 using certain existing video game software, to take advantage of all of the capabilities of XIO, the system is expected to be released to the public with video games specifically developed for XIO.

It’s questionable. How many times have we read about really potentially cool gaming gear only to see it totally flop when released? This sounds potentially cool but is going to depend on a variety of factors, like does it replace a game console, what is the price, what games will be available, what will it look like, etc. I guess we’ll find out at E3. I’ll remain skeptical until I see it myself.

In : PC

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