One of the key qualities all game developers and console makers are shooting for is immersion. In this context, it means making what you play seem as real as possible.
Microsoft, though, may take the gold medal with their latest patent.
The idea behind the device is essentially a 360 degree projector that surrounds you in the game environment by putting images on all four walls. So, for example, if you were playing Halo 4 and a Promethean was creeping up on you just off screen, that would be projected onto the wall so you could see it and blast it accordingly.
Need to see what's behind you? Look over your shoulder. The system would also use a depth camera to determine your exact location inside the game and how distant targets are from you.
While it's just a patent, and nothing may ever come of it, it's a clue as to where Microsoft sees games heading.
Our Take: We doubt this technology will ship with the next Xbox, but it's certainly interesting to talk about. We've seen versions of this idea elsewhere, such as projecting a Pac-Man game onto all four walls and the ceiling, but this seems to be the first serious attempt to bring those projects, which were essentially art installations or proof-of-concept works, into the home.
Whether anything will come of it, who know? But we suspect this idea will make its way to market somehow.