Asus Demos WAVI Xtion PC Motion Controller
Rather than sport the device at E3 next week, Asus has used Computex as the platform to officially demo its motion sensing device for the PC. Two other software companies have also announced their support for the peripheral, including SoftKinetic Studios which will provide the bundled gesture-recognition game DanceWall, and AppSide which will provide a marketplace for motion-controlled games and apps.
Based on reports stemming from the WAVI Xtion demo at the show, Asus is looking to bring the Kinect experience to an HDTV-connected PC. Developed in conjunction with Kinect designer PrimeSense, the motion-sensing device will interpret the user's hand and body movements into commands for playing games, watching movies, or skimming through the hard drive contents right from the comforts of the living room couch.
As previously reported, the system comprises of three components: one wireless HDMI (WHDI) transmitter/receiver connected to the PC, one connected to the HDTV, and the actual motion sensor -- the range between the two receiver/transmitter units can be up to 82 feet. The system will also come packed with three games (MayaFit, Beat Booster and DanceWall), the Xtion web browser, social networking features, and the previously-mentioned marketplace called the Xtion Portal, provided by AppSide.
"AppSide's mission is to become the premier content marketplace for motion-controlled entertainment devices, for users and developers alike. We are proud to introduce our end-to-end games and apps marketplace at Computex, as well as to be the first central location of content to ensure the utmost satisfaction for WAVI Xtion users," said Jonathan Ya'ari, Co-Founder and CEO, AppSide. "The motion controlled entertainment market is reach a significant size over the next two to three years and ASUS is leading the transformation to an interactive living room."
While Asus didn't provide a specific launch window for its motion-sensing device, SoftKinetic Studios revealed a Q3 2011 ship date in Tuesday's press release. The company's bundle dance game seemingly addresses the family and socially-oriented gamer, featuring cute avatars and bright, Mario-like colors.
"The goal for players is to achieve the highest score possible by successfully maneuvering their onscreen avatar to fit through cutout shapes, holes, in approaching walls," reads the game's decription. "Players control avatars’ movements by their own in-room movements, and can conform the avatar to any shape players make with their body. DanceWall can be played alone, or as a team of two players. DanceWall, developed in collaboration between SoftKinetic Studios and Orange Vallée, is powered by SoftKinetic’s gesture-recognition middleware, iisu."
But fear not, hard-core gamers: support for serious titles is apparently in the works too, as various reports claim that Asus demonstrated Need for Speed using the new motion controller. This could indicate that WAVI Xtion may be configurable for any game released on the PC, converting motions into key and/or mouse commands. Question is, how will it handle Crysis 2?