Wall Street Journal claims new hardware add-on will arrive next year

New report says 360’s motion-sensing 3D camera is real

The rumour mill is working overtime ahead of June’s E3 event, and now the Wall Street Journal is the latest to claim that Microsoft will unveil a new game controller at the event.

According to the US business publication, "Microsoft is developing a new videocamera for its Xbox 360 videogame console that will allow players to control games with the movement of their bodies, according to people familiar with the matter".

The site’s report says the new device "is a novel twist on Nintendo’s Wii videogame console, which allows users to swing a tennis racket and other objects in games by holding a plastic wand in their hands.

"Unlike the Wii, the Microsoft camera won’t require users to hold any hardware in their hands to control in-game action, people familiar with the matter say. The camera uses 3-D technology to give players more accurate control over games than earlier game cameras did."

It sounds a lot like a Microsoft version of the 3DV Systems camera which the company was reportedly set to buy earlier this year.

Reportedly, Microsoft was planning to pay $35m for the firm, whose ZCams tech is likened to Sony’s EyeToy, but with more precise imaging and motion sensing due to its 3D camera system.

Microsoft is no stranger to mimicking the EyeToy – it previously released the Vision Cam for the 360, which used player movements at input for XBLA titles and recorded player video in You’re In The Movies.

3DV itself had 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.

The Wall Street Journal adds that insiders reckon the device – which reports at the weekend had named the ‘Xbox Fluid’ – will be unveiled at E3. Microsoft’s press conference at the event takes place on Monday, June 1st.

Earlier this month, leaked pictures also claimed to reveal that a Microsoft-made new camera-based controller was in the works.

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