Microsoft: IllumiRoom too expensive to include with Xbox One

Microsoft has generated a lot of press in the past year with its IllumiRoom demo from Microsoft Research, which is designed to use projectors to show images on walls in a room while you play an Xbox game on your main TV. There were rumors that Microsoft was planning to include an IllumiRoom add-on for the Xbox One console at some point.

Sadly, it looks like the IllumiRoom gaming projector concept will be remaining in a Microsoft Research lab room for the foreseeable future, and the reason is a familiar one: high cost. Microsoft marketing and planning head Albert Penello revealed that bit of info in an interview with Ausgamers at Gamescom in August. He stated:

It’s very, very cool tech but it’s, like, for a consumer, it requires projectors and things. It’s really super-neat if you’re in the lab and you’ve got Microsoft money and you could totally set up this awesome lab, but... we looked at it, but for an average customer it’s, like, thousands of dollars [for the set up].

So unless your name is Bill Gates, your shot of getting a immersive gaming experience like the IllumiRoom for the Xbox One is going to be on hold for a long time.

Source: Ausgamers.com | Image via Microsoft

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18 Comments

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I did wonder why projectors used expensive bulbs over LED ones? something to do with the colour temperature perhaps. Don't get be wrong, decent LED bulbs cost a lot of money, but they also last for years.

Looking forward to oculus rift myself

glen8 said,
I did wonder why projectors used expensive bulbs over LED ones? something to do with the colour temperature perhaps. Don't get be wrong, decent LED bulbs cost a lot of money, but they also last for years.

Looking forward to oculus rift myself

Simple reason why not LED, brightness. You need really bright bulbs in a projector and LEDs can't match the alternative technology yet. Of course they are getting better and for some uses are now good enough.

I am expecting this to become available in around 3 years. I can't see why the cost couldn't be reduced using LED projection and the actual device would need some kind of inbuilt Kinect.
I would not be expecting high quality projection for ancillary viewing. You cold probably get away with a 640 resolution.

I would be willing to spend around the same o this device as the Xbox itself.

IllumiRoom - that's so wrong in so many levels...

Projectors cost $$$
Energy used 250-450Wh
No actual value

Even tho I'm not pro environment guy... this thing would burn trees and kittens for lunch...
Electricity bill would skyrocket...
Because of cost that is close to xbone this would never get enough sales, so no games that support it.

Zaic said,
IllumiRoom - that's so wrong in so many levels...

Projectors cost $$$
Energy used 250-450Wh
No actual value

Even tho I'm not pro environment guy... this thing would burn trees and kittens for lunch...
Electricity bill would skyrocket...
Because of cost that is close to xbone this would never get enough sales, so no games that support it.

It's a projector. Mine's rated for a *max* of 285W. People are already using them as a cheap alternative to large TVs. If that thing won't be flying off the store shelves, I don't think it'll be because of the power usage.

Besides, what do you make of the power requirements for SLI or Crossfire, and those who buy 1000-watt power supplies?

Next Next generation Xbox. They have all this time to perfect it. Cost reduction and plenty of QA testing. Could be the next big thing!

Makes sense.

If quality projectors were afordable, though, I would rather be playing on a wall sized screen than using it for illumiroom.

This is probably the single biggest problem outside of cost. You would be paying for a projector that you wouldn't be able to use as a normal projector (without unmounting/remounting each time you want to switch functions). Plus most people probably wouldn't be able to justify a TV and projector in the same room even if you could double up on functionality

SkyyPunk said,
This is probably the single biggest problem outside of cost. You would be paying for a projector that you wouldn't be able to use as a normal projector (without unmounting/remounting each time you want to switch functions). Plus most people probably wouldn't be able to justify a TV and projector in the same room even if you could double up on functionality

Absolutely. And it has to be easy to set up too... Until they get it down to a single unit like the Kinect, it's just not going to be feasible as a consumer product.

A good quality projector is still hundreds of dollars... so of course they wouldn't include this... maybe the software support is there, but not the hardware

Using an off the shelf projector with a simple mask for the screen location could produce the majority of the effect.

I know Microsoft is using distance and object tracking and image correction and a lot of brilliant concepts to get the projected image to conform to the surroundings, but as a base idea the additional projection is a bit overkill.

Well, I wasn't surprised that it wouldn't be included in the Xbox One. It could be an add-on in the future.

Similar to the Kinect and Xbox 360, it was an add-on in the first revision, and then the second revision was bundled in the Xbox One. The Xbox One could see the first revision as an add-on, and then the second revision could be included in the next generation.

Yea, they'll need to get that price way down first if they want to "consumerize" it, get it out of the four digit range at least... but I'd be totally interested in it as an add-on if they can manage that down the road.