10th December 2009

Advances in Immersive Game Technology Abound

News from Skillz Systems, AMD, Intel and D-Box

QuickStickzHalifax – It’s that time of year, where thousands of enthusiasts head to the cold rinks to enjoy the sport of Hockey! Helping hockey players of all ages train their stick-handling skills, Halifax based Skillz Systems launched an interactive video game, called QuickStickz.

Hockey players can use any hockey stick, a computer and Internet access to play QuickStickz virtually anywhere and at anytime. The system includes cameras to track a custom ball and then feeds that Jacob Burke, age 12, improves his stickhandling skills with his head up, on the new QuickStickz productinformation to the training software on the player’s computer.

“What we’ve done is taken kids’ love of hockey and their love of video gaming and combined the two,” says Dean Dachyshyn, Skillz Systems Chief Operating Officer.

QuickStickz which launched just over a week ago, has been in beta testing over the past 2 years. Young eager hockey players across Nova Scotia were able to test and play the video game providing feedback, which was incorporated into the official product.

Endorsed by Buffalo Sabres assistant coach James Patrick and Phoenix Coyotes head coach Dave Tippett, QuickStickz is poised to be the next generation training device. “We are looking forward to setting the hockey world on its ear with this revolutionary new training,” Dachyshyn says. Skillz Systems is a past participant and winner in the InnovaCorp I-3 Technology Start-Up Competition.

Dragon Age OriginsEdmontonBioWare re-invented the fantasy role-playing genre with its recent release of Dragon Age: Origins. With game patches issued days after the title’s debut, BioWare delivers full support for the visually striking AMD innovation, ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology. ATI Radeon graphics now give Dragon Age: Origins players the ultimate visual experience as they see more of this vivid in-game world, and at higher resolution. 1

* BioWare issued patches on Nov. 6 and Nov. 17, 2009 to fully enable Dragon Age: Origins on ATI Eyefinity technology, ensuring that gamers have access to ultra-widescreen resolutions for the ultimate visual experience.
* Experience even more of the fantasy world of Ferelden in Dragon Age: Origins by viewing it with an ultra-wide, three display configuration using ATI Eyefinity technology, allowing for a maximum resolution of 7680 x 1600.
* ATI Eyefinity multi-display technology allows seamless enablement of the biggest game environments available today. Gamers can arrange one to three displays using the ATI Radeon™ HD 5970, ATI Radeon™ HD 5870, ATI Radeon™ HD 5850, ATI Radeon™ HD 5770 or ATI Radeon™ HD 5750 graphics cards.2

“BioWare has made ATI Eyefinity compatibility a priority, and it speaks strongly to their belief in what AMDATI Eyefinity technology brings to the gaming experience,” said Neal Robison, director, ISV Relationship Management at AMD. “BioWare is known for creating rich, immersive gaming experiences, and it is clear that they appreciate how ATI Eyefinity technology found on the latest ATI Radeon cards, can help further enrich the experience for gamers.”

“We’re really excited to take advantage of AMD’s new ATI Eyefinity multi-screen configuration technology,” said Mark Darrah, executive producer, BioWare. “Dragon Age: Origins is an incredibly immersive game and it’s quite impressive to experience the Dragon Age universe on this impressive technology from AMD.”

D-BoxLongueuilD-BOX Technologies Inc., a leader in innovative motion technology for the entertainment industry and developers of the GPH-120 Gaming Chair, announced today the opening of Emagine’s Cinema Hollywood located in Birch Run Michigan, the second theatre with the cinema chain. Additionally, another row of MFX Seating will be added at the Canton location, bringing the total of D-BOX Motion Seating with the chain to 42 and 267 across North America.

Emagine Canton was the first theatre in Michigan to feature the breakthrough technology last November. Due to the growing popularity and already increasing demand of the D-BOX motion seating, Emagine Entertainment is adding to its existing D-BOX auditorium in Canton and opening another location. Cinema Hollywood in Birch Run, MI., will be equipped with 18 MFX seating while 12 more motion seating will be added to Canton, both add-ons just in time for the Christmas Day release of Warner Bros.’ “Sherlock Holmes.”

“We are tremendously excited by the recent and rapid success of our technology in the Detroit area and in North America in general,” declared President and CEO of D-BOX Technologies, Claude Mc Master. “Being that we proceeded with Emagine’s first installation less than a month ago, we are very enthusiastic to see that the level of excitement generated by our motion systems can exceed initial expectations. We view these new installations from an existing customer as a true testimonial of the D-BOX value proposition translating into increased attendance, higher revenues and a true differentiating factor for exhibitors.”

“We are thrilled with the turnout we’ve experienced so far and are looking forward to growing our business and adding more theatres with D-BOX motion systems” said Paul Glantz founder and owner of Emagine Entertainment.

Adding a completely new dimension to movie viewing, D-BOX Motion Code™ is embedded, frame by frame, onto each film by D-BOX Motion Designers, perfectly synching the onscreen action with the motion sensations. Audience members will feel every action-packed moment while the seats will remain still during the quieter, more dialogue-driven scenes. Additionally, each seat is fully-equipped with personalized intensity adjustments allowing moviegoers the opportunity to experience as much or as little action as desired. For those looking to skip the long theatre lines, many D-BOX theatres offer online ticket purchasing so seats for the D-BOX experience can be reserved in advance, guaranteeing a great seat for the movie.

D-BOX Motion Code™ is now available in eleven movie theatres in North America including Wehrenberg Theatres Ronnies 20 Cine in St. Louis, Missouri; Emagine Entertainment’s Canton Theatre in Canton, Michigan; Emagine Entertainment’s Cinema Hollywood Theatre in Birch Run, Michigan; Cinéma Beloeil, in Beloeil Quebec; Cineplex Odeon Queensway Theatre in Etobicoke, Ontario; Mann Chinese 6 Theatre in Los Angeles, California; Theatres at Mall of America in Bloomington, Minnesota; Galaxy at the Cannery in Las Vegas, Nevada; Galaxy Highland Theatre in Austin, Texas; UltraStar Cinemas in Surprise, Arizona; and UltraStar Apple Valley in San Bernardino, California.

Going to be in Edmonton this week? Check this out:

intelEdmonton – Players of first-person shooter computer games traditionally play while seated with a keyboard, mouse, and fixed monitor – but this could soon change. These hardcore gamers soon may be unleashed from their stationary position to enjoy a realistic virtual combat experience with life-sized video images, projected on walls, ceilings and floors, all from a weapon-styled projection game controller they hold in their hands.

Among the first consumers to try a prototype of such a product will be the players and spectators attending the Intel® Extreme Masters PC gaming tournament in Edmonton, Alberta on Friday, Dec. 11 through Sunday, Dec. 13. Intel Corp., sponsor of the event, has invited laser display technology supplier Microvision, Inc. of Redmond, Wash., to give gamers a first look at a new technology that projects a follow-you-anywhere video image – up to 200 inches across – from a handheld game controller.

Game players at the tourney who give the prototype a spin will experience “an immersive, 360-degree feel,” promises Ian Brown, Microvision’s Vice President of Sales and Marketing. “The company’s laser projection engine can show a distortion-free image on nearly any flat or curved surface. Consequently, the game goes along with the gamer and reflects the character’s position in three-dimensional space.”

It’s no coincidence that Microvision also happens to be a main mover behind the emerging consumer-electronics product category known as “pico projectors.” In September, the company started shipping its first SHOWWX™ laser pico projectors – based on its PicoP® display engine – to customers in the Asia Pacific region and Europe. But the game tournament demo in Canada will show off the versatility of Microvision’s PicoP display engine beyond the streaming movies, music videos, camera-phone snapshots and business presentations which are the media most likely to be shown with pico projectors.

“The game application takes advantage of our PicoP display engine’s infinite focus,” Brown says. “We believe that Microvision’s technology can be used to create a new level of realism and interactive freedom for gamers. As the worldwide market for video games exceeds $50 billion, we are very excited to partner with Intel to showcase this new advance in gaming technology to the world’s best gamers at Intel Extreme Masters.”

“Intel believes that radical innovations like Microvision’s laser projection engine will continue to drive the gaming industry forward,” said George Woo, Intel Corporation’s Marketing Manager of the Intel Extreme Masters. “We are pleased to demonstrate how Microvision’s technology and the Intel® Core™ i7 processor Extreme Edition can create a new way for gamers to become immersed in the game world.”

This entry was posted on Thursday, December 10th, 2009 at 8:58 am and is filed under Business News, Digital Products, Events, Everyone, Game Dev, Mature, New Releases, Peripherals, RPG - MMORPG, Serious, Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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