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Two interesting rumors have begun circulating over the last couple of days. With the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) just around the corner industry insiders are tipping that both Sony and Microsoft will announce new control systems offering interactive experiences in an attempt to win back gamers that have adopted the Nintendo Wii.

According to a report by Engadget, Microsoft will adopt a motion sensing technology that uses a sensor bar and webcam to capture and interpret movement and sound. According to their sources, the system will allow full body and hand gestures for on-screen controls.  These will come in the form of either controlling the movements of a character but also simple navigation as well. They have tipped that video conferencing will be introduced too and an online trivia game with live player images too. 

If reports are to be believed, Sony also has a motion sensing control system on the way too.  According to Variety, it will involve a Wii like stick controller with LEDs on the front which will be tracked by a webcam.  It will allow the same movement controls as the six axis controller but will also be able to track movements toward and away from the sensor – things like thrusting forward. 

At the moment, both these devices are strictly rumors with no official announcements from either manufacturer, although sources point heavily toward both being announced some time this year, most likely at E3.  The Microsoft rumor is even backed up by a leaked image of the sensor bar itself.

The question, however, isn’t whether the rumors are true but more why these devices need to exist in the first place.  Sure, Wii is popular among casual gamers, and yes, it is the most popular console of the current generation but rather than trying to copy Nintendo, why not come up with something revolutionary of your own?  It remains to be seen if either of these peripherals becomes popular enough to be as widely adopted as the wii-mote or if they will be nothing more than a gimmick.  If its anything like previously released peripherals, it will fall squarely in the category of the latter. Can anyone say EyeToy 2?

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