Head tracking, a technique that effectively transforms the apparent ‘2D’ image you see on your television screen into an out-of-the-screen virtual reality experience, will feature in Electronic Arts’ upcoming Nintendo Wii title, Boom Blox. If you’ve no idea what we’re talking about, head inside for more details and a full visual explanation. Trust us, though, it’s exciting stuff.
At the end of EA’s lecture on Boom Blox at this week’s Game Developers Conference, one of the firm’s representatives presented a video that demonstrated a special “GDC Easter Egg,” revealing that head tracking had been worked into the Steven Spielberg-backed title.
GoNintendo reports that it is still unclear whether the level(s) in which head tracking is enabled will be custom-made or exist in those already built into the game. In addition, the site writes that gamers will need either LED glasses or a wireless sensor bar to experience the bewildering effect. In fact, whether head tracking will even make the final cut is questionable at this tentative stage in development.
This first short video shows how Boom Blox will feature head tracking:
And this second is a brilliant run down on what exactly head tracking is and how it could be utilised on the Nintendo Wii:
Using the infrared camera in the Wii remote and a head mounted sensor bar (two IR LEDs), you can accurately track the location of your head and render view dependent images on the screen. This effectively transforms your display into a portal to a virtual environment. The display properly reacts to head and body movement as if it were a real window creating a realistic illusion of depth and space.
Boom Blox, it has been revealed will feature single player, co-op and multiplayer modes, in a title said to be perfectly suited to the Wii’s motion sensing controls. Gamers’ brains will be racked over 300 levels and across four themed environments (Tiki, Medieval, Frontier, and Haunted), where we are promised to come across the likes of block-laying chickens and baseball-throwing monkeys.
To extend the gameplay even more, Boom Blox includes a Create Mode in which players can design and build their own block puzzles using blocks, props and characters unlocked during the main game. Whether creating structures simply for artistic purposes or to challenge friends, both can be shared with friends over the Nintendo Wi-Fi Connection.
One word for today’s revalation: cool. Could this be an early window into the future of Wii titles? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.