Microsoft recently patented a next-generation video game system that sounds a lot like the start of a Star Trek-style "holodeck," reports NBC News. Pictures filed with the patent show a device that projects images on the walls of the room around the game system, along with a "depth camera" and "user tracking device" (like the Kinect) so the user can interact with the game. It may or may not require 3D headgear.
Microsoft calls it an "immersive display environment," that will serve mostly to engage gamers' peripheral vision. So while players will still be focused on their central screens, "they may be aware of an approaching video game enemy" from the side, the patent says. There's no indication of when the technology might hit the market, but the patent is likely to fuel rumors about the upcoming Xbox 720.