Gabe Newell, the leader of video game developer and now hardware maker Valve, believes that one of the core elements of the future of gaming will be biometric data, which will be first integrated into controllers in order to allow players to better interact with their experiences.
Speaking to The Verge at the CES 2013 event, he stated, “Biometrics on the other hand is essentially adding more communication bandwidth between the game and the person playing it, especially in ways the player isn’t necessarily conscious of. Biometrics gives us more visibility. Also, gaze tracking. We think gaze tracking is gonna turn out to be super important.”
Newell has admitted that he believes we have already seen the limits of motion tracking, as used by the Kinect from Microsoft, the PlayStation Move from Sony and the Wii from Nintendo, with Wii Sports the game that best captured the possibilities of the tech.
Rumors suggest that both the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox 720 might include better motion tracking integration.
The game maker added, “We look at that, and for us at least, as a games developer, we can’t see how it makes games fundamentally better. On the controller side, the stuff we’re thinking of is kind of super boring stuff all around latency and precision.”
The Valve leader believes that biometric data is capable of delivering more information about the player, including his emotions and feelings, than simple motion tracking, because it focuses on the whole body rather than just on the hands.
In 2012, Valve hired a number of talented hardware creators and decided that it would explore a number of possible devices.
The most talked about of them is the new Steam box, which might compete with home consoles, but a potential biometric controller that actually works might have a much bigger impact on the future of gaming.