Microsoft flashes Xbox 360 camera

Microsoft has been offering teasing glimpses of the new webcam peripheral for the Xbox 360 at the Games Developers Conference in San Jose.While its pr

Microsoft has been offering teasing glimpses of the new webcam peripheral for the Xbox 360 at the Games Developers Conference in San Jose.

While its precise physical appearance remains a mystery – blurred pictures from the show suggest a slimmer form factor than the early shot above – leaked details from the brochure have clarified the spec.

The camera won’t just be for Playstation Eyetoy-style ‘gesture’ gaming. It’ll be able to record 640x480 pixel video at 30 fps and snap 1.3MP photos, which you can then send over Xbox Live.

An included microphone will let everyone in a room take part in video-chatting – unlike the personal headset you currently get – and a nine-foot long lead will let you drag it into different positions.

The gaming features are, though, the most interesting. No longer will Xbox Live be a faceless tussle between weird gamertags – you’ll be able to import your mug into games and put it next to your name on leaderboards.

Plenty of games that let you interact by waving limbs around are in the pipeline too – the conference brochure apparently showed two kids playing a snowboarding game via the camera.

Microsoft refused to comment on the new details and couldn’t provide an official launch date, but a UK supplier called Gameseek has listed a release date of 28th April and is taking pre-orders now for £40.