A few weeks ago I had a conversation with Mobile Insider Steve Smith about the future of augmented reality for games. We covered near every aspect of the topic (or so I thought), from the
practicality of certain technology implementations, to the PlayStation Eye.
I think we failed to discuss the impact the Nintendo DSi would bring to the space, though. This news item
a Swedish game that will use the camera on the DSi to provide an augmented reality "ghost hunting" experience, caught me by surprise. Though it makes sense -- the DSi is a logical
choice for an augmented reality game. It has two cameras, Wi-Fi, two screens, a touch interface, and the hardware capabilities are uniform across all devices (unlike the mobile AR market).
So that's cool, but many of my reservations about the general AR gaming possibilities hold up here as well. The tech is just too finicky to see it being well received in a production
game. I do think the future looks quite bright for augmented reality as a technology; heck, its future's so bright I've gotta wear shades. But for the present, well, it just gives
off an eerie glow.
Where I think we'll see the DSi's camera shine in the near future is with real world 2D codes or images being used to enhance in-game elements. But I'm
skeptical we'll see a high quality, real-time AR experience on the DSi before Nintendo's next generation of portable is released. While I wish the best to Ghostwire, I have a sneaking
suspicion that the name is more prophetic than it intends.