Sony's 4K vs. Microsoft's Illumiroom: Which Will Reign Supreme Next-Generation?

GR's DeShaun Zollicoffer writes:

Sony is pushing 4K TVs and Microsoft just unveiled Illumiroom, a research project that will make game’s more immersive. Each could play a vital role in their company’s next-generation consoles, but which will reign supreme? Is this the PS3's Blu-ray vs the 360's HD DVD (add-on) all over again?

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TheGamerDood2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

Why not compare it to the same tech that Sony is currently developing?

Root2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

I didn't know Sony was doing something similar


You know whats going to happen now, even though Sony has been going through the same ideas before or at the same time as MS, if MS bring it out first then everyone will automaticaly say Sony is copying Microsoft. You know what people are like these days towards Sony.

Anyway I would choose the 4k experience if I had to choose but it will be a while before we all have 4k tvs in our living room since the tec is a while off.

It's like the blu ray player situation all over again, remember back in 2006 all you got was "Blu ray isn't going to take off" or "Blu ray is dead on arrival, it's going to die sooner or later". Sony seem to think too far a head entertainment wise that when it's shown off were like "That's awesome but I don't see how we're ALL going to experience that"

Halochampian2013d ago

Yet one requires you to have people dressed up in spandex in your room and have your entire room be a screen.

2013d ago
Soldierone2013d ago

@Halochampian, Sony actually demonstrated a game like MS did this year, at last years CES too. It was part of their PlayStation presentation. The camera scanned the room then "changed" everything, but he was still just playing a game.

NeverEnding19892013d ago

"You know what people are like these days towards Sony"

Uhh. Getting upset because mother-SONY is being wronged again?

You may be right with your idea though. Microsoft will take existent technology, innovate it and make it there own, and successfully market it and people WILL think that it is solely Microsoft technology.

Meanwhile, SONY will let there technology die and when you look to prove SONY did it first, people will have no idea what SONY's version is because they've never heard of it. Just like with the Eyetoy...or whatever you call that thing.

You'd think SONY would learn...

pixelsword2013d ago

If you haven't noticed, Microsoft was founded on capitalizing on other people's ideas.

Windows coming from IBM, for example.

I'm not bashing MS, but here's the lesson, Sony:

If you have an idea, go with it and dedicate yourself to it; don't wait until someone takes your idea and have you look like the one catching up.

Athonline2013d ago

4K is way better in the long run. Small monitors, laptops, etc can take advantage of it. Illumiroom sounds cool, but you need:
-A projector.
-Kinect, which means a mandatory usage of MS technology.
-Space to set it up and walls to display on.

While with 4K all you need is a monitor and a source with the supporting resolution. Because we are talking about resolution increase, companies like Samsung, LG, etc do not really have to licence anything, expect if they want to roll out 4K Blu-Ray players. ;-)

Already Samsung and other companies rolled out 4K TVs. Even Apple with Macbook Pro Retina, showed that near 4K resolution in a laptop is possible.

Full HD 1080P was in development since late 80s. I went through my dad's archive -he used to be a tech journalist from 88 to 94- some years ago and he had documented the technology, for NDA he couldn't publish much details. Why they took so much to kick off? They needed to be affordable first. Same with 4k, it is in development for a longer time than unveiled, it is expensive at the moment, but give it 4-5 years. Even 1080P was expensive 5-6 years ago.

In my University's research lab for image processing, they mainly research on higher than 4K 3D TVs at the moment. Unfortunately I am a software developer and not allowed to use them...-.-'

Lavagasm2013d ago

I like how NeverEnding said the same exact thing as pixelsword and he got 20 disagrees to pixelsword's zero.

blackbeld2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

So Sony will take Microsoft to the court?

Same like Apple vs Samsung for years?

Hope not gonna happen.

Personal I will go for the 4K.

And for Illumiroom your living room should be dark to experience it fully.

Athonline2013d ago


Agree with you about MS. Just a small correction:
Windows don't come from IBM. Bill Gates in 1981 sold to IBM with an initial fee and licence fees per unit (a unique agreement for that time) for an OS they didn't have! After the meeting and getting the initial money, MS bought QDOS from a local programmer, edited it in IBM 's specifications and launched MS-DOS 1.0 in August 81... Now the idea for a GUI (Graphical User Interface) built on-top of MS-DOS came after Bill Gates visited Apple, where he saw both the Macintosh and Lisa projects with GUIs.
Windows 1.0 were born a few years later based on Apple's GUI, after Bill gained access to a pre-released version as he wanted to "develop software" for it.
PS: Apple stole the GUI idea from XEROX Alto and Star computers, which came from PARC, which stole the idea from NSL, etc...

Yes the computing and in extension the technology industry is built on "stolen" products. Just some companies invest more in R&D to develop/ improve a concept, like 4K which is an improvement on HD and some others invest in R&D to steal/ edit a product for re-lunch. And there are sooo many R&D original ideas that never see the light....

XB1_PS42013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

I think it's funny that @NeverEnding1989 and @pixelsword's comment are almost the same thing.

One highlighted that Sony would be letting technology die. Yet Microsoft would make it better.

The other says that Sony should make better use of technology instead of letting it die.. And Microsoft just steals everything.

The first one isn't accepted by N4g. The second is. Sony's side runs this site.

If I ended this in "I love Sony" i would get agrees, but if I ended in "I love Microsoft" I would get way less.

-Posted from my sweet, sweet Vita.

ElectricKaibutsu2013d ago

I don't know why people disagree with you. It's like no one ever watched Pirates of Silicon Valley :).

Posted from your Vita, eh? Well then I have to agree with you.

4k TVs are definitely the future. Display resolutions will just keep getting higher and higher until people forget about such things as pixels. Still, 1080p TVs look great. If you're sitting on a couch 15 feet away from a TV I doubt you could tell the difference between a 4k TV and a 1080p TV unless they were sitting side by side. And even if it is a noticeable improvement, is anyone still wow'd by their TVs they've had for years? After I got an HD TV I got used to it in a week. It's like when you get a new computer or smartphone, you think "Wow! It's so pretty and fast!" Then a week later you just think "Load the stupid webpage you piece of crap. Why is this taking more than 2 seconds?"

When it comes to gaming, the next consoles unfortunately won't be able to take advantage of 4k. So from a gamer's only perspective Microsoft's tech is more useful because, well, you can actually use it. That technology exists right now and it's just the software they need to work on. Yeah, it's totally gimmicky, and would suck or be pointless for a lot of games, but I think for something like survival horror it could be great. Imagine shadows out of the corner of your eye? Or imagine an FPS where instead of thinking "Gah! Who's shooting me??" You think "Gah! That guy by my piano is shooting me."

Outside_ofthe_Box2013d ago


The difference between NeverEnding1989's comment and pixelsword's comment is this:

***"Uhh. Getting upset because mother-SONY is being wronged again?"***

Totally unnecessary. Also, NeverEnding1989's trolling past could have play a part as well.

knowyourstuff2012d ago

The Microsoft idea of displaying a picture outside of your tv will only work in a small number of rooms - those with a wall mounted tv and plenty of space on either side. If you have yours in a cabinet, or in a place that is well out from the wall on a stand, or the room isn't exactly square to your tv, this may not exactly work as well as when a tv is wall mounted, so I doubt this will catch on.
Also, 4K tv's will be like computer screens, with really high end resolutions you can have perfect looking anti aliasing, no pixellation that you can see with your eye, just like cameras and high end video equipment.

Syntax-Error2012d ago

MS didnt steal windows from IBM, they used IBM's money to buy it from a local programmer for $40K. It wasn't windows it was DOS. Second, Sony didn't create the WALKMAN. So don't think for a second that Sony creates all these new ideas.

Vames2012d ago

Doesn't matter who came up with the idea first, it all comes down to who got the balls to bring it to market.

Sony was testing motion long before Nintendo, but the company lacked balls and foresight and Nintendo came and stole its thunder.

Thing is, if Microsoft comes to market first with its IllumiRoom and it becomes a success, Sony is to blame and fanboys have no right to jump and moan about who copied who because no one really knows how long some companies have been working on stuff in the labs.

Lvl_up_gamer2012d ago

How do you know how long MS have been working on this tech?

Just because you see Sony working on the same principles doesn't mean they started it first.

lfclee2012d ago

Your wrong 4k is already out you mean 8k will be out in a few years time making 3d obsolete !

badz1492012d ago

all tv makers out there are going 4k and it's gonna be the industry standards sooner than we think! so...this was never MS vs Sony to begin with. flamebait much?

TAURUS-5552012d ago

4K ¡¡¡

its obvious 4K is gonna reign over the next decade just like the bluray won over the crappy HDDVD.

illuminroom ?..who needs that ?

Gamer19822012d ago

4K will fail unlike blu-ray as only gaming will use it. Movies wont be in 4k for at least 6 years neither will TV be broadcast in 4k for about as long. So nobody will get 4K tvs meaning it will be pointless on PS3 or 720.

Athonline2012d ago


Just some people are closed minded, fanboys, who want to defend "their" brands... People fail to understand: Corporation invest R&D in order to launch new products, improve existing ones and get the attention of the media. All they want at the end is profit, not to innovate! The only people who wanted to innovate at the first place are either idle/part-time developers and academic stuff who does the initial research.

Pirates of the Silicon Valley was a great movie! Really underrated. Even if you didn't watch it, still the things I said are commonly mention in technology articles, IT history articles/ books and even wikipedia!

And if you ever did a Computing or Engineering degree at Uni, you will know how R&Ds work...

And because I mention MS, Apple, Sony in my posts: I am posting using my Macbook Pro which I use for software development and photo editing, but I also got a Windows tower and two virtual machines (one linux -for C/C++ programming, one Windows for gaming) on my Macbook. Moreover I own both a PS3 and a 360. No I do not favour any platform, I use multiple platforms for different things.

Back to topic:
I agree with you. 4K is the future for entertainment.

Illumiroom is great for survival horror games, but it will be extremely MS platform depending, thus developers -both audio/visual equipment and games- will more likely ignore it.

deafdani2012d ago

You know, in the end it doesn't matter who came up with an idea first. What matters to the public perception is who POPULARISED it and made it mainstream, who had the balls to go full force with an idea instead of just experimenting with it.

This is why Nintendo is given credit for the popularity of motion controls, despite Sony having experimented with it years before the Wii - and for that matter, Sega did it much, much earlier with the Activator, not to mention Nintendo's own Power Glove... but none of them matter, because it was with the Wii Remote that motion controls became succesful and mainstream.

This is why Nintendo is given credit for analog sticks, because they made it standard with the N64... but there were other companies that tried it first.

This is why Nintendo is given credit for wireless controllers, because their Wavebird was the best and most reliable of them all at the moment in the market, making it incredibly popular... despite other companies having their own wireless controllers first...

This is why Microsoft gets all the credit for the popularisation and standardisation of online gaming on consoles... despite Sega trying it much before with the Dreamcast, and heck, even Nintendo and Sega had (very primitive) online implementations with the SNES and Genesis. Not to mention PC gaming, which had online play several years before Microsoft came along with the original Xbox. But Microsoft's LIVE service was the first online service that made online play an INTEGRAL part of the console.

And this is why SONY gets massive credit for the popularisation of the blu-ray technology, because they took a MASSIVE risk making it the main format for the PS3, making it incredibly expensive to make, and they lost a lot of money per console sold for years... but in the end, it's in a BIG part thanks to them, and the PS3, that blu ray is so popular now. And if another game console uses blu ray technology, people will ALWAYS remember that Sony were the ones that made it matter.

sikbeta2012d ago

Illumiroom works like a projector? asking because I missed it :(

So, Illumiroom VS head mounted display?

ThanatosDMC2012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )


But we like Pixelsword more.

papashango2012d ago

Thing about 4k is It's not a Sony tech. this is
a resolution that's been a long time coming in the tech world pc monitors have long since surpassed 1080p for years and with eyefinity resolutions 4k can be surpassed

+ Show (22) more repliesLast reply 2012d ago
GalacticEmpire2013d ago

It really looks like MS have shamelessly ripped this off, however they'll market it as something completely new that they invented and make BILLIONS $$$$$ Mwa hahahaaaaa!

Cueil2012d ago

No... it's not even remotely the same... the concept is the same, but it's about execution and Sony totally ripped off Star Trek right... I understand that people have loyalties tied up in thousands of dollars worth of hardware and software, but lets all agree that the end result is the holodeck and that we all expect to be alive when it happens.

RememberThe3572012d ago

As long as it gives Ballmer enought money to bring the Sonics back, I don't care what they steal.

Reibooi2013d ago

Personally for me I care more about 4k. While granted it's a bit early to be talking about it being widely used(I honestly doubt the next gen will use it and would very surprised if it does) it seems so much more impressive to me.

Sure there is a certain novelty to something like this Illumiroom and the Sony made version that they have been working on but at the end of the day it still feels like a gimmick. It's like how 3D is. Yeah it's cool and all but it really doesn't add anything. Whereas 4K can genuinely allow for more detail, realism and immersion to a certain extent.

Anon19742013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

It's a ways off to be talking about affordable 4k yet, but it makes sense given the time frame we're talking here. If the PS4 launches in 2014 and is anticipated to last 10 years, who knows what TV's will be available in 2020. Might as well build support in.

The illumiroom idea I think is a cool feature, but not extremely practical. I use a 1080p projector in my man-cave for gaming and it's fantastic! If you have a projector why would you use it for effects around a TV? Kinda defeats the purpose of having a projector setup.

At the moment I'm not really interested in either of these. I'm waiting for the 3d projectors to drop down in price and improve in quality.

TheGamerDood2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

The problem with 4K at the moment is the lack of content and it's going to take years for content providers to catch up to the new tech. DirecTV currently streams in 1080i not even 1080p. pfft! :/

Tr10wn2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

There is no way the next gen of console will use 4K TV no one will pay $20,000 for a TV and that's the cheapest one from Samsung the Sony one will cost $25,000 and thats leaving the fact that a single movie in 4K is around 160GB so you will need what for a game? 8 blu rays disc?

"The illumiroom idea I think is a cool feature, but not extremely practical. I use a 1080p projector"

They are making this around a TV not a projector, i know what you mean but MS think big and honestly not many people use projectors now day they are focused more on the main stream.

Seraphemz2013d ago

@thegamerdood - I get 1080p on my direct tv...dont know what you have though.

TheGamerDood2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

I was right damn it! You people owe me an apology! :P

"There are no 1080p broadcast channels, as Jimmie says the only 1080p is some PPV movies. All other HD is either 720p or 1080i. If you have a 1080p TV, all signals are converted to 1080p for display.

And as Jimmie mentions the format for the 1080p PPV is 1080p/24. Your TV might not be compatible with that format. If not, then just use 1080i. The picture quality will be the same."


That sh*t won't be at E3. lol It could take years for Sony since they're trying to do that full immersion sh*t. MS on the other hand might debut it this year but again look at the quality of the tech it looks mad sketchy and no where near the level of detail that Sony has.

Seraphemz2013d ago

Gamerdood - as I stated in the PM

1.) Direct TV doesnt control what TV stations broadcast its not their fault.

2.) Your comment stated "DirecTV currently streams in 1080i not even 1080p. pfft! :/ " STREAMS...and they DO STREAM in 1080p.

And as I showed you, they do STREAM in 1080p. PPV and VOD full 1080p...

Too bad you ran out of bubbles...

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 2013d ago
anti-gamer2013d ago

it an old tec I remember when some companies talk abut it since 2010 such as sony and lg it was called 3D Mapping and it was plant to use it at cinema.

Cirran2013d ago

Can't wait to have friends over dressed up with the invisible men suit things whilst helping me play my immersive games.


Bigpappy2013d ago

They don't look like the same thing to me. But we shall see what they have by E3.

Abdou232013d ago

Neither, simple answer.

fei-hung2013d ago

headline is bullcrap anyway.

Sony tech is ready and out there. Almost evey cinema I go to uses Sony 4k Digital projection on a screen or another.

4K TV's will very soon be on shop shelves if they aren't already.

MS's tech is in very early development stage and as the article tells us, they are doing research into still.Considering most people are banking for MS and Sony to release their next gen consoles this year, do we really think MS will take this project from research and early prototype stage into full release and produtcion.

Tr10wn2012d ago

$20,000 is the cheapest go get them boy! oh and btw i dont know if you know but those 4K cinemas use upscaling resolution and they are no way near the real deal that is 4K, a single movie in 4K is 160gb, 4K isnt ready for market and there is still alot to be done before its marketable just think about it a movie is around the 160gb, now what about a game? 340gb for a Triple A game? count those blu rays or get ready to spent another $1000 on HDD only.

The tech is ready and in the future will be a reality but there is no use to it right now because is too expensive.

fei-hung2012d ago


I was going to write a lengthy reponse to break things down word for word, but since you completely missed the point, which was very simple, I won't bother.

UnholyLight2013d ago

I hate how everyone is jumping on the bandwagon of "Will 4k fail?". People claim dead on arrival but come on do we really know for sure? Just like Plasma/LCD/LED/OLED etc as our knowledge continues to grow 4k WILL be a reality and will become more affordable just like the stuff I mentioned above did. People are just broken records it seems and love to say that something will not work, when in reality, it will eventually begin to take over what we consider normal in the living room at this time.

ArmrdChaos2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

...and Sony was developing the big bang years before it actually happened. /s

These pissing contests are a a pathetic kinda way.

Beastforlifenoob2012d ago

Journalist like comparing everything they see with each other, even if the comparison is utterly stupid and should not have been done :l

shutUpAndTakeMyMoney2012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )

Lol sony wins! wow!! Epic!

I knew what MS was doing is cool but what sony did I din't know was possible..

I hope ps4 uses it to a certain degree. Sony will have more games to try it on..

"Yet one requires you to have people dressed up in spandex in your room and have your entire room be a screen."

Yet you think because sony did more they can't do less like MS?

RuperttheBear2012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )

Yeah those vids are so cool. I love the way he wears a box on his head. And half a melon. And the way people in spandex are moving things around for him, although the price of those spandex people must be a bit costly. I'm not sure how many spandex people I'll need in my room, probably quite a few.

You're right, that's the future right there. Spandex People Technology™.

nukeitall2012d ago

The thing is, with MS showing they did it with a low cost Kinect and a project (those LED projects can be had cheaply these days).

However, Sony's implementation seems cool, but doesn't seem intended for production use i.e. costly setup. Looks cool, but likely not practical.

It's like when Kinect was released it was (and probably still is) the only motion capture system in it's price range. Sure there are many much better, but there price tag is astronomical in comparison.

These large companies like MS and Sony (less Nintendo) has the money to do all these things, but it is all about management being able to plan, execute and make a product people are willing to buy. That is key!

fatstarr2012d ago

Main stream isn't ready for 4k
The data streaming itself would kill 90% of all households
Some computers can't even keep up with such quality
Watch some real 4k videos on YouTube and see the strain and lag

We aren't ready for it technology wise
Ex crysis meets the 8800gtx at max settings

bunfighterii2012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )

Sony already announced a 4K content service, and 4K bluray releases for later this year at CES. 4K is simply what HD was 10 years ago and what Full HD was 5-6 years ago. They were big, expensive and everyone was saying 'Why do I need HD and Bluray/HD DVD when I've got DVD'.

My parents only recently replaced the first HD Plasma TV they bought in 2004. It's a Pioneer, and at the time it cost around $15,000. It still gets used at their beach house now.

Sony etc are already talking about sub-$10,000 4K sets. Mark my words, it'll catch on before you know it and in 2 years 4K sets will be under $5,000 snd there'll be much more content floating around.

This 4K push only strengthens recent rumours that PS4 will support 4K too IMO. My guess though is for movies, not games. Sony said themselves at CES there are BluRay discs that can accommodate 4k content. PS4 will probably have some kind of updated BluRay drive that supports newer, higher capacity 4k discs.

nukeitall2012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )

I don't think 4K will really catch on any time soon, and when it does your console won't be able to output anything near that quality. PCs? sure!

4K is way into the future, especially when HD is just going mainstream. Let me repeat that, *JUST*.

Who knows, it might even be the DVD vs BR again. Meaning the jump in quality wasn't enough for people to rush out and upgrade, so instead the technology just simply fell in price until the difference was negligible and it became the standard.

Beastforlifenoob2011d ago

What Sub-10k 4K sets well thats cheap I'm going to buy one tommoworw

DiRtY2012d ago

If I buy this for let's say $300, will I get 4 of santa's little helpers for the rest of my (or their) live?


4k is a resolution everybody does.
MS concept uses Kinect, which is MS only.

metroid322012d ago (Edited 2012d ago )

4k is going to be for video playbk on Netflix,LoveFilm,Blu-rays,ect Netflix are supporting Super HD as we speak on WiiU and Windows8 it's not games no matter what anyone says there arn't gpu's out there that could support 4k resolution at an acceptable frame rate END OF,a console upgrade in a future WiiU/PS4/720 would make sense.

And for projecting the game world in your room that is daft in my eyes it's just too chaotic and it's all visual instead of immersion.

WiiU/PS4 ect will support Full 1080p Natively on all games in the future so will 720 ect but in say 5 years or more there should be an upgrade so you can also run games in 4k if required ie same games but at 4k not another generation of consoles as i think they will stretch this one out for at least 10 years or more so they can max them out.

gedapeleda2012d ago

Nice video dood, imagine being there blazed as fua8k.

TAURUS-5552012d ago

illumiroom is childish, as simple as that.

+ Show (14) more repliesLast reply 2011d ago
iamnsuperman2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

The illumiroom is a massive gimmick that doesn't look like it adds anything. It is like projecting on anywall with stuff on the wall it looks out of place and cheap. There is a reason why projections need a white screen/background to project on.

The marketing video for it isn't even that good (considering the marketing video for the then called project natal which promised a lot and show new flashy things)

This doesn't mean I think 4K is the better option and I personally see it a waste of resources especially when TV services can't support it because they can't broadcast it (technology is way off) so why is a consumer going to buy it if they can't watch normal 4K tv.

Answer both are not

EddieNX 2013d ago

It's not gunna be Native 4K video games. To render their games in 4K they will have to sacrifice a ridiculous amount of fidelity. So the 4K will just be some useless , Poser , Bluray upscaling or some shite....

I hope microsoft goes ahead with their Illuminati room and watch the wiiu dominate.

All the kids will be throwing Kinnect grenades and at the kitchen wall in the next CoD , sigh....

Muerte24942013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

games run at 2160 x 1600 with last years gpus. Tegra 4 is running 4k (video resolution) and also can run Unreal Engine 4 (nvidia shield tech demo Ces 2013). Just saying.

militant072012d ago

It's not like Sony own 4k or anything... stupid article, its being developed by Samsung/LG/tosh..etc

TheRealHeisenberg2012d ago

I figured that. I should have elaborated but I'm not a man of many words.

I'll pass on 4k because it looks like I simply can't afford the tech. I'll pass on Illumiroom simply because it seems gimmicky to me.

Belking2013d ago

Holodeck stuff isn't new. It's been around for years. I know for a fact that the US military has been using for years for in their training simulators.

Cueil2012d ago

it's not like the idea hasn't been floating around out there for years

EddieNX 2013d ago (Edited 2013d ago )

Illumirom VS irrelivant and expensive 4K video output - Winner = Nintendo Wiiu

Unless the games are Native 4K , then Suported 4K resoloution is just Sony's desire to bleed money out of their assless ass and aim at a market that simply doesn't exist...

Enemy2013d ago

I'm sorry man, you have no games or specs.