Following Microsoft's E3 reveal of its Project Natal 3D camera controller for Xbox 360, the company has officially confirmed for the first time the acquisition of Israeli camera tech house 3DV Systems.
"The R&D center helped Microsoft in buying the intellectual property of 3DV Systems, and in the wake of that dozens of the company's employees were recruited to work at the development center," said Moshe Lichtman, Microsoft corporate VP and head of Israel R&D said, according to Israeli business website Globes Online
Lichtman spoke during the R&D center's annual press conference, where he attempted to reassure attendees about the health of the center in the wake of layoffs that occurred in January, according to the report.
Globes Online said Israel's Antitrust Authority recently approved the deal. Gamasutra contacted the IAA for confirmation, but has yet to receive a reply.
In February, reports surfaced that Microsoft was considering a $35 million acquisition
of 3DV, which is responsible for the depth-sensing Z-cam digital camera. But Microsoft had yet to officially confirm that it had in fact purchased the company.
At E3 in early June, Microsoft debuted Project Natal
, a camera-based control system that senses body movement and requires no handheld controller.
At that time, Globes Online claimed that tech from 3DV and fellow Israeli company Prime Sense serve as the basis for Project Natal.
Although Lichtman reportedly said that his division helped Microsoft in acquiring 3DV, he wouldn't confirm that 3DV was actually involved in Project Natal, saying only, "when there's something to tell, we'll do so."
Israel Antitrust Authority information specialist Shimi Yaakobian confirmed the deal to Gamasutra on Wednesday, stating: "The IAA had approved on April 30, 2009 the merger between Microsoft Corporation and 3DV."]