It's not in the business of making games any more and owes its employees and creditors a truckload of cash, but these niggling issues haven't stopped Team Bondi from picking up a Breakthrough Award from Popular Mechanics for its MotionScan technology in LA Noire.
LA Noire and MotionScan are among ten innovations recognised by the magazine this year, and include the Microsoft Kinect for Windows Software Development Kit (but not Kinect itself, which received the award in 2009) and a rather brown-looking smog-eating tile.
Here's what PopSci had to say:
It's the video game that could provide a definitive response to the question, can games be art? Cinema-grade MotionScan technology allows actors, such as Mad Men's Aaron Staton (seated), to actually play their characters (inset), giving Rockstar Games' L.A. Noire an exhilarating level of realism. A detective's brow furrows in frustration. A witness's lips purse. When suspects lie, it's revealed in the lines of their faces. The effect is at once uncanny and cinematic—and certainly unprecedented. Gamers will never look back.
I imagine we'll be looking back a lot, actually, seeing as the tech (at least branded as MotionScan) might never appear in a game again.
The 10 Most Innovative Tech Products of 2011 [Popular Mechanics]