Daily Digest: 5 ways Kinect 2 could improve motion gaming
10th Aug 2012 | 16:15
This morning the first supposed image of a Kinect 2 development kit appeared online. But just what does a 'next-gen' motion sensor entail?
Using the infamous leaked Xbox 720 design docs - confirmed real by a CVG development source - we've deducted five features and improvements you can expect from Kinect 2 - and why it could drastically revolutionise what you define as 'motion gaming.
Basically, no more waggle...
*Disclaimer: The information hereinbelow is taken from an Xbox 720 design document written in 2010. Some of the details will have been revised, perhaps extensively. For more information on the reliability of the data, go here
Microsoft's next-gen plans look to outright double-up on the system's capabilities by the time the next generation Xbox arrives in 2013.
At the centre of Microsoft's Kinect Version 2 plan is what the leaked 2010 document calls "stereo sensors, i.e. two cameras/microphones". The console set-up uses two separate cameras, placed either side of the TV which is said will offer "full-body hi precision" motion control for many players. The tag line in the document is "closer, wider, deeper".
Through various software updates, Microsoft has progressed Kinect's capabilities since launch to offer a more reliable, accurate experience.
However a "dedicated processor", improved microphone, and enhanced RGB cam mean that Kinect version 2 will be able to allow for "four players, sitting or standing" as well as sophisticated technology that can register props such as baseball bats. Whack.
Don't laugh: Next-generation Augmented Reality shades will be the show-stopping centrepiece of Microsoft's Xbox 720 offering.
Described in Microsoft's leaked 720 files as "Kinect Shades", the unique peripheral will allow several players to view moving augmented reality images simultaneously. Theoretically, with Kinect communicating with the shades, player positions can be identified and thus multiple people can see the same moving AR image from different viewpoints.
The Microsoft document claims the device will be a "breakthrough in heads-up and hands-free devices".
Kinect on the go
By 2015, Microsoft could issue a Mobile Glasses SDK to studios. In the 2010 doc the company promises that developers can utilise a "low dev cost for building 'connected' glasses experiences on the go".
It is believed that Xbox Live's cloud service will be central to the experience, with data pulled over a 4G connection. The document's pitch to developers is: "Build heads up/hands free next gen immersive experiences for mobile computing. Incorporate the real world into your storytelling."
No more lag
The current Kinect sensor is limited by the processing power of the Xbox 360 itself, and thus not every experience is as lag free as it could be without the restraints of current-gen processing power.
Current Kinect sensors are said to be compatible with Microsoft's next-gen Xbox, and via software updates the platform holder could easily update the sensor to track way more than is capable on Xbox 360, including users' finger movements and clothes.