I'm sure many people have been asking themselves this question since we discovered that the Xbox One will be coming with a Kinect and also since this addition is the main cause for the price difference between the Xbox One and the PS4. So, after the original Kinect that didn't do much for the core game, why should players even want this new Kinect? The new Kinect is indeed important and should definitely be bundled with every Xbox for the following reasons.
This is a very heavy subject as of late due to the PRISM program and the fact that Microsoft is one of the known companies the government is forcing to reveal their consumer's information. Kinect, Xbox and Microsoft get hit a little too hard on this one, mainly because they should be the least of gamer's worries on a list that includes every US phone company and Google. Also because Microsoft has already come forward publicly and stated that almost all Kinect features can be turned off to the point of taping the entire thing and throwing it behind your TV. If Microsoft was really using the Kinect as a spy device players wouldn't be able to block the camera, microphone or other device features.
I'm not saying that players shouldn't be worried about personal security, but the Kinect is hardly something to fret over when the average house is filled with phone cameras, laptops, tablets and TVs. One reason why people think the Kinect is built for spying is that it must be connected to your console for your console to operate. However the reality of the situation is that if Microsoft could have built the camera into the box itself they would have. The reason why it must be connected is also clear and that reason is the make sure that developers know that every Xbox has a Kinect meaning that they will invest time on making Kinect actually useful for gaming.
The paranoid among us are only going to have a worse time in the coming years and decades as more cameras and microphones are added in our private devices and in public places. These people are going to have to understand that this is where the future is heading and just because you have cameras and microphones in your house it doesn't mean you cannot continue to have personal privacy. The saddest part about all of this is that the people that are most vocal most likely have their own details, opinions and fetishes spread across the internet already for all to see by their own hands.
Don't be fooled by the fact that this is the second Kinect the reality is that pretty much all devices like this initially launch to test the waters and effectively make customers beta testers. This new Kinect is really in all sense and purposes the real Kinect and makes the original version look like a toy. People might feel violated by this idea but I see it as nothing different from programs like Kickstarter and it's a common business practice for just about every company and even more so for technology companies. Buying a first generation device can always be a risk and in my opinion the risk taken by original Kinect purchasers was not done in vain and I thank them for allowing Microsoft to see that this technology could have a future.
1080p Camera, 3-Infrared Arrays, Stereo-microphones and two on board silicon chips. The new Kinect is packing some serious hardware under the hood and finally allows it to become a camera that has improved as much as the Xbox One has over the Xbox 360. I'm really trying to not exaggerate here but the potential of the Kinect is now higher than it ever has been and has finally reached a point where it can no longer be considered a gimmick even by the core. One thing many do not know is that this is the first Kinect built entirely in house by Microsoft and shows that Microsoft is improving greatly in creating hardware.
The software is as important as the hardware and Microsoft showed off some great tech demonstrations for multiple publications during E3. The first major improvement to point out would be that the Kinect 2 can now track up to six people at a time compared to only two people with the original Kinect. In my honest opinion the most impressive demonstration was the new block and muscle models used be the Kinect to determine realistic articulation in joints and actual amount of force being used when punching or even what foot you're leaning on. It is of course bringing back the skeleton model that the original Kinect used but this time with increased accuracy and the ability to track hand gestures.
System-level features were even impressive with how the Xbox can now log you in by you simply just holding the controller in front of Kinect. If it's a unfamiliar Xbox it will automatically log you in as a guest further proving that data such as the information to even identify you is not being store in the cloud without your permission. Split-screen is even easier as now the Xbox can automatically switch you to the camera position your are playing on. Even if you were to get up and come back on the other side of a couch it will auto-adjust your position without your intervention.
On top of all this it can even read your blood pressure by watching the skin on your face and while doing this it will watch to see if you're talking and even if you're happy. To us this is nothing more than a gimmick in this current form but to a developer of a fitness or horror game this is huge potential for trying to get their players in shape safely and scaring the crap out of you. The visual improvements are not the only ones as the new microphone is heavily improved also. It has the ability to cancel out sounds in a living room full of 5.1 explosions and gun fire. It does this with directional microphones that can determine what audio is coming from what part of the room and cancel out any other audio allowing for clear voice chat with friends or yelling orders at troops on a beach being bombed. If this wasn't enough it will even watch who is talking so the Kinect knows exactly who is giving a command and will only take commands from that person.
The technology of this device is exciting for the consumer but the news that developers can know that 100% of Xbox One's will include this is even more exciting for them. This means that they can now develop new and creative experiences for every game from a core game to a family game and we will no longer see a black and white motion gaming atmosphere on Xbox like we did with the Xbox 360. While games hold huge potential they are only part of a puzzle which includes system-level features and Apps. Imagine playing RYSE with a buddy and you start to get hungry, well no problem just say "Xbox snap Dominos" now you have a dominos app snapped directly next to your game you are still playing. Now you can simply say "Buy the usual" and the app will automatically place a order and give you a highly useful dominos tracker to follow until you get your pizza while never having to stop playing your game.
This is only a single idea out of many that can come from a piece of technology like this and I'm very excited to see developers that are far more intelligent than I am push the boundaries of Kinect to make my gaming life easier for me to enjoy. Technology like Kinect should be supported in a world that respects technology as much as ours and it's sad to see companies like Sony that would sacrifice this technology just to gain a price advantage over a competitor. If I simply wanted a better hardcore gaming machine I would just stay with my PC but the Xbox One is offering unique experiences that will make the console more than just a more powerful Xbox 360.
Thank you for sticking with me if you have through this article and I hope I have opened some of the eyes of others that might have otherwise instantly scoffed at the idea of a new Kinect. I hope as we go forward technology advancements like this will become even more common place and can't wait to see what the technology industry has in store for us in the future. If you enjoyed this article please bookmark our site as this will be the first of many and we would love to hear your opinions on our site, podcasts and articles.
Hello folks! If you can't tell by the post name I am Michael from the podcast. Having been a member since episode 7 or so we've chatted about the Xbox One at great length. Now with the box set to be available only 11 hours from time of writing this I can only feel a great weight being lifted. Months of typing explanations, seeing Xbone til my eyes bleed (I want to smack myself for even typing that), and countless "scandals" that got equated to the resignation of a president. We all finally get to wrap our paws around years of research and more R&D than I even want to think about. And yet I must stay my excitement. I'm not getting a launch system, probably won't own one for months/years and probably won't even use one for a long time period than I want to think about. And considering the sleepless nights, the fear of seeing the system that I saw so much cool shit be created just for consumers, fail, really puts it all in perspective.
"Last week our friend Killer Rin provided a nice write up on the Xbox
One Truck Tour and this week our other good friend DSight, who was on Episode 7: Earbuds and HDMIs
of XVox, has gone to a private event in Toronto called "Area One" and
has brought with him written impressions, pictures and video. Make sure
if you have any questions regarding the impressions or of the event to
leave them on the bottom of this article." - Xbox Uncut
Our friend Andrew otherwise known as Killer Rin went to the Xbox One truck tour and has come back with pictures, video and a written impression on what he though about the console, controller and games at the event. Before continuing into his impressions below you can also check out his impressions on our podcast (Episode 14: Halo's Destiny) at 53 minutes for a little more of what he thought once he made it back from the event. Without further wait, take it away Andrew.
"As reported earlier Turn 10 has started their Forza Motorsport 5 Showroom today to show off new cars every Wednesday that will be in Forza Motorsport 5. This weeks car list includes a huge variety of different cars including SUVs, Hatchbacks, Supercars and Muscle cars. They've also included a list of all cars revealed so far up until now which of course includes 70's F1 cars and new Indy cars. Check out the list yourself and see what kind of awesome rides you'll be driving this November and also make sure to check out the two beautiful in-game pictures of a EVO X GSR and a GT-R R34 V-Spec II." - XboxUncut
"Turn 10 has announced that "a lot" more details are coming for Forza Motorsport 5 with the introduction of The Forza Motorsport 5 Showroom on Forza Motorsport.net. Beginning on Wednesday, September 25th, you'll be able to go to ForzaMotorsport.net and check out a collection of cars that will be in Forza Motorsport 5. This will continue every Wednesday until they complete the entire car list in November, they will also release more information about the car lineup on Twitter and Facebook so keep your eyes open and your engines revving! - XboxUncut