Kinect Getting an Upgrade?

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I’ll admit to being far more impressed by Kinect once it was properly configured in my own home than I was at any of the pre-launch events. It really is some suitably impressive technology, even if its applications for core gaming aren’t quite apparent at the moment.

According to reports and magic anonymous insiders, that may change.

Have you ever wondered why Kinect hackers have been able to do such incredible things with the device on their PC’s – including tracking fine details like fingers – but none of the Xbox 360 Kinect games have that level of fidelity?

The reason is that Microsoft have purposefully soft-locked the device on the 360. Though the hardware’s depth sensor is capable of capturing at a resolution of 640×480, it’s currently throttled down to using only half the USB bandwidth, and recording at 320×240. The artificial limit is in place to ensure that other USB devices plugged in to the 360 continue to function.

Microsoft is apparently very hard at work figuring out a way to further compress the data sent through the USB port – and if they manage to open the depth sensor up to its full resolution, it’ll will effectively quadruple its accuracy and allow for finger and wrist tracking. Should they tackle the bandwidth problem, it’s assumed that the upgrade will be delivered via system update.

There is a caveat, in that more compression might lead to more CPU overhead – meaning more accurate, but worse looking games.

Source : Eurogamer

Last Updated: December 21, 2010

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