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Kinect Will Work if You’re Sitting Down

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Gamers can be pretty lazy. We know this – it’s our namesake. When word from E3 was that Kinect wouldn’t be able to track your body if you were seated, Microsoft fans were up in arms – while others just pointed an laughed.

Although Microsoft asserted that by the time Kinect hits retail, it would be able to accommodate seated gamers, many developers said otherwise. Thanks to a few system changes, the questions over whether or not couch potatoes could still use Kinect are now over.

Speaking to Eurogamer, Blitz Games Studios co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Andrew Oliver revealed what the changes to the system are. In the past, the system would use the base of the spine as the base node from which it tracks the skeleton. When seated, this node would be obscured, making tracking seated gamers a tricky task.

Now, the system uses the back of the neck as the base – making for a much more logical tracking system.

“It means that should the bottom of your torso get confused with the sofa, because your bum and your legs are enveloped inside the sofa, it doesn’t matter because your hands and arms are still working,” said Oliver.

“You can do most actions. A few months ago they changed stuff around. A lot of developers were like, ‘Oh my God! Everything’s broken,’ because all the nodes were moved. But then it was like, ‘Oh, actually, this is more logical.”

The improved system won’t affect the launch games, as they were too far in development to take advantage of the new software changes.

The change is a good thing for “core” gamers. It means the likelihood of traditional controller-based games with supplementary Kinect integration increases significantly – and we may actually start getting games tailored to us, instead of the Wii crowd.

Source : Eurogamer

Last Updated: October 18, 2010

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