Home Gaming Microsoft expanding PC integration, Kinect again?

Microsoft expanding PC integration, Kinect again?

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HAL

I like the Xbox One. I think it’s a cool console and I certainly want to get one. Of course, there is more to it than just the Xbox One console and controller – there’s the entire Microsoft ecosystem. Oh, and don’t forget the Kinect. Microsoft appears to be pursuing both with new intensity this year.

First up, there’s the Windows and Windows Phone relationship to Xbox One. We know that on January 21st Microsoft will host a Windows 10 event and we’ll hear about plans for Xbox then, too. There’s also a job listing that shows that these might become more related than they’ve been recently. I really hope that Microsoft can do this, and do it right. All they need to do is allow cross-platform multiplayer and they might just secure themselves as the top of the food chain. Imagine being able to play Evolve when it releases with your friends on PC or console? That would be a major challenge to PlayStation and would create some impressive goodwill with gamers across the platform divide.

Meanwhile, another division has been created just to push the envelope regarding the Kinect. Microsoft is looking to hire a Senior Software Engineer for the division, someone who is passionate about the Kinect and its ability to revolutionize gaming experiences. But it’s beyond what you might be imagining:

In this role your technical skills and creativity will be pushed to their limits as you weave together disparate technologies to tell the story of what the future of entertainment will look like. You’ll learn more than you even knew existed about machine vision, data mining, AI, voice recognition, and embedded systems.

Talk about Big Brother. I like some of the possibilities of what could be done with the Kinect, but I’m just a little afraid of what it could be used for. With so many security breaches and hacks, I simply don’t trust any online gaming company to hold my credit card information, let alone the crazy personal sorts of things a Kinect could pick up about me. I just hope that Microsoft is bit more intelligent about how they market the Kinect this time around – Mattrick made such a mess for them that is only just starting to get cleaned up.

Last Updated: January 5, 2015

19 Comments

  1. Mike Greenway

    January 5, 2015 at 17:18

    The sky is falling, the sky is falling, run and tell the king.

    Reply

  2. RustedFaith

    January 5, 2015 at 17:28

    Wow Kinect failed 2 generation in a row now .. must be some kind of record.

    Reply

    • Drake Richter

      January 5, 2015 at 17:31

      Nah, it’s kind of like Sony laptops. Good devices that just never really realized their potential. Possibly the biggest difference is that Microsoft has the money to continue exploring Kinect, whereas Sony doesn’t and had to bail.

      Reply

      • RustedFaith

        January 5, 2015 at 17:33

        Very true its amazing for me that they are willing to burn this much on it where there is still no real application for it.

        There is potential yes but what that would be is not known yet.

        Reply

        • Drake Richter

          January 5, 2015 at 18:45

          Microsoft hasn’t spent much, relatively speaking, on the Kinect. Considering the amount of cash they have, it’s a drop in the bucket.

          And saying the kinect has ‘no real application’ is kind of disingenuous, isn’t it? See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kinect#third-party_development

          It’ll be a long time before any alternative control scheme for video games becomes as refined as a good ol’ controller or mouse and keyboard, but that doesn’t make the technology any less useful in other fields.

          For ‘failure’, see instead http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Apple_III or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Smart_Personal_Objects_Technology (or, more topically, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Economy_of_Russia).

          Reply

          • RustedFaith

            January 5, 2015 at 18:49

            Show me one successful commercial application of the Kinect even more important a commercial application that it was intended for ???

            It a failed gimmick and everyone realized it after they got the first Kinect.

          • Drake Richter

            January 5, 2015 at 20:20

            Uh… Thanks for the rant, but I linked an Apple product as an off-the-top-of-my-head example of an actual failure, since you seem keen on applying the term to something that doesn’t quite fit the bill. If you were paying attention, you’ll also note that I linked a Microsoft product as well; both failed, albeit for different reasons.

            Microsoft does not generally deploy technology as a ‘gimmick’; if they did that, the Kinect would be cheap and basic. It wouldn’t be one of the most accurate and versatile devices of its kind. It wouldn’t be able to track multiple groups of individuals in complete darkness, it wouldn’t be used to help robots see, it wouldn’t be used to create virtual reality rooms, it wouldn’t be used in experimental physical therapy procedures, it wouldn’t be used to objectively diagnose symptoms in patients.

            Coincidentally, that’s also why they are still putting money into its development. Because it IS much more powerful than you appear to realize, and has enough potential to justify the cost of exploring it.

            Now if you’re the type that relies solely on specific examples, you’d do well to look into the augmented reality experiments in retail establishments (virtual ‘dressing rooms’, write-with-light attractions on storefronts, accurate foot traffic monitoring), the emerging medical applications (see http://mobihealthnews.com/25281/eight-ways-the-microsoft-kinect-will-change-healthcare/) and the revolutionary impact it had on robotics when originally released (see http://www.wired.com/2011/06/mf_kinect/).

            And if you’re intent on maintaining a closed-minded focus on unit sales, one of the links I provided to you earlier also points out that “24 million units of Kinect had been shipped by February 2013. Having sold 8 million units in its first 60 days on the market, Kinect has claimed the Guinness World Record of being the fastest selling consumer electronics device.” The record has since been beaten thanks to subsidies and upgrade contracts, but to put that in perspective that’s over twice the unit volume of the original iPad’s first 60 days, and about 9 million more devices overall.

            ‘New’ and ‘unique’ do not equate to ‘failed’, and a device doesn’t have to churn out massive profits in order to be considered a successful innovation. While you are free to feel that it failed to do what you want in your narrow scope of ‘gaming peripheral’, that’s more of a developer creativity issue with a technology in its infancy than a problem with the device itself.

            I sincerely hope this has been informative for you.

          • RustedFaith

            January 5, 2015 at 20:49

            I see your point and I do not disagree that there are uses for it and heck I have one of the first ones that was released for pc and had great fun with it even played Skyrim with it. But I had to hack it to make it work on pc and took allot of hours.

            What I can see though is them using what they learned from the Kinect and implement it with some vr experience.I think the motion sensing technology will work great in conjunction with lets say the Occulus Rift to track movement in the virtual world.

            My point is that the Kinect is a failed product because its not being commercially used for its intended purpose. Yes we can hack it to do cool stuff but so can my raspberry pi.

            I would put money on the fact that if the Kinect was not bundled with the Xbone the sales figures wont look as rosy as previously. Granted its got better sensors and the few backyard hackers will play with it but it probably wont have the same success in the sales department.

          • Drake Richter

            January 5, 2015 at 22:07

            I understand where you are coming from, but that is just too narrow of a definition for failure. It IS being used commercially for its intended purpose, and while it hasn’t had the runaway sales figures people have come to associate with ‘success’, there are still more than twice as many Kinect sensors (of all types) sold and presumably in use around the world than there are PS4s, going by most recent posted sales figures for each device. And even if you factor in PS3 sales (80 million from 2006-2013) the Kinect still holds up quite well, considering it is an optional addon rather than an actual console and has been available for a much shorter time.

            Note that the 24m sales figure I posted is strictly for the first generation Kinect, primarily unbundled but also bundled with the Xbox 360, and it ONLY counts units sold up until February 2013, which was nearly two years ago. That was the most recent data I could find in a quick search; you can rest assured that those numbers have grown since.

            The new Kinect will find its place once the userbase grows; ‘people who have an Xbox One and games made to fully utilize the Kinect’ is not yet a very large target audience, after all.

            You had better believe I’d scoop one up for my PC if ever the Star Citizen developers chose to make use of it. It’s a cool gadget, just waiting for the right software to utilize its capabilities.

    • Justin M. Salvato

      January 5, 2015 at 18:24

      Failed? The first Kinect, when they were sold separately, sold millions. http://www.gamespot.com/articles/kinect-sales-reach-24-million/1100-6403766/ it is clear that people are interested in this technology. Now the Kinect can do what it was suppose to do. Problem is, Microsoft has a lousy way if communicating this.

      Reply

      • RustedFaith

        January 5, 2015 at 18:45

        Cool it sold millions to retailers how many people buy that from retailers is the important question.

        Its called a gimmick yeh allot of people bought it and found out its useless.

        Reply

        • Drake Richter

          January 5, 2015 at 20:26

          No.

          I have to wonder why you are the only one in this conversation failing to actually cite sources or provide well-reasoned arguments. And for the record, ‘it’s a gimmick prove to me it’s not’ is definitely not the rock-solid and logical stance that you appear to think it is.

          Reply

        • Brady miaau

          January 5, 2015 at 20:28

          Well, I have got the Kinect 2 with the Xbox one and it is pretty cool.

          My friends and my cousins and such have Xbox 360 with Kinect and they ALL love it. So in my exp, the tech works, but not for a serious hardcore game. At least not yet.

          BUT it is fun, super fun.

          Reply

  3. Ryozuo

    January 5, 2015 at 18:20

    Why am I not surprised

    Reply

  4. Blood Emperor Trevor

    January 5, 2015 at 18:38

    Oh cool. A re-re-re-re-re-re-refound commitment to PC gaming? I’ve never understood why they didn’t do it in the first place.

    Reply

  5. Raptor Rants A Lot

    January 5, 2015 at 19:10

    offload all the kinect power to PC to use the Xbone with all cores unlocked only for gaming?

    Reply

  6. Mossel

    January 6, 2015 at 08:20

    Open the pod bay door HAL.

    Reply

  7. Boogaloo

    January 6, 2015 at 17:44

    Defenition of Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result.

    Reply

  8. Boogaloo

    January 6, 2015 at 17:58

    Adding: Cross platform has already been done by CCP’s EvE online and PlayStation 3. It’s not a new concept. There’s has been chatter on the wind that MS is focussing on it’s virtual reality to catch up to Sony’s VRHS.

    Sounds like another situation like the space race. Let’s just hope that nobody lies about it.

    Reply

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