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Microsoft wants HAL, I mean Siri

3 min read

 Microsoft’s Xbox reveal wasn’t complete – there is more planned for E3 and there won’t just be games.  Using the Kinect for voice commands will go so far as having two-way conversations, as well as letting a friend remotely play your game for you.

Sources told Polygon that while the feature may not be available at launch, the Siri-type abilities will be added in a patch within the first few months.

 You know I find all this stuff creepy, but here is a new TERRIFYING ‘feature’.

In one possible scenario, Kinect used its facial recognition to scan a room full of people and note if there was someone in the room it didn’t recognize. It then told the console owner that there is someone in the room it didn’t recognize and asked the new person to identify themselves. Once the person said their name, Kinect welcomed them and saved their information to the console.

Really?!  So I’m not safe from the Xbox even if I’m just watching someone else play?  Also, that will make things REALLY interesting at competitions, conferences, and other group environments.  Will this aspect mean that gameplay is stopped if someone new comes into the room?  I really don’t want to be scanned and saved on someone’s console.  Microsoft gonna check if I’m at home or with a friend?  Stalkers!


A second feature is far less sinister – a friend can help you through a section of your game when you’re stuck.

In a demonstration of the feature, a source told us that a message popped up on their screen asking if it was OK if the player they were Skyping with could take over the game. Once the friend took over, the first player was able to watch them play the game. Either player could end the remote play with a button push.

There are still some aspects to be ironed out on this one.  It’s not clear how long a person can remote play, if they also need to own the game, or who would get any possible achievements gained during game play.  Microsoft says they aren’t worried about latency issues with remote play – either they will use some new technology to power this, or they’ve never actually used Skype themselves.

 This feature isn’t exactly original – the PS4 will also have a shared gaming experience called Gaikai that will allow players to ask a friend over the internet to take over their game.  I’m looking forward to see how feasible this actually is, and how this will impact achievements/trophies.

 Still, it looks like I’m going to have to ask anyone I know with than Xbox One to put a warning sign up when that thing is on – I don’t want to walk in and be scanned!  

Last Updated: May 29, 2013

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