Open the pod bay doors, Kinect 2. The next version of Kinect — Microsoft’s hands-free, gesture-controlled gaming peripheral for Xbox 360 — is rumored to have such high processing power that it can read lips and even detect the emotions of its user.

If that sounds scary, well, yeah, it’s a little scary. If it’s true, it also means the next generation of consoles are going to be super fun. Eurogamer spoke with an anonymous source who spilled the beans on the new Kinect and potential plans for the next generation of Xboxes.

The Kinect 2 will so improve its voice recognition and motion sensing that it will be able to determine which direction players are facing, their facial expressions and track the pitch of volume of player voices to measure different emotional states.

The current Kinect does a good job at recognizing voice commands and body movement but it is restricted by its USB interface. Kinect 2, according to Eurogamer‘s source, can feed the Xbox more information and have a higher resolution CCD (charge-coupled device).

The Kinect 2 rumors add to the gossip mill surrounding Microsoft’s next generation Xbox. Microsoft is supposedly building two models; a less expensive box aimed at casual Kinect players and a souped-up model for hardcore players with a higher price tag. The consoles could arrive as early as 2012 though the actual date will probably be later.

Some notes: The report from Eurogamer is probably reliable though not necessarily revolutionary news. It makes sense the new Kinect will have enhanced motion sensing and vocal recognition. The rumor that the peripheral can detect emotional states is a little more interesting but it’s unclear how this will fit into a game or media-browsing scenario. Anonymous sources are usually a cause for question, especially when there is no attribution or affiliation, for example “an anonymous source from Microsoft,” or “a source that didn’t want to be named because he/she are bound by contract.”

Microsoft told Eurogamer it “does not comment on rumour or speculation,” though that shouldn’t count as a rejection or refutation.

Enter Your Mail Address


Related Posts: