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back to article MS to Kinect up UK in November

Microsoft's Kinect will come to Blighty on 10 November, the Xbox maker revealed this morning. Xbox Kinect The announcement, made at the Gamescon show, says it all - you know the rest: Wii-style motion control for Xbox 360 with added webcam-filmed put-you-in-the-game and player tracking elements. You get voice and gesture …

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Kinect downgraded

Kinect won’t be reading sign language

The Microsoft device is been reportedly downgraded to save money which means the Kinect version that’s shipping this holiday won’t be able to recognise your fingers.

Microsoft has reportedly reduce costs of making the motion-sensing device by downgrading Kinect’s capabilities. This means Kinect will no longer include the processor chip that enabled it to recognise the joints of the fingers and toes, at least this is what Kotaku reports.

Kinect was originally capable of doing so because of its higher resolution but now Kinect’s resolution will be lowered to 320×240. This is what Microsoft told Kotaku:

It turns out the camera on Kinect has been pared down to 320x240 in order to cut costs.

Such a low resolution would not be able to track the complex movements needed for sign language. Kinect can only track limbs, not digits.

“We are excited about the potential of Kinect and its potential to impact gaming and entertainment. Microsoft files lots of patent applications to protect our intellectual property, not all of which are brought to market right away. Kinect that is shipping this holiday will not support sign language.

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Don't blame MS for the sign language thing

Microsoft just patented sign language recoginition although they didn't claim Kinect would do it. That one you can chalk up to overexcited fans.

However MS have insinuated in the past that Kinect could do things that bordered on the utterly absurd. Look at the Milo demo for example which merely implied face recognition, mood recognition, natural language processing, speech synthesis and associated technologies. Things which even dedicated, state of the art systems with considerably more horsepower would struggle to do in ideal conditions.

It's no wonder they went with fluffy animals instead. Animals are stupid, so if you get away with a system that requires you repeat simple commands or wave your arms 3 or 4 times for the thing to register properly.

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FAIL

It can only play 2 player too.

From the original 4.

However is some bizzare Microsoft marketing spin, it can "recognise" 6 players, even thou only 2 can play....

It's pretty easy to confuse Xbox owners, so I can see why Microsoft have pulled out this marketing stunt.

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Anonymous Coward

Still waiting...

...for the announcement that this is all a big joke, and of course Microsoft wouldn't release a webcam and bunch of kids games for £130 on a console which is all about playing hardcore FPSs online.

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Allow me be the first to say...

Meh.

Kinect looks to be the most impractical gaming device since the virtualboy. Hate to say this but Sony seems to have gotten theirs bang on, no having to stand up and flail around pointlessly in the hope that image recognition will be able to analyse what you're doing accurately and quickly. (accuracy, speed in processing response time and price.. pick two)

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Not wii style motion control

The Kinect uses a camera for full / partial body motion detection. There is no remote control involved at all.

The PS Move is more similar to the Wii style controller, although the camera is on TV rather than in the controller like the Wii. The Move is more accurate than the

Of Kinect and Move, expect Kinect to be strictly limited to party / casual games. The Move is likely to get casual and hardcore title support.

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Gates Halo

Are you sitting comfortably?

Bring on the fanbois.

Sitting/standing... I thought all this gesture stuff was about standing and waving about anyhow? playing tennis sitting down? Playing bowling sitting down? Why is sitting down and gesturing apparently the killer app all of a sudden?

Kinect will win where the others fail - in analysing your movement without having to hold on to a remote control. Dance Central will shift a shed load of units, no question; other games will follow.

It's too late to the party to usurp the Wii's dominance, but I really can't see the Playstation Move control being anymore than a me-too copy of the Wii.

Kinect is genuinely doing something different to the Wii & Move.

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Anonymous Coward

PS3 EyePet

and other PS webcam games already allow you to wave your hands and bodies about to control the game.

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Haven't we seen this before?

Different to the Wii and move yes. Very similar to the playstation 2's eyetoy though.

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Eyetoy also demonstrates the issues

I have Eyepet and it's a cute game, but dear god can be it frustrating at times. If the lighting isn't perfect (full natural light), your Eyepet will stare on dumbly as you furiously gesture for the Nth time to no avail. Or you will draw a lovely picture of a car for your pet to copy and the low light means the game will turn into a disjointed series of squiggles.

All these issues will affect Kinect and more besides. Kinect is bound to work better at motion tracking thanks to IR CCDs but it will still be laggy, occasionally ignore or misinterpret gestures, get confused by the sofa or lighting or clothes or people walking around or whatever.

Take a look at the atrocious Kinect mode for the Harry Potter 7 game to see what the limits of this system are likely to be.

The Move will face some of the same issues to a lesser degree. After all it uses an Eyetoy too so lighting could affect the tracking. Where Sony seem to have been smart is in putting a big glowing ball on the controller.That makes it easy to work out its distance with standard trig and the big glowing ball makes it obvious where it is, but there may still be conditions where it doesn't register properly.

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FAIL

Playstation EyeToy

I remember playing this 6 years ago, it was pap!

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Date

10 November? That is good news - it almost guarantees that we will see it in NZ by this time next year, or less than 12 months after that.

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