Although Microsoft Corp. will supply second-generation Kinect motion sensor with every Xbox One video game console, it will not require game developers to take advantage of it on obligatory basis. At the same time, Microsoft makes no secret from the fact that Kinect is one of its secret weapons and that it would welcome its usage.
“Game designers do not have to use the motion-sensing capability of Kinect to add magic to a game. It could be just as simple as a voice command, or it could be just as simple as knowing there's more than one person in the room at the same time, and being able to automatically populate options and user interface. […] We do not require mandatory use of Kinect], but as I say we hope that they do, and whether it is something as simple as a voice command or whether it's a more sophisticated gesture, is up to the designers to how they want to unlock that,” said Phil Harrison, a corporate vice president of Microsoft, in an interview with Eurogamer web-site.
The new Xbox One comes with completely redesigned Kinect sensor that will feature 1920*1080 RGB camera, improved infrared sensor and enhanced voice controls.
Without any doubts, Microsoft will use the new sensor heavily to compete against Sony Computer Entertainment’s PlayStation 4. Some of the games that have been announced for Xbox One will take advantage of Kinect, some will not, but AAA-class multi-platform titles, such as Call of Duty, Battlefield or Need for Speed franchises, will clearly not use it. Given the fact that nowadays such games are extremely important and tend to boast with highest quality possible, Microsoft will have to promote the new Kinect heavily to ensure that games take advantage of it.
The first step of such promotion has already been done: the Kinect version 2 comes with every Xbox One game console.
“We hope [game developers will use it]. The fact that it is in every single box, that it comes with the console, the fact that every single home will have the console and the Kinect, allows game developers and game designers to really maximize the creative and technical possibilities,” said Mr. Harrison.
Moreover, since second-generation Kinect is completely redesigned and can detect even motions of a finger, there will be more scenarios that game developers could create with the new Kinect in mind.
“So with Xbox One, what we did with the Xbox One Kinect sensor is totally redesign it, so it has wider field of view, it has new technology to detect motion in the room, it has a more sophisticated sound and voice recognition system, which dramatically improves the fidelity, precision and accuracy of Kinect compared to Kinect for 360. So that does allow game designers to make games that really use fine movements, measured in millimeters and nanoseconds, whereas Kinect on 360 was bigger movements, with a wider and more exaggerated form,” explained Mr. Harrison.