Eurogamer is reporting from an undisclosed source that Microsoft is working on a follow-up for their successful and popular Kinect peripheral. According to the tipster, the Kinect 2 is more precise in both motion control and voice activation. The device is so accurate that will be able to read lips, detect facial expressions, register tone and pitch in voices and, in culminating these new points of data, understand the mood of the players it perceives.
The hardware is said to be releasing with future bundles of Xbox consoles, though no real launch date is given during the article. They also suggest that this device may be for next generation consoles, and that future Xbox systems will have the Kinect 2 built in.
I do have one point for consideration regarding the potential news of a Kinect hardware refresh. Given that Eurogamer is so nonspecific about when the Kinect 2 launches, there’s a chance we may see it for the Xbox 360. When Nintendo launched Wii MotionPlus, a more precise technical upgrade for its Wii remotes, the news was met with harsh criticism from writers and consumers; the main point being that Nintendo should have just released better tech at launch. Now that Microsoft is, essentially, doing the same thing, will the company incur the same backlash from gamers?
Moreover, those that have already purchased a Kinect will likely feel more than snubbed if these claims are true. At least Wii MotionPlus was a cheap add-on that was bundled with games at launch. Now, its controllers are relatively inexpensive as well. The Kinect? The unit is typically priced anywhere from $100 to $150, and it was launched as the new way to interface with consoles. When the Kinect 2 releases, it will probably sell for the same cost…won’t consumers feel slighted?
Of course, if the Kinect 2 is physically built into the next Xbox platform, there will be absolutely no reason to complain.
What do you think of the potential for more precise motion control technology? Will you snag a Kinect 2 if you already own an original Kinect? Do you put any stock in this rumor at all?