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Microsoft CEO Says Kinect To Support PCs Eventually 47

Ken writes "Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer has said that the company will support Kinect for PCs sometime in the future. The motion controller is currently only officially supported for the Xbox 360, although it has been hacked and tweaked to work on pretty much any platform that can be plugged into via a USB port. 'We're trying to move beyond gaming to include the world of socialization, movies, TV, music, and we're trying to make the whole experience accessible to everybody in the family not just the traditional gamer.' When Ballmer was asked, 'Will you plug-in the Kinect to the PC, will you go for that in the near future?' he replied, 'We'll support that in a formal way in the right time and when we've got an announcement to make we'll make it.' Note that this is completely separate from the Kinect-like controller from PrimeSense and Asus." Other readers have tipped related articles about Kinect being used to enable 3D teleconferencing and help drive a small helicopter drone.
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Microsoft CEO Says Kinect To Support PCs Eventually

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  • by fleeped ( 1945926 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @04:37AM (#34833518)
    As Kinect seems to be the new hot toy after WiiMote, it will be interesting to see how it ventures in terms of developed applications and research. I think Nintendo did a mistake by ignoring PC support for their gadget.
  • by RogueyWon ( 735973 ) * on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @10:10AM (#34835074) Journal

    I've got a Kinect and have tried it in 5 different homes, with varying degrees of success. Actually, that's a little unfair; it's worked to an acceptable level in 4 of the 5, and been just about on the unacceptable side of the line in the 5th (though you could have used it if you were really determined).

    The big issue seems to be room shape rather than room size. I have a small living room, but the TV looks down it length-ways, so it works fine for me. Unless you want to do 2-player (which I don't normally, at home), you don't actually need all that much room to move side to side. The really key thing is to be able to get those 6-8 feet from the TV; if you can do that and have the room to take at least one large step to the side in either direction, it's fine.

    What you do need to get right is the lighting. The quality of the tracking seems to be highly dependant on the level of lighting in the room. I've found I get the best results by having an artificial light source behind me while I play; gives the thing a nice clear silhouette to watch. It also helps to have it as close to eye-level (or at least chest level) as possible. The advice to stick it below your TV is not great. I got much better results by putting it on a chest-height window-ledge next to the TV.

    There is, however, still a major problem with using Kinect in many homes, which is related to the current games range rather than the hardware itself. A lot of the current games expect the player to jump - a lot. If you live in a flat or apartment, your downstairs neighbours will NOT appreciate you jumping up and down a lot. It would be really good if games could start recognising the "spring-motion" that Wii Fit recognises as a jump as an alternative. As I say, this is entirely a software issue; the hardware should be perfectly capable of allowing it.

    Of course, aside from exercise software, I've yet to actually see anything come out of the Kinect - or any other motion control device - that actually helps lead to better games than a mouse and keyboard or 2-stick controller. That said, the exercise software is useful and I'll probably stick a Wii Fit vs Your Shape comparison in my journal at some point over the next few days, now I've had a few weeks to get used to Your Shape (tl;dr version - they're both good, both have strengths and weaknesses in different areas).

What this country needs is a good five cent ANYTHING!