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Input Devices Microsoft XBox (Games) Games Hardware

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.
    • Not really, Nintendo doesn't have any vested interest in the PC market(games and otherwise) like Microsoft does. The amount of money Nintendo makes off the wiimote isn't that large and the costs of PC support(drivers, support staff etc.) and the potential to cannibalize their own market outweigh what little money there is in selling a couple extra wiimotes.
      • I thought it was interesting not from Nintendo's business perspective, but regarding the growth of multisensor-input-enabled applications and research, given that the price is at consumer hardware levels.

        I might draw an extreme parallel here, but consider what happened to computer graphics for games and research when the first sort-of-programmable GPUs became supported and affordable (late 90's)

      • by Moryath ( 553296 )

        The problem for the Wiimote is that it's just plain underpowered. Test it out with any small motions and you'll understand what I mean; Wii Sports Golf putting, for instance, is an exercise in frustration trying to get it to register for a simple tap-in putt without having it fling your ball halfway across the green instead. The same problem is also responsible for the troubles the wiimote has in recognizing when people have moved the controller for a backhand rather than forehand stroke in Wii Sports Tenni

    • The Wiimote is pretty lame as a pointing device, no precision whatsoever with the stock sensor bar or with a battery-operated Nyko one... and I have a couple different Wiimotes which have never been thrown so I don't believe it's a wiimote problem. I hear motionplus makes it more credible but then it's not so interesting as a remote. There's not enough buttons on the Wiimote to use for much more than a mouse, and it's not a good mouse. Kinect would be much more interesting to me, though. I would use gesture

    • I don't think so, there are plenty of open source projects that get your PC to work with the WiiMote, I think Nintendo played it right by not risking on that venture and letting the hobbyists tackle it. []

  • Inshort we will first make lots of money by selling kinect and when the sales figure will start dwindling we will release a pc version
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Standard strategy: sell something and then sell more of it.

      Thanks for the brilliant tip.

  • I don't know about you guys but I was considering buying a Kinect system and an Xbox but was deterred by the added price of the Xbox. If they end up putting out a reasonably-priced version for the PC, I'm definitely going to pick it up.
    • by inca34 ( 954872 )

      Used Xbox 360's are $100. The Kinect is $150. Kinect sports is $50. That's really not too bad for first adopter access to first gen remote-less motion capture gaming. The sensor may also be the solution to the robot perception problem... and for $150 the sensor is quite reasonably priced compared to the industrial SICK LIDAR sensors, which haven't changed in 20 years, that go for $5k a pop and still use RS232 interfaces... =)

  • by Saint Gerbil ( 1155665 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:06AM (#34833640)

    The people who "hacked" it didn't hack it they wrote drivers for it. Kudos to them its more than I could do but lets call it what it is, eh ?
    Its not like they broke Xbox security and pulled code out of it, what they did was much better.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rogerborg ( 306625 )

      Hacked != Cracked.

      Yes, there's a difference. It may only matter to the people who do it, rather than those who just talk about it, but they're the ones who matter.

      • If you're not modifying the device somehow (at least the onboard software) then you're not hacking it, just a driver.

        • Look it up on Wikipedia. Hacking [] refers to the re-configuring or re-programming of a system to function in ways not facilitated by the owner.

          MS never provided functionality for the device to operate on the PC, but somebody programmed their own drivers for it to do so. You don't have to actually change the hardware or firmware of a device to "hack" it. All you have to do is be able to write code that interfaces with whatever you are hacking to provide new functionality.
          • Balderdash. Words change meaning and a cabal of elites can't ignore the tide of the rest of the world. Hacking has a dual meaning now, and "bypassing the security of a system by unusual, unsupported means" is one of those meanings.

            Believe me, it annoys me as much as you. Did you know "nauseous" can now be used where "nauseated" property would? And that "irregardless" is a word?

            • Sounds to me like you got a little case of Humpty Dumpty syndrome.

              'When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean -- neither more nor less.'
        • Writing the driver may not be hacking, but strapping it to an small helicopter to control flight is definitively an hack, in the sense of "making it do something which it was not designed to do".

    • Currently, "hacker" is used in two main ways, one positive and one pejorative. It can be used in the computing community to describe a particularly brilliant programmer or technical expert (for example: Linus Torvalds). This is said by some to be the "correct" usage of the word (see the Jargon File definition below). However, in popular usage and in the media, it generally describes computer intruders or criminals. "Hacker" can be seen as a shibboleth, identifying those who use it in its positive sense as
  • Kinect, without MS (Score:5, Informative)

    by Bitzer2 ( 1974422 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:27AM (#34833698)
    It's coming to PC with or without Microsoft. Primesense, the company who actually own the technology have teamed up with Asus. []
    • The problem for MS is how Kinnect figures into MS revenue stream. Kinnect was going to be used to lure new users or keep users on Xbox games. MS was going to make some profit on the hardware but stood to gain much more in licensing for Kinnect capable games.

      Also the nature of Kinnect meant that the games would most likely be exclusive titles. Developers could develop the same game to use Kinnect or the Wii remote or the PS3 Move controller but it wouldn't be the same. By connecting the Kinnect to thing

  • Distance (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Feinu ( 1956378 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @05:49AM (#34833820)
    The recommended distance from the sensor is 6-8 feet. The average person sits within 3 feet of their screen. They definitely need to do some work to make it finger aware, because I can't imagine that people will want to back away that far from the computer just to use full body gestures.
  • I hope they move faster on [] XNA support for Kinect. This will not only let indie devs create kinect games using nothing more than a pc and an xbox on a lan, but will also let people deploy kinect games for both xbox and pc simultaneously with support for the kinect and windows kinect respectively.

  • by ThatsNotPudding ( 1045640 ) on Tuesday January 11, 2011 @08:36AM (#34834540)
    Hands-free viruses!
  • Never mind PCs, how about adding some support for small living rooms []? Here in the UK a lot of us just don't have the space required, something I wish I'd researched before buying it.
    • by tgd ( 2822 )

      It does say right on the box how much space it needs ...

    • 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).

  • Doubt Ballmer's talking about Kinect in anywhere near its current form. I'm thinking "fancy webcam" interface (not that that would be bad, except my general issue with Kinect is having MS in my living room at all.) And when he says "TV, movies, music", heh, I'm thinking DRMs. Maybe retinal scans to make sure you have the license to hear what you're listening to. So I'm not all that psyched yet, LOL!

  • I guess M$ stocks will rise again now that kinect is available to all pcs.


  • i wanna see how Kinect works on a PC for someone with Parkinsons or Tourrettes (the twitching kind not verbal kind). yeah and i had positive karma for almost 2 days
  • Unfortunately, there is too much lag on the Kinect for any serious gamer to use.

(null cookie; hope that's ok)