28 May 2013

Forget 4K: This is the biggest change about to hit the living room

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Xbox One Kinect Xbox One Kinect Microsoft/RedShark


4K may be the next revolution for for consumer TV but it pales into insignificance compared with the things that the new Kinect can do - and what it will mean for the way we watch TV

Of course one (4K) is about resolution and image quality and the other (Kinect) is about control and interaction, but with a bigger, sharper TV, you'd observe a typical living room's occupants behaving exactly the same as they always have. In a Kinect 2 living room, they'd be talking to the television and waving their arms - and perhaps their whole bodies - around.


Unusually for a press conference, Microsoft seems to have underplayed the capabilities of their new console - to the extent that some journalists went away thinking that the new Xbox was just a fairly routine iteration on the last one. This is quite wrong. Quite aside from the powerful internal architecture, the new Kinect is far and away the most significant aspect of the shiny new gaming device.

The original Kinect was impressive enough to have sold around 24 million units, transforming gaming and spawning a whole sub-culture of Kinect hacking, that was eventually approved and supported by microsoft.

The new one is in a different league, and Microsoft seems to have solved some really hard problems in bringing it to market.

On the face of it, it's more of the same, but better, but the sheer power and precision of the Kinect, coupled with the Xbox One's processing and even, possibly, some Cloud participation means that this is one powerful system - and it's transformative. It's even more so because the previous Kinect was just an after-market add-on that had to work with a generation of Xbox that wasn't designed for it.

Now, the two are completely integrated, and it shows.

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David Shapton

David Shapton was the Editor In Chief of RedShark Publications from 2012 to 2020. 

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