Report: Next Xbox requires always-on Kinect

The next Xbox, codenamed Durango, will not only include an updated version of Kinect--it will require it. "It must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function."

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The next Xbox, codenamed Durango, will not only include an updated version of Kinect--it will require it. "It must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function," a new report on Kotaku reveals.

According to the site, Microsoft will include both Kinect and a hard drive in their next-gen console (both were optional accessories on Xbox 360). By making their use mandatory, developers will be able to make games with both peripherals in mind.

The camera has been greatly improved, being able to track up to six skeletons at once, versus two in the current-gen model. In addition, the new Kinect can keep track of five additional joints per person. According to Kotaku, the improved resolution of the camera will allow it to "instantly identify a person," making "automatic player identification" a part of the Xbox experience. While the convenience of not having to log-in will be nice, it could also lead to restricting content based on who Kinect identifies--something Redmond had patented many months ago. Using this tech could restrict the "number of user views, a number of user views over time, a number of simultaneous user views, views tied to user identities, views limited to user age or any variation or combination thereof."

In terms of hardware spec, Durango has been rumored to be largely identical with Orbis, the next PlayStation. Digital Foundry offers a comparison, detailing the slight differences in approach the two companies are taking with their next consoles.

From The Chatty
  • reply
    February 11, 2013 12:15 PM

    Andrew Yoon posted a new article, Report: Next Xbox requires always-on Kinect.

    The next Xbox, codenamed Durango, will not only include an updated version of Kinect--it will require it. "It must be plugged in and calibrated for the console to even function."

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:16 PM

      I don't understand.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:17 PM

        Gamefly needs ad view revenue...

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:17 PM

        They want to see you naked and picking your ass.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:17 PM

      Wow... this thing is getting further and further from a 'buy' for me...

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:17 PM

      About damn time! This will lead to some really awesome titles.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:19 PM

      If M$ requires a power cable as well, they can count me out.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 2:14 PM

        I doubt it. Even in the recent version of the current 360 has a Kinect port which also gives it power.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:19 PM

      could i actually switch back to a playstation!?

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:25 PM

        I know, right? It's weird I'm even thinking that.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:21 PM

        They delivered the better console and exclusives this time round, why not next?!

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      February 11, 2013 12:20 PM

      I really hope most of these rumors end up being false. I quite enjoy my 360 but if they're going to force this down everyone's throats, I'm going to have to pass on it. Well, I'll pass on it for a while until there's a game or series that I really enjoy, then I'll bitch and moan and eventually pick up a new console anyway.

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        February 11, 2013 12:21 PM

        They're forcing it down your throat!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:26 PM

        Like when Mass Effect 4 drops?

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:23 PM

      Seems like Microsoft is looking to squander the video game gains they made this generation. Seems like they are just going to hand Sony the transitional gaming market next generation.

      Maybe that will make them more money, but I wouldn't really care as I have no interest in Kinect driven games, social games or non-gaming functionality in my gaming consoles.

    • gmd
      reply
      February 11, 2013 12:24 PM

      nonononono

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      February 11, 2013 12:25 PM

      lol, and people talk about nintendo "gimmicks"

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      February 11, 2013 12:25 PM

      Hey, cool. I look forward to my PS4 purchase.

      • reply
        February 12, 2013 11:00 AM

        New leaked information: PS4 games will require a move sensor to be visible at all times. On the player's HAT. o-:p

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      February 11, 2013 12:26 PM

      that's fine. traditional core games will likely stay the same with optional kinect enhancements. they're not going to risk alienating the cod/halo/madden crowd with useless gestures and shouting.

      plus, i'd like a kinect but don't like the idea of it being an add-on.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:28 PM

        If the price is competitive, I don't see why people wouldn't buy a console that also included the Kinect. Hell, the current bundles are not that much more right now, and they may just sell it at a loss...

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          February 11, 2013 12:30 PM

          i don't know why people seem bothered by it. there's been no announcement about any type of required interface change.

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        February 11, 2013 12:30 PM

        yeah, they really wound back kinect "features" in AAA titles towards the end to the ones that really solidly worked, not just the gimmicy bullshit, feel free to correct me if i'm wrong, i don't 360

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        February 11, 2013 12:36 PM

        i dont really think thats what the big problem is. honestly, who cares if it just comes /w a connect controller. but it has to be hooked up for the system to work? so your little nephew steps on and breaks your connect controller, and you have to go buy another one before you can play halo with your regular controller? who does that benefit?

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          February 11, 2013 6:27 PM

          Just what in the sam hill are you even talking about?

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 11:23 PM

            Uh, this thread? Kinect has to be hooked up and calibrated to use the console. If Kinect is broken, console is broken.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 11:41 PM

              He's talking about the kinect somehow getting stepped on and broken, I'd love for someone to draw me a picture of how that's going to happen. Who the hell would put it on the floor?

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      February 11, 2013 12:29 PM

      yah screw that... Kinect won't work in my space really. Not enough room for it.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:35 PM

        I do hope the new one has a wider field of view. The current Kinect takes a ton of room to use properly.

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      February 11, 2013 12:30 PM

      its going to spy on us

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        February 11, 2013 12:50 PM

        I understand that you might be using sarcasm, but I completely agree with the words of your comment.

        We're coming dangerously close to 100% active surveillance, packaged as a "gaming device" so people say, "Wow!" rather than doing the right thing and smashing the devices into unidentifiable bits. I posit that there will be no way of knowing whether your new xbox 720 or 1440 or whatever, which requires a human-tracking camera and voice recognition software, is ever not watching you, unless you specifically unplug the device and the peripherals.

        All new devices draw phantom power for reasons ranging from maintaining memory to providing faster start-up. My PS3 is never really "off". In the current gen, this isn't a big deal, since the power draws are so low and there are no surveillance devices required by the systems, but this new Xbox would throw that out the window. I'm going to step way close to the paranoia edge and say that even unplugging your device from power, or the peripherals from the system, will not guarantee that you aren't being watched. Technology has advanced to the point that the next-gen Kinect camera could be charging a small Li-Ion battery whenever it's plugged in, and when unplugged it records onto a small SSD, the contents of which it will upload once connected back up to the Xbox. The same with the microphone.

        We're inviting the George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four into our homes with open arms. He just expected it to happen 30 years earlier.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 12:51 PM

          what are they going to spy on, us sitting on the couch staring at a screen?

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 12:53 PM

            What makes you think that the camera will only be looking at the couch, or the microphone will only pick up sounds from the one room? You don't control the technology, so you don't get to set the limits.

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              February 11, 2013 12:55 PM

              what kind of information do you think "they" are interested in from our living rooms?

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 12:58 PM

                the largest penis size database ever!

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 1:04 PM

                Did you even read my reply? The camera may only be able to see to a wall, but sound carries. And if you have an open floor plan, i.e. living room, dining room, and kitchen have no walls separating them, or you leave your bedroom door open, this brand new thing called "zooming" may be employed.

                Microsoft's interested in just about everything you do, from the music you listen to to the food you eat to the conversations you have and the friends you keep. They might not want to do anything with that information, but maybe their friends (read: people throwing money at them) have plans for it. Or the government. Or the police. Or the detective your abusive ex hired.

                Choosing to ignore this stuff is dangerous folly.

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                  February 11, 2013 1:07 PM

                  So don't buy a new Xbox if you think the government is going to watch you play Call of Duty.

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 1:11 PM

                    Does it sound like I'm even remotely interested in getting an Xbox?

                    The larger concern is the social engineering aspect. People keep on saying, "Oh, no! They wouldn't do that. Stop being paranoid." Which makes the next step easier to stomach. Then the next. And the next.

                    This thread shows that this strategy's working rather well, don't you think?

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                      February 11, 2013 4:32 PM

                      I totally agree with you. Alot of people are so ignorant. It's alot easier to say they would never do such a thing. It honestly makes my stomach turn to see people act like sheep.

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                      February 11, 2013 4:39 PM

                      Oh good the slippery slope argument.

                      You tape a piece of paper over your laptop webcam also to prevent "The Man" from spying on you don't you.

                      Oh well it must be because their insipid plan must be working on me..... Or cause I'm choosing not to over react to a rumor on the Internet. Besides most peoples lives are really boring and all the other date they can collect about us from our online shopping and browser history can paint a better picture of me and my habits then a camera that would catch me looking stupid in Dance Central or swearing at a game.

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                        February 11, 2013 7:53 PM

                        No. I turn off my webcam when I don't want to use it.

                        The slippery slope argument is not automatically fallacious. Do you remember when it was illegal to use wiretapping without a warrant? Or torture was generally seen as a bad thing? Or corporations were barred from pumping money into campaigns? Or prisons were run with the goal of ensuring public safety, not profit?

                        Maybe I'm just too uptight, but I'm generally pretty close-to-the-vest with my online presence, and I don't think that's a bad thing. What business is it of yours what shoes I buy, what music I like, the topics I'm interested? None. And it's none of the business of corporations, either. Barring infringing on the rights of others, I should be able to do as I please without worrying how that affects my purchases or my credit rating or the traffic cop's attitude of my character, or anything.

                        It's working on you. You don't care. You've already given in. Fine. Enjoy the sandbox at the bottom of the slide. Cats crap there.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 1:34 PM

                  I'm not saying I can visualize your hairstyle, but I can visualize your hairstyle!

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 6:33 PM

                  Trust me, no one gives that much of a fuck about you.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 7:34 PM

                  They'd just use your fucking cellphone.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 12:54 PM

            Renting a movie to watch with your wife and kids? That'll be an additional $5 per person, please.

            /s, but no really.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 12:55 PM

              there is actually a patent for that right now.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 12:59 PM

                Yeah, hence my lack of enthusiasm. Time to permanently rejoin the PC master race from its current part time role and cleanse myself of this console filth.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 5:48 PM

              The applications that do the most rental business on the Xbox exist on too many other platforms without a kinect for something like this to happen.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 12:56 PM

            I don't know what they're intending to watch, but i'm going to blow kisses to it while I fap.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 12:57 PM

            complaining about the guvnment

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 1:01 PM

              I think it's fascinating that the "tinfoil paranoia" is about the government, when the more likely use is commercial: information about your customers is highly valuable, and I wouldn't be surprised if in the next 5-10 years Microsoft is busted for privacy invasion. But not for the "guvnment spying on me!' reasons, but rather "Microsoft tracked my activity and targeted me with ads".

              That said, while I wouldn't be surprised if this happens, I don't actually expect it. MS would be stupid to overstep their bounds in this manner.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 1:06 PM

                Perhaps. But money talks. It may be worth the risk if the price for the gathered information is right.

                Also, by buying an Xbox you waive all right to your own privacy. Every bit recorded belongs to Microsoft.

                Should've read the EULA.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 1:17 PM

                  where are they going to store this recorded data? will your ISP notice an egregious amount of uploads? what are they going to do with it once recorded?

                  do you realize how far-fetched this theory sounds?

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 1:41 PM

                    It'll be no different from sending packets with any online game. Your ISP isn't going to care. It's not like MS needs to send high-quality video or sound, just enough to be able to make out what's going on and identify people. The infrastructure's already there, and now the end user pieces are being put into place.

                    Far-fetched? On the contrary! It's already being done. Video chat? Skype? Does your ISP harass you for that?

                    • reply
                      February 11, 2013 6:36 PM

                      Games don't send actual video and audio streams. Do you have any idea how much data you're talking about? And yes, if I used skype nearly as much as I play games, I'd probably get throttled like crazy by my ISP.

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                        February 11, 2013 7:02 PM

                        Yeah, I do know how much data I'm talking about. Audio quality not better than a telephone. 2 frames a second of relatively low resolution (and perhaps black-and-white, or infra-red since it's relatively low bandwidth and does a great job of identifying bodies). Your using more bandwidth looking at Shacknews than would be required for Microsoft to record an hour-long incriminating conversation in your living room. I'm not comparing this to the UDP data that's going up and down the wire. I'm comparing it to just about any other web-using activity.

                        You can stream Netflix and Hulu without issue. Surveillance data is tiny by comparison. Match that with relatively trivial tech that reacts to movement or sound so it's not wasting energy or time recording dead air, and do you really think I haven't thought this through?

                        • reply
                          February 11, 2013 7:44 PM

                          Why wouldn't this have already happened with your cell phone that's already an entire network designed with the sole intent of broadcasting your conversations. Why piggypack anything on one game platform when they could instead target any cell phone?

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 1:44 PM

                    Oh! And storing your data?

                    Think Google, Facebook, any other social networking site... Terabytes of personal data, all over the place, crosslinked and indexed, no less. Oh, and YouTube? We're talking 1080p video with CD-quality sound, thousands upon thousands of files, stored and served throughout the world. The data Microsoft would need to collect is but a drop in the bucket by comparison.

                    This problem has already been solved.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 3:31 PM

                  EULAs aren't really enforceable in a court of law. I mean, you could put in a clause that makes you give up your spleen and the courts would rule that as unenforceable.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 1:55 PM

                Taking Bonghits here comes a Dorritos add!

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 1:16 PM

            Fapping at porn

          • reply
            February 13, 2013 1:02 PM

            -Jerking off
            -Petting your cat inappropriately
            -Arguing with your stupid wife
            -yelling at your kids
            -etc,etc

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 1:20 PM

          What kills me is how willing and nonchalant we are about it all. In the name of entertainment or convenience.

          I don't have a Facebook, etc, but I still have a digital footprint I can't erase. It's disconcerting.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 1:48 PM

            Hear! Hear!

            I made the same point above, which was nonchalantly brushed off just like the issues this raises.

            Don't you see, people? l{It's already working.}l

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 5:57 PM

          On a scale from 1 to Gary Busey, how high are you right now?

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 6:30 PM

          You didn't step up to the paranoia edge, you took a running leap off it with a wingsuit and are soaring across the valley of insanity right now.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 6:31 PM

            Also holy shit dude the first thing that happens when a new piece of hardware comes out is that geeks rip it apart and see what's inside. You think they wouldn't notice a Li-Ion battery or SSD where one wasn't expected?

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 6:56 PM

              Are you saying you're willing to drop $600 (or wtf ever) on a brand spanking new Xbox 3.141596... and tear open the camera and microphone, likely rendering your new system unusable (because I'm pretty sure a Microsoft stipulation in its manufacturing contract will be that the cameras shall not be user-serviceable, and thus should break permanently on tampering.)

              I think geeks would notice such cute little additions, but a) as is evidenced here, geeks are completely willing to look the other way, assuming that the gamer gods have some totally-not-creepy reason for including those components; and b) the vast majority of non-geeks (as evidenced here) will either not listen, or will not understand, which will make them ignore the warnings even more vehemently.

              I want to make it clear right now, because most are completely missing this subtle point, I'm not saying they will include these nefarious additions, but that they easily could. And the greatest danger is not that this system will come out and totally be stalking you and hacking your Friendface, but that the ubiquity of such devices is slowly eroding peoples sense of self preservation, freedom and privacy, at a rate that we don't even notice. Let me state that again: location tracking, voice recognition, optical recording devices are becoming so ubiquitous that we don't care about a new technology is being released that actually identifies users passively, and cane monitor them almost continuously. The tech is there, and if you want an Xbox you must have that tech present. Regardless of their intent, you are becoming docile and willing to give up the next chunk of yourself by being okay with this sort of thing.

              Perhaps my wingsuit is keeping me safely aloft as the droves plummet to their deaths in el Cañon de los Locos.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 7:03 PM

                so what is your solution? Our dreams have always been filled with science fiction tech of computers that respond to our voices, biometric passwords, video (or holo) chat anywhere, etc. Is the future you're envisioning forever devoid of these things? Or is it just one where every single hand off involved in these technologies is fully open source and constantly audited?

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 7:30 PM

                  Yeah, so I replied to your auditing comments in the thread below. That's a straw man and you aren't looking at the situation rationally.

                  I think that it's pretty awesome that we're getting ever closer to Star Trek in our daily lives. One day I might even have Gene Roddenberry's wife tell me that the shields are down. But that really is where it should stop. Why do I need to have my biometric monitoring device automatically beam my cholesterol levels to my doctor? Do I not have the personal agency to upload it explicitly, or simply bring the device with me to my next appointment? Is life so hard that I'd gladly forfeit my free will piece by piece for the sake of convenience?

                  Maybe that's your bag. Clearly I'm not fighting for you, then, and I'm cool with that. But I'm not cool with everybody being spoon fed and encouraged to be lazy. As much as I wish it weren't the case, humans need other humans around to survive. I don't think it's a bad thing that they should be free as well. I'll just make a note that I can skip over your concerns when I'm debugging my code.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 7:42 PM

                I don't have to tear down my own device in order to watch or read a teardown of someone else's. There are entire communities that get off on tearing apart brand new electronics and seeing what's inside.

                And no, the wingsuit wasn't meant to convey anything other than that fact that you not only crossed the paranoia line but that you continue to fly farther and farther past it. It was in no way meant to suggest anything positive about your ability to remain rational.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 7:11 PM

          I love this post. It's got just enough crazy to be dismissed by some, but it's not outside the realm of possibility.

        • reply
          February 12, 2013 2:12 AM

          you're a hilarious lunatic

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:36 PM

        To join the tinfoil hate people, no it's not but it IS going to get us used to having the camera always on in the loungeroom, so that the console after this will have the "sorry, you have 1 too many guests to watch this movie" stuff can come in.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 2:27 PM

        Put a lens cap on it?

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:01 PM

        http://i.imgur.com/ua69Bue.png

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:23 PM

        It really does sound like the "telescreen" from 1984. You can never turn it off; you can only turn the volume down, and it's always watching you.

        "Smith!" screamed the shrewish voice from the telescreen. "6079 Smith W.! Yes, you! Bend lower, please!"

        Quiz time: excerpt from Nineteen Eighty Four, or review quote on the next-gen incarnation of Your Shape: Fitness Evolved?

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 3:32 PM

          why don't you already feel this way about every webcam equipped laptop, tablet and phone?

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 3:34 PM

            this is the archvile we're talking about. he probably does

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 3:50 PM

            I'm not a fan, but there's a very real difference in that I actually control the software that controls the web cam. I can prevent it from going online, from saving images, or from being recognized by the OS altogether.

            Of course, I run GNU/Linux. A cannot speak for Windows. But really, what's the difference between Windows and the next-gen Xbox's OS?

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 4:07 PM

              assuming they haven't subverted your ability to do that.

              And what about your phone/tablet?

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 4:44 PM

                That's the point of free software: the user is in control. Because I can access the source code, I don't have to let the program do a damn thing. And, if it turns out that a peripheral has malicious functionality built in, that gets shitcanned without a second thought. And herein lies the real issue with the required Kinect system: you have no choice. If you want to play a game on the Xbox, you have to use Microsoft's products. You can't choose another camera that actually turns off, because Microsoft has complete control of the platform. Even if they allow third-party hardware, they may require always on, always recording as a stipulation of licensing their technology. You don't win.

                And my phone/tablet? Rooted! Running the Replicant Android mod. 100% free (as in freedom) software, 100% open source. And the community is vehemently dedicated to ensuring user privacy. I'm good, there.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 5:17 PM

                  I can see this is going to go nowhere with how hardline you are about these concepts. Reality is most big companies don't want to release every bit of their source code and most people don't want to deal with the complexity of having every single option include 13 different dials.

                  I mean, ok you look at the source code for your client webcam app and thoroughly audit it and do accurate threat modeling. Then you do that for the 3-4 different operating systems you're running. Once these 10s of millions of lines of code are fully audited, how do you ensure no one in the middle is doing what you're fearing the client side was doing? Great you rooted your Android phone and are in a Google Hangout with another rooted Android user. How do you know what Google's service side code is or isn't doing?

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 7:17 PM

                    I pick my battles. I avoid using Google's apps, especially since there are free alternatives. I don't need to touch every bit of configuration available to me. In fact, for the most part UI design in the free software world is better than what you find with proprietary software, and the developers react to user input very quickly, so I don't even have to see the complexity unless I really want to. We may be a bunch of dirty hippies, but we aren't luddites. (That should be obvious from the words I'm magically putting on your screen, but I should be thorough.)

                    And clearly I don't personally audit all the code that I run, a genuinely impossible task. There are many, many teams developing these programs with these ideals in mind, though. I help in the projects that I can, and I personally trust many of the developers in other projects and the GNU distribution I use. There's a set of ethics at play here that is completely separate from market forces, and it's doing a great deal of good. You should really try it some time. You'll sleep better.

                    It seems to me that my "hardline" stance derives from a well reasoned understanding of the forces at play, not just some glittery fantasy that you seem to think I possess. Please, think about where our world is right now. It's dangerous to just close your eyes and jerk your knee up at everything that doesn't make life easy, which is really where I think your stance is coming from. Yeah, I want things to be simple and I don't want to spend my days tweaking every little thing I come in contact with. Turns out that I do have that, and I don't walk around wondering whether a rootkit is dormant on my computer or my is broadcasting my location to nearby electronic billboards.

                    • reply
                      February 11, 2013 7:47 PM

                      I pick my battles. I avoid using Google's apps, especially since there are free alternatives. I don't need to touch every bit of configuration available to me.

                      The fact that you're even considering these things in your thought process is a level of configuration most people will never do or even understand (consider the naive view of thinking you're ok if your client side apps are open source and trusted).

                      In fact, for the most part UI design in the free software world is better than what you find with proprietary software

                      The market and consumers have consistently voted in quite the opposite direction.

                      And clearly I don't personally audit all the code that I run, a genuinely impossible task. There are many, many teams developing these programs with these ideals in mind, though. I help in the projects that I can, and I personally trust many of the developers in other projects and the GNU distribution I use. There's a set of ethics at play here that is completely separate from market forces, and it's doing a great deal of good. You should really try it some time. You'll sleep better.

                      I'm well aware how it works. I've actually worked on multiple things that are open source and been paid to do so (by MS no less). You're simply only choosing to trust those who put all their source out there. I don't think that's a realistic expectation of every software company for a variety of reasons, and I don't think that in doing so they're inherently untrustworthy as a result. I use Google services and trust that they're not spying on me. Same as most everyone else.

                      Those ethics you talk about happen at a level above source code access, because no one is getting source access to Google Search, iCloud, or a variety of other services that are already pervasive at consumer and business levels. Even when you can see what data is being collected in source you then have to trust how that data is used when it goes over the wall and some company says its silo'd from some other part of the company or whatever.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 4:37 PM

            I keep my cameras covered and no I'm not joking

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 5:31 PM

            Because those devices still work when the webcam is off.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 6:02 PM

              how do I turn off the cameras on my iPhone?

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 6:31 PM

                you could just put a piece of tape over it honestly if you were that paranoid that it might be on even if you didn't turn it on.

                The info in the article implies that the kinect for the next consoles won't work unless the kinect is ok, and can recognize you.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 5:51 PM

          It sounds like it so much that it does none of the specific things you mention!

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 8:22 PM

        You are being watched. The government has a secret system: a machine that spies on you every hour of every day. I know because I built it. I designed the machine to detect acts of terror, but it sees everything. Violent crimes involving ordinary people, people like you. Crimes the government considered irrelevant. They wouldn't act, so I decided I would. But I needed a partner, someone with the skills to intervene. Hunted by the authorities, we work in secret. You'll never find us, but victim or perpetrator, if your number's up... we'll find you.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:33 PM

      Why would they even think about doing that?

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:34 PM

        if every console is guaranteed to have it, and to have it configured properly, then games can rely on it being there. dividing the playerbase has always been the biggest problem with console add-ons, and this is how you fix it

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 12:37 PM

          Its also how you potentially ruin all the good will you've spent years building with the traditional gamer sector, who also tend to be the enthusiastic early adopters.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 1:18 PM

            how does it ruin good will to have it?

            • reply
              February 12, 2013 12:57 AM

              Pay extra 150 dollars for device you don't want to use, doesn't encourage good will.

              • reply
                February 12, 2013 12:59 AM

                Lets remember this isn't some brand new device gamers could get excited about. Kinect has a dreadful reputation among "traditional" gamers. Its seem as a fucking joke, even if the new one is much improved, we've already learned that developers are completely mystified as to how to build any kind of serious game around that interface.

                Forcing gamers who feel like that to pay and extra $150 for entry isn't wise.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:33 PM

        One of the patents MS has is to restrict the playback of DVDs if more than a certain number of people are watching it. Thus, they could leverage this technology into deals with other media corporations who would happily sign on board because it would mean more rentals/purchases.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:35 PM

      What i keep asking myself is how they are going to release a console that tech wise is almost identical to the ps4, plus a 2nd gen kinnect and be able to price this under $550.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:36 PM

      $499 is a price tag I'd rather not see, but is becoming more and more likely.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:37 PM

      Tinfoil hat theory: Its the new DRM; It will recognize the owner of the game and disallow anyone else to playing the game.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 12:51 PM

        The tinfoil hat will not help you.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:34 PM

        perhaps, the new consoles are supposedly anti-rental/anti-used games anyways. It may not be long before biometrics will be involved in order to activate a game, thus locking others out of the game.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 10:44 PM

        first drm to be foiled by a passport photo

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:41 PM

      Well, I'm registering kinectcocks.com.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:45 PM

      These rumours are becoming less and less believable.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:50 PM

      This is disappointing. I hope that it is either an incorrect rumor or the actual implementation/execution isn't as bad as it sounds.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 12:59 PM

      why would anybody care? tell me why i'm mad!!!

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:07 PM

        becuz dey makin you do shit homes

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:22 PM

        Because your $15 movie is now $20 because it thinks that you must pay for your dog to watch the movie too.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:27 PM

        Because most of us want to be able to just hook up the minimal amount of console, pop in a game and play. That's supposed to be the entire strength of a console. If I have to hooked up and find space for and configure a bunch of extra shit then that benefit is gone.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 1:32 PM

          Errr well isn't it just like a single wire and a thing that sits there.

          I am trying to be outraged here!!

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 1:49 PM

            It requires lots of space to move around. Not everyone has that.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 1:53 PM

              You're talking about particular games, though. Just having the device plugged in doesn't indicate that you'll have to use it in any way. If it's only required to be plugged in because voice commands are integrated into the system, for example, then that issue doesn't make a difference.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 1:59 PM

                whatever i'm mad as hell

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 4:23 PM

                True. I'm not upset about it. I'm just not big on all these always-on requirements, be they hearsay or confirmed reports, for consoles. Consoles are supposed to be simple. You pop in or boot up a game, and you're in. It's been that simple for decades.

                Right now, I can play most games without Internet connectivity. Without Kinect. That's awesome. I'd rather that not change.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 4:34 PM

                  an always on console is actually simpler, you get to start the game without turning on the console and waiting for it to boot

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 5:29 PM

                    If there is one console I would never want "always on," it's either of my two 360s. If those things aren't playing games, they're off.

                    • reply
                      February 11, 2013 5:43 PM

                      none of the current gen systems are designed to be always on from a hardware or software perspective so that's not really unusual or surprising. I mean, it's pretty obvious that if that was a design goal from day 1 things like ambient sound levels would've been prioritized higher like they were with the redesigned hardware.

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 5:55 PM

                    You raise a point, but I find it a weak one. How long do consoles take to boot, really? My PS3 turns on within seconds. The 360 takes longer, but again, "longer" is measured in seconds--3, maybe 4?

                    I'm more concerned about always-on Internet connectivity. I lose my connection every so often. Everyone does. But I can still play 99.9% of my game collection.

                    Honestly, I'm disenchanted with the direction I see the industry heading. I think games themselves are better than other; it's a lot of the fluff surrounding them that's muddying the whole thing.

                    • reply
                      February 11, 2013 6:00 PM

                      4-5 seconds of "booting" is the reason phones and tablets are preferable for email over laptops. There are other benefits, some of which you can see now with PSN+. Never needing to do a firmware update or patch a game because it happened in the background while you were away? Start a game/demo download from your phone/PC while you're at work so it's ready on your console when you're home.

                      All of these things are divorced from the idea of needing to be online all the time to play a singleplayer game. If someone goes the route of Ubi style always on DRM (which I find hard to imagine) that's orthogonal to the nice features always on can provide. They're not a package deal.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 2:00 PM

              but no one even knows how much they have improved it. if it's going to be required, im going to assume that they have improved the technology enough that it'll work in almost any situation

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 3:25 PM

              Yeah; Kinect tanked hugely in Japan because it was technology made for huge entertainment rooms in suburbian Washington state, not mini-apartments in Tokyo.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 3:31 PM

                but the Wii and Wii Fit did just fine so apparently there is enough room to physically move around, you just need the technology to be a little more capable.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 5:52 PM

              So don't use it. Also, we don't know that about this new version.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 1:33 PM

          I'm sure that the frequency that you unplug your 360 from the rat's nest of wires behind your entertainment center isn't that often.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 1:59 PM

            IT IS AN OUTRAGE I WILL BUY A PS4 BEFORE I AM FORCED TO RUN ANOTHER MOTHERFUCKING WIRE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111111111111111111111111111111111111111

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 5:41 PM

            I actually do move my xbox and ps3 around quite frequently because I hook them up to my pc monitor when I want to play in HD.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 7:17 PM

              I move mine upstairs and down depending on what i'm up to with them.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:17 PM

        I play in a theater room with a 120" screen mounted in the wall, there is no place for me to put a kinect unit, and no place for me to stand up without blocking the projector.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 3:22 PM

          you can still take advantage of things like voice recognition. That said, I think it's pretty fair to realize that no one making a mainstream product is going to optimize their designs around someone with a setup like yours.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:00 PM

      What's the concern, here? That including a Kinect will in some way cause your systems or games to not function, or that every game is going to be a Kinect game? For the latter, I thought that after-market accessories were always a bad idea. The worst problem the 360 had at release was that there was a version that didn't include a hard drive. The Kinect coming with the system just means less fragmentation. It doesn't automatically make every game into a Kinect game any more than including Live makes every game multiplayer. If it's the former, well, I doubt that they're going to force you to use it, even if you have to have it plugged in, but only time will tell. If they do, though, they'll have to address all of the faults that the current version has first.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:01 PM

      Are you guys reposting that article sourced from Kotaku, which is based on some gentlemen who was selling fake dev kits on Ebay?

      Perhaps we should not repost unsourced rumors from Kotaku articles?

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:40 PM

        Wow, seriously. Anyways, I guess we can always put a piece of paper over the camera. What was that, a year or 2 ago that they said the kinect has the ability to gather information about what you're wearing and what brands are in your area of play so it can give you ads based off that?

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 1:50 PM

        I believe it's based on the Eurogamer article which came out a while back.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:15 PM

        It's based (supposedly) on documents direct from Microsoft that Totilo actually saw. I typically hate Kotaku and I hate these rumors even more, but this is probably a bit more credible than some of the other recent rumors that have come out.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:17 PM

      one step closer to better VR gaming

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:31 PM

      Requiring a Kinect is okay for me as long as the overall price is competitive, but additional tracking features isn't going to mean much if its tracking isn't close to 1-1 in terms of speed.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:38 PM

      I still doubt this. How is it going to work for those of us where the xbox doesn't sit under/near the TV? Are they going to provide 50 ft cables?

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:54 PM

      i don't see what the problem is. they could never make it mandatory for games since not everyone has the room but if they have refined voice control for menus and games, that'd be pretty cool.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 1:58 PM

      It's a great idea to me. There's a lot that can be done with the Kinect technology in terms of gameplay that people have not begun to touch on, most of which would be in addition to regular core gameplay.

      Think about what the Valve guys could do if they reversed their facial expression technology from Half Life 2 so that it reads people's expressions. A game could realize that you are getting frustrated, or happy, or excited. Think about a detective game where you are acting out the scene - using your voice and making expressions to try and get a response from somebody. We could have adventure games that are complicated text parsers come back.

      You could have a FPS where you have to diffuse a bomb using your hands. THe rest of the game is normal, but you have to drop your controller to diffuse the bomb, which means you can't shoot anybody. You could lean your head around to see around corners.

      There's a lot of little things (and big things) that can be added if you have the Kinect standard. Also, you make the sensor wireless.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 2:10 PM

      It just sounds like they will want to facilitate "Xbox, on, please." style functionality. It would be pretty cool.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 2:24 PM

      Has there been any more news on whether it will be in two parts like the leaked information from months ago said? That document had the Kinect shown as two smaller devices which you put on either side of your TV similar to your front left and right speakers. That added separation might give the Kinect a better depth perception and allow it to map your room more effectively.

      I'm not sure I understand all the hate in this thread though. I think you are all pissed off because you are imagining this device to be like the current Kinect. But if you think about how much potential there is for a high powered Kinect which actually works 99% of the time... then I think people should be excited. IF they can pull it off, we are talking about Minority Report interfaces etc. If the thing works only a little bit better than it does now.... then yeah... this sucks.

      I'm going to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they solved all the Kinect's issues in the past few years and this is the real deal now. I think MS's future might depend on how well this new Kinect works... it's in their best interest to get it right.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 2:28 PM

      Durango Unchained

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 3:33 PM

      Can I get an update on who is super mad about this

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 3:46 PM

        The thought of a camera staring at me non stop bugs me. I don't play many console games so I will just probably pass unless some fucking super huge amazing thing happens on it.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 4:06 PM

          the current Kinect could have been doing this, but it doesn't, because it's creepy and violates your privacy and the product team knows it

          http://m.kotaku.com/5681521/microsoft-says-kinect-wont-invade-your-privacy

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 4:40 PM

            The current one isn't required to be on and calibrated in order to play any game like this new one will.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 5:22 PM

              assuming the rumors are true. But again, if you're worried about this you should be just as worried about the current Kinect, your laptop's webcam, your phone, etc.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 6:16 PM

                Stop buying xboxes after my 2nd 360 died, don't have drivers installed for my webcam and well my phone I leave it at home all the time heh.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 6:20 PM

                  you're just dodging the question. If you have a recent smartphone, tablet, or laptop, you are constantly in front of a webcam running on a system owned by some large corporation, quite possibly one profiting explicitly by collecting user data, why are you not already just ad worried about that ad you are about a hypothetical console that does the same thing?

                  • reply
                    February 11, 2013 6:40 PM

                    Because out of your example all I use is a phone and I am very aware that it is an expensive tracking device.

                    • reply
                      February 11, 2013 6:43 PM

                      Jeez just put a piece of electrical tape over the lens if you're genuinely concerned the illuminati is after your ass.

                      What a bizarre concern.

                      • reply
                        February 11, 2013 7:20 PM

                        Drones, CISPA, NDAA warrentless wiretapping, indefinite detention yeah we shouldn't be worried at all because the war on drugs and terror is working out so well.

                  • reply
                    February 12, 2013 1:03 AM

                    With all of the items you discussed i feel personally the kinect is the most intrusive. My phone is usually in a pocket or at the bottom of my bag or facing downwards. My laptop is closed when i'm not using it.

                    But a camera sitting on top of my tv is there pointing at me any time i'm at home. Thats the thing i wouldnt believe MS is actually spying or anything ridiculous, its an irrational fear. But that doesn't mean i'm not uncomfortable with it.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 4:44 PM

          Just show your privates to the internet and get it over with.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 4:09 PM

        valcan is too mad to post

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 4:58 PM

          :( FUKING BULLSHIT is what it is. As long as they have a controller it's not super shit, still this is a bad start for you know they are going to push it hard core K2.

          We shall see come E3 I really hope it is not as bad as many think and only a higher lvl control devie for the OS of the Xbox which would be fine.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 5:14 PM

            Why is making a game-enhancing feature like a hard drive optional a bad thing, but a game-enhancing feature like the Kinect optional a good thing?

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 5:17 PM

              Do you really need to ask this?

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 5:22 PM

                Yes. When the Kinect came out, everyone said, "what's the point if it doesn't come with the system and developers will avoid using it for such a small segment of the market?" Well, it turned out to do quite well and now they're going to ensure everyone has one so you don't have issues like with the 360 and hard drives early on where every game had to be designed to fit on a memory card, and everyone's upset for that? As far as we know, it's not going to force you to do anything except have the accessory ready to use.

                • reply
                  February 11, 2013 7:19 PM

                  Well then, privacy issues.

            • reply
              February 12, 2013 1:06 AM

              Well if Ms doesn't want to release a $600 console including a kinect, then it probably means they've removed other things to keep the price down.

              If it was a choice between a better gpu, more ram and a bigger HD i'd pick those over a camera i dont want to use.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 5:17 PM

            Kinect + Oculus Rift would be pretty damned cool. As with anything, if the install base doesn't have it, you lower the chances that devs will want to bother with it, so I think there is some really cool potential for kinect that meshes well with a gamepad player or possibly other peripherals to supplement the Kinect's potential.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 5:20 PM

            just connect a move to your kinnect.

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 6:44 PM

            Valcan if you're mad I'm mad. I change my stance to super mad. This is insulting to real gamers.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 4:14 PM

        Doesn't it have some sort of led so you know when it's on?

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 5:13 PM

        too easy to hack to take the chance of some idiot getting a front row seat to my living room, I have a PC so there isn't much an xbox is going to do for me that my PC can't do better anyway.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 3:50 PM

      Haven't they realized that always-on anything is NOT a good idea? Shouldn't things that you bought with YOUR money be used the way YOU want to use it? Might be a bit old-fashioned I guess.....

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 4:06 PM

      I wonder how uncomfortable it's going to make everyone jerkin' off in front of it.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 4:17 PM

      I won't buy it with Kinect I can tell you that.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 4:39 PM

      Congratulations Shacknews this is the overreaction you were looking for.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 4:49 PM

        You call debate and discussion about real social issues affecting the gaming community to be "overreaction"? You're not even the least bit interested in how this might impact your life?

        Good thing I have no desire to ever put your username into Google's image search.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 5:23 PM

          No because as much as this community likes to make fun of how people react to Fox News they run stories based off of rumors or lacking all the facts and make the next "logical" jump as to how this is going to be bad for them. This is the same damn thing only video game form.

          Honestly how would this impact my life? I get all the tinfoil hat paranoid tales of what they can do but seriously you honestly think that something like "spying" on people wouldn't get exposed and have HUGE ramifications against them. People post damning stuff to facebook all the time on purpose so they really don't need to be spied on. Oh well I guess I will just enjoy the Kool-Aid then.

          Also image search away there is a lot of pictures of sweet signs.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 5:54 PM

          People are going to monitor their router the day they get this to see if there's a lot of info being sent somewhere when sitting on the dashboard.

          Way too easy to see if it's sending a bunch of data in the background and expose them of spying on people.

          I really don't think the lawsuits would be worth it to them in the end. EULAs and ToS don't allow them to circumvent the law no matter how many times people click on "I Agree".

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 7:42 PM

            Only if you can prove the type of data they're sending.

            Okay, I'm used to being called crazy by people that don't want to think. But all sorts of issues have come down on our heads in the past ten years that everybody thought was crazy before, too, such as wiretapping without a warrant, RFID in our identifiers and a national push for a universal ID card, etc, etc. And, as much as people think suspecting the government is stupid (unless they're taking our guns and money, dadgummit!) they are relying more than ever on civilian infrastructures and technologies to keep us, and the world, in line.

            That last bit their, and the fact that corporations are becoming ever more powerful, and they are getting ever more officials elected, means that your comment about inability to circumvent the law is not as definite as one might believe. The law does not exist to define right and wrong, nor is it to protect the good people from the bad. The law exists to protect the interests of the powerful. Period.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 4:45 PM

      It will help us see the ghosts!

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 5:09 PM

      Does this mean I have to start waving my hands around like a fool whenever I want to play Xbox?

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 5:16 PM

      Well as long as Sony doesn't do stupid shit like this I might still get a next gen console. If not I'll remain with the PC master race.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 5:33 PM

        Sony will pioneer the Always Off console. Which is what my PS3 already is BWAHAHAHAHA

        *ahem*

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 5:20 PM

      How are people still using the 360? It's an inferior product at this point compared to the PS3 / PC. If this report is true, I doubt I'll pick up the next XBox.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 5:27 PM

        Please say either SUCKbox or Three-shitty if you're going to post this to make it clear. Preferably both.

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 5:35 PM

          I'm actually trying to be serious. I think the 360 has really fallen behind as far as services go. Sure, it might be partially personal preference, but I don't turn mine on anymore, and a lot of it is based around the following points:

          -I've run out of XBLA exclusive games I want to play. FEZ was my game of the year for last year, and I loved Trials Evolution, but I haven't wanted to buy another game for the service.

          -I'm tired of paying for Gold. The only reason I was paying for it was so that I could buy XBLA titles, but now I know that it isn't necessary. Now, I'd prefer to not support a platform that charges me to use my paid services from other companies. PS+ is hands down the better service. This is empirical and objective. Maybe if all of your friends play on the 360, you would consider it worth it to pay for the service to play with them. However, that's something that you and your friends are bringing to the system. It'd be a better choice just to play on a service that doesn't cost you to play on it.

          -The AAA exclusive titles aren't interesting to me. I don't care about Halo, nor do I desire a Gears game. What other 360 exclusives draw players?

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 5:56 PM

            The obvious answer is you're picking a very narrow and subjective set of criteria. Two of your three issues are related to exclusive games. This is obviously largely about personal taste and for the most part it's always going to ebb and flow year to year depending on the releases. The simple fact is that exclusives have become less and less important because fewer and fewer studios can justify cutting their potential market in half. Further, exclusives are transient. They can be bought and lost, ported later, etc. There's no guarantee strong exclusives will carry into the next gen unless it's actually a first party developer (of which there are fewer and fewer) and even then you still have to execute (consider how valuable an exclusive Final Fantasy used to be).

            Which gets to the issues of services which you again picked a really narrow criteria. Obviously whether or not you want to pay for online services and how much you get from each is important. But its also worth looking deeper than that if you're seriously asking the question. XBL long ago provided a much better multiplayer experience and that means my friends and I are in one place and get used to using that. Built in headsets, cross game chat, parties with voice chat across games (including while I play singleplayer if I want), achievements and more were all things XBL did waaay better than PSN for years (many years). Sony has caught up on some of those but still frequently gives you a subpar experience.

            Yeah I have to pay to use Netflix on my 360 instead of the PS3. But you know what? I get a better experience on the 360 as far as what the platform owner can provide. When Netflix needs an update on the 360 it tells me, I press a button and it downloads the update and is done in a minute. The other day I tried to use it on my PS3 and Netflix said it needed an update to run, go find where to apply updates in the OS yourself and then try again. So not only was it a bunch more manual work, but the updating process itself took 10x as long or more. And then on the Xbox I get a better in app experience because of voice controls from Kinect.

            Again, services, we can talk about XBLA vs PSN selection but that's pretty personal, what's not is things like mandatory demos. On the Xbox I always get to try before I buy. On PSN I just have to spend $15 on Tokyo Jungle and hope it's as good as some say (hint: it's not). That's the kind of service infrastructure I trust to carry forward and improve. Where as That Game Company could go multiplatform any time after I already bought a console (iirc they already have fulfilled their exclusivity contract).

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 6:14 PM

              also I forgot to mention one of my favorite features on the Xbox which is universal search across media apps. I can just say "Xbox Bing __" and quickly find whether the thing I want to watch/listen to is free on Netflix, purchaseable in HD on Xbox Video, cheaper on Crackle, etc. That's the kind of stuff in services that's huge, where as the rotating roster of free PSN+ games (what else do you get there that the 360 doesn't do? background updates?) is again something with an ebb and flow of value depending on your tastes and existing library.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 6:47 PM

              I'm not sure what you were doing that caused you so much grief getting Netflix to work. Maybe it needed an OS update to be connected to PSN which Xbox 360 would require as well if you haven't turned yours on in awhile like mine would need to do.

              It should update when you launch it just like the 360.

              I will agree that updates are much slower on PS3. No excuses there.

              Exclusives are a matter of preference but are still important when choosing a platform to support. If there were no exclusives on 360, why would I buy it over my PS3 or PC?

              It's actually been awhile since I bought an exclusive game but those early exclusives made me want a 360 more than a PS3 but when the exclusives I wanted shifted to the PS3 I stopped playing my 360 all together.

              I'm currently enjoying Dust 514 on PS3 and it could not be done on a 360 from an infrastructure perspective.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 7:12 PM

                I'm not sure what you were doing that caused you so much grief getting Netflix to work. Maybe it needed an OS update to be connected to PSN which Xbox 360 would require as well if you haven't turned yours on in awhile like mine would need to do.

                The difference is the 360 update happens in place and quickly, the PS3 says "there's an update you can't use this, go find where in the UI you can actually get the update." Another example of Sony's poor end to end experience is the multiple reports lately of people struggling to play Ni No Kuni via digital download from PSN because it lists the space required for the download, not the download + required install (which happens to be nearly all the space a launch PS3 has). Jeff Cannata had his store download fail and leave 4-5gb of temp files on the disc in an unrecoverable fashion making the game completely unplayable.

                Exclusives are a matter of preference but are still important when choosing a platform to support. If there were no exclusives on 360, why would I buy it over my PS3 or PC?

                I'm not saying they're completely irrelevant but they're less important than they used to be. Some of the Xbox services I outlined are exactly why I'd buy the 360 version over the PC. If my friends are on 360 and I want to play with them? If I don't want to buy another headset for my PC to do voice chat? If I want to play from my couch? If I want Kinect controls? Etc. There are reasons. Obviously you still want to have some good exclusives but as I said and you just noted as well, they're fickle from year to year.

                • reply
                  February 12, 2013 4:50 AM

                  I'm with melkore on this: your experience is atypical. I use a ps3, and when I need to update Netflix, a game, or any other app, I get a download link as soon as I run the app. I can't use the app until I follow the link.

                  Not that my answer proves or disproves your point. I just wanted to point out that your experience is not the norm. That's odd considering such basic functionality as updating software should be streamlined across consoles of the same type.

            • reply
              February 11, 2013 10:46 PM

              The most telling part of this hardware cycle is that while the 360 began its life ahead of the PS3 service wise the user experience on that console has only gotten progressively worse (the dashboard is a travesty, ads everywhere, more and more difficult to actually find the content I want to purchase), while the PS3 has gotten significantly better.

              The PS3 hasn't achieved parity in every area, but this trend makes me significantly more optimistic for Sony's next offering than Microsoft's.

              • reply
                February 11, 2013 11:16 PM

                I would disagree pretty much across the board there

          • reply
            February 11, 2013 6:09 PM

            I just don't think you can call it an inferior product, even though I do agree with some of your points. Microsoft seems to have largely abandoned going after exclusives, or at least non-timed exclusives, but they still exist. I also don't play many AAA games on the 360 anymore since I got a PC that can run everything, but Spelunky and Dust also hit pretty big last summer. And, believe it or not, I really enjoyed Kinect Party.

            I think that X-Box Gold has always been worth the money if you have any interest in playing multiplayer games. But even without it, you still get a better experience than on any other platform, barring Steam. If Steam didn't exist and GFWL provided as good of an experience on the PC as it does on the X-Box, I'd probably happily pay for it there, too. The way the X-Box handles game downloads and updates is usually top-notch, whereas I'm frequently waiting longer to update a game on the PS3 than I actually end up playing it. And while I'm not fond of the abundance of ads in each new iteration of the X-Box Dashboard, I still end up finding what I want faster on it than I do with either version of the Playstation store. In so many areas, it still feels like Sony is trying to catch up.

            And the one thing I have to give to Microsoft over Sony above anything else is that they don't give up on an idea right out of the gate. The Kinect wouldn't have been included in the next console if it weren't successful, and it wouldn't have been successful if Microsoft had treated it the way Sony treated their after-market accessories, like the Move. What a waste of money and effort that was. And that fighting game that they brought the designer from Capcom over to make, then shut down when the interest wasn't there after a few weeks? Playstation Home? The weak Vita sales? It's one thing to axe something that clearly isn't desired or functional, but Sony is a collection of things that could have had momentum if the company got behind them in the way Microsoft has done with their efforts.

            Which is why, like it or not, the next X-Box will have applications that make it appealing to users over current generation consoles, particularly in the use of the Kinect. If you like Sony because it has more interesting exclusives, those will be there in their console, because that's their model. And the PC will continue to be a more-or-less open platform where stuff like Steam can thrive. The point is, each platform does provide something for people with various interests, and each platform does have weaknesses, as well. Trying to tell people what they should be interested in is just being a console warrior and it makes gaming as a hobby less interesting.

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        February 11, 2013 5:29 PM

        I doubt you were picking up the Xbox anyway. PS4lyfe!

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      February 11, 2013 5:35 PM

      Zero interest in the Kinect. That being said I'm hardly interested in any next-gen system, unless it's referring to my inevitable PC upgrade down the road a year or so. Now that's Next-gen, baby!

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      February 11, 2013 5:46 PM

      Don't really want this. If I have to ask "why would they require this?", and there's no obvious, practical benefit to the consumer, then it's probably more aligned with Microsoft's interests than mine.

      Not "mad". Just rubs me wrong and would make me less likely to buy it.

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        February 11, 2013 5:56 PM

        So you use every feature of every device you own? There's nothing any of them do that you don't use?

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          February 11, 2013 6:09 PM

          That's kind of the point. There's a reason why I have the option to disable Location Services on my phone. To listen to some in this thread, there's no logical reason for me to expect to have that flexibility.

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            February 11, 2013 7:16 PM

            But it's not like you know the kinect is going to be used by default.

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              February 11, 2013 7:46 PM

              Same with Location Services. Not every app uses it, but I can still disable it globally.

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                February 12, 2013 1:02 AM

                You actually can't entirely disable it. It's still available for use during emergency calls regardless of the setting you choose.

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          February 12, 2013 1:08 AM

          If the extra feature i dont use pushes the price up about $150 then yeah, i'll tend to go for the other device that more fits my needs.

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            February 12, 2013 1:10 AM

            Lucky for you both devices will have to be priced roughly competitively.

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              February 12, 2013 1:14 AM

              So does that mean the xbox will be less powerful to accomodate the extra cost of the kinect? Or are MS magically developing a superior kinect system that costs zero dollars?

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                February 12, 2013 1:25 AM

                The rumour is the MS console will have 8gb of ram, the Sony only 4 - the MS one however has 3gb of ram reserved.
                3gb...........

                That OS on there is going to be busy as fuck being a PVR / streamer or some shit, who knows.

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                  February 12, 2013 1:28 AM

                  I dunno i've heard so many different conflicting rumours about the ram in both systems, we'll just have to wait and see.

                  But my point still stands, how will MS include a new more powerful Kinnect without it pushing up the cost or them having to skimp in other areas.

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                      February 12, 2013 1:32 AM

                      I thought both systems would be selling at a dramatic loss anyway. Crazy if Ms wants to add another 100-200 on top of that for such a divisive extra feature.

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                        February 12, 2013 1:35 AM

                        Yeah, I expect both systems to sell at a loss, I'm just saying that neither company can really afford to have their system be significantly more expensive than the competition, especially with the actual hardware being so similar between them.

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                          February 12, 2013 1:36 AM

                          I mean heay, maybe I'll be wrong. I'm hardly an expert, but it didn't work out well for Sony last time and I don't think MS wants to be selling a prohibitively expensive system either.

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                            February 12, 2013 1:43 AM

                            I guess thats the point i've been trying to make in this whole thread. The first kinect was $150. Thats a fucking crazy expense to add to a system that already makes a loss. Its not like they're using that extra cost to fill the system with stuff that appeals to the traditional market, you know, early adopters and the like, who will be happy to pay the full price initially.

                            I could be totally wrong as well, maybe the new kinect will somehow do all the things the first version never managed to do and more. I just think they have an up hill battle persuading the average gamer that kinect has any value to them other than voice commands, and the party games everyone is already tired of.

                            The kinect already looks redundant compared to something like the oculas rift which is already on the horizon.

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                              February 12, 2013 1:51 AM

                              I doubt the new kinect will be significantly better than the old one but there are definitely advantages to making it a default part of the system. I don't think it'll really add all that much to the cost to produce the whole thing either. It's not like you were buying Kinects at-cost before, the damn thing doesn't cost $150 to manufacture, that's just what they figured they could get for it at retail.

                              Also, if the rumors are to be believed, MS has skimped on some of the other hardware where PS4 has gone slightly higher end. Both systems are still really similar but it looks like xbox is shooting for a broader target while the PS4 throws the money more specifically at performance. I wouldn't be surprised if at the end of the day, there isn't a crazy price difference between them even before they got to retail.

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                                February 12, 2013 1:55 AM

                                I mean, I suppose kinect could have been a loss leader, but given that they gutted a lot of the hardware stuff it was originally going to have and just did it in software, is there really all that much to the device itself?

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                                  February 12, 2013 2:03 AM

                                  Well we don't really know yet. All we've heard rumoured is that its a much more powerful Kinect. And obviously a system built from the ground up to support the Kinect is much better that the other way around.

                                  Either the calculations are done in software, which is a hit to performance, or they are done in hardware which requires allocating dedicated hardware to the camera, which is also a hit to performance.

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                                    February 12, 2013 2:28 AM

                                    What? Having dedicated hardware for the camera would be the preferred method. That shouldn't significantly impact performance at all.

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                                      February 12, 2013 2:52 AM

                                      But then there's less money to spend on the other bits of the system, I suppose.

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                                      February 12, 2013 4:40 AM

                                      Yeah you missed my point, obviously using hardware would benefit the camera. But that means you have to allocate dedicate hardware and memory for it, or you pay for extra hardware.

                                      If they're unwilling to put in extra ram or whatever is required, then you're subtracting memory away from the system for normal usage.

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                                        February 12, 2013 4:44 AM

                                        The point i'm getting at here is that the inclusion of the kinect costs MS something and possibly the gamer too if they're not excited about what the kinect offers.

                                        Either, Ms foots the bill and provides a system just as powerful as the PS4 and pays for additional hardware to support the Kinect. Meaning they make a really significant loss on each system.

                                        Or they release a more expensive system. (Unlikley)

                                        Or if they're willing to take a bigger than usual loss to get ahead, then it could be argued if they had never included a kinect they could have launched at a much lower advantageous price point.

                                        Its all just speculation at this point. It really depends on how much improved the kinect is, and whether developers have magically found a way to make it useful for traditional games.

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                                          February 12, 2013 4:59 AM

                                          I think the rumours are that Durango has a weaker GPU and slower ram, which could be to offset the extra cost of a bundled kinect.

                                          The 360 had hardware to generate the depth map from the laser dot pattern but relied on software to do all the skeleton recognition. If they do the same thing with Durango you can expect to lose a chunk of CPU to kinect processing as well.

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                                        February 12, 2013 10:59 AM

                                        They already have a shitload of ram in that thing and they have a lot of it reserved for non-gaming applications (at least if the rumors are to be believed). It doesn't seem that far-fetched that some of that might be to support Kinect.

                                        Also, depending on the kind of dedicated hardware the Kinect camera requires, the memory requirements for it might be very small or nonexistent. Remember, dedicated hardware can do a ridiculous amount of processing with no memory at all.

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                                          February 12, 2013 11:00 AM

                                          In any case we're arguing about rumors and I think I've made any of the points I feel strongly about. It'll be really interesting to see what each system has to offer.

              • reply
                February 12, 2013 1:29 AM

                No, it means regardless of the price of the hardware, the actual price to the consumer can't be significantly higher than the competition or else they'll be in the same position Sony was in at the beginning of the current generation.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 5:51 PM

      I am so angry, this is fucking horseshit

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 5:51 PM

      How is this different from the Wii? I don't remember the outrage over the Wii sensor bar.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 6:07 PM

        the sensor bar isn't a camera

        • reply
          February 11, 2013 6:10 PM

          How is this different from the Wii iPad? I don't remember the outrage over the Wii sensor bar iPad Camera.

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 8:46 PM

      So either the kinect will be a separate part like it is now, or it will have to be built in and you will have to but the whole console somewhere it can see you. The latter doesn't sound realistic so I guess the kinect sensor is seperate still.
      Either way, we're up to 2 rumors that will be no-sales if they're true.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 10:50 PM

        For flexibility's sake I would think it needs to be separate.

      • reply
        February 11, 2013 10:51 PM

        still separate but i imagine the sensor unit will be smaller since they can put most of the electronics into the console box itself which currently have to go into the kinect itself

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 10:52 PM

      and it runs the OS the WHOLE TIME even if you DONT USE it

    • reply
      February 11, 2013 11:22 PM

      So all the dashboard stuff will be a hand-waving affair? That sounds pretty cool; Minority Report, rad.

      • reply
        February 12, 2013 1:00 AM

        You haven't actually used a Kinect or seen one in use, have you?

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          February 12, 2013 1:47 AM

          Yeah thats the other thing as well, i've heard so many reports of Kinect working really well for some people and really terrible for others depending on the shape / size of their room/ furniture in their room/ lightning etc.

          They have to be super fucking confident it works 100% of the time if they're pushing this as a core feature.

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            February 12, 2013 1:54 AM

            Only if they were going to mandate its use. Making it a core feature means there's more incentive to incorporate it in a game, but said game doesn't have to be a 100% kinect game either. It can just be a game with some exclusive hardware support on xbox.

            You mentioned the oculus rift before, I think it would be really cool to combine kinect and an oculus rift. It would be far from perfect but if done right it could add just enough more to make the experience more amazing than it already would be.

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              February 12, 2013 2:00 AM

              Sure, but its still odd to ship a piece of hardware as a core feature that might just straight up not work in some peoples homes correctly. Of course the controller will be still there, but it will still be an odd thing to explain away.

              The occulas rift thing could be very awesome though. I guess we have to wait and see just how good the new Kinnect is. As the O.R seems to deliver an incredibly fidelity of movement and precision, combining that with anything that is even slightly flakey could really ruin the experience. But yeah, it had loads of potential. Also curious what Valve has planned with the O.R and steambox, they've already expressed their suport for their device and their desire to evolve input methods. Could be exciting.

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              February 12, 2013 10:56 AM

              I cant figure out if it's good or bad to mandate those features. It seems like when they mandate the new feature, it gets used in an annoying tacked on way (stupid xbl achievements, DS games with 2 big buttons on the touch screen that could have just been shoulder buttons, pointless waggle QTEs on Wii), but if you DON'T mandate, very very few games use it, especially when everyone would prefer to be cross platform.
              Only first party or those "2nd party" titles have a good chance and it's still not certain the feture will really work well.

    • reply
      February 12, 2013 12:02 AM

      Of course it will require Kinect! How else is Microsoft going to count the number of people in the room before you watch a movie? They have a per-viewer bill to calculate!

      • reply
        February 12, 2013 1:45 AM

        Hah, any everyone builds tiny one person dioramas around their Kinect every time they watch a movie.

        • reply
          February 12, 2013 2:30 AM

          Or strategically moves the Kinect and places a large poster in front of it.

        • reply
          February 12, 2013 10:57 AM

          if this really happened, it would actually be worth it.

    • reply
      February 12, 2013 2:08 AM

      Report = Rumor

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      February 12, 2013 4:53 AM

      I'm fine with this, as long as it provides additional functionality and is not used as the primary input method.