While not called Kinect 2.0, the updated Kinect sensor that will come in the box of every Xbox One is very much the next generation of the peripheral.
This next version of Kinect is a remarkably-improved product over the original even if it seems like an iterative step in Kinect’s short history.
The camera has been updated to include a 1080p sensor that is also an active infrared sensor. The latter of those two technologies is key in Kinect’s success because it means the new sensor will be able to see you in a pitch-black room or in one with light blown out from one side, or even one with just plain poor lighting.
The 1080p sensor will of course help bring the great quality Skype calls to the console as well as make it possible for the system to track you more accurately. It also has a very wide field of view so your furniture doesn’t likely need to be pushed as far back for you to be able to play.
The multi-microphone array has been moved to the bottom of the device, though whether that provides additional function is unseen.
It doesn’t look like the new Kinect is motorized as the first was, as its base is significantly wider than Kinect version one. It almost looks like the PlayStation 4 Eye more than anything else.
What is causing quite a stir right now is that Kinect will actually let you say “Xbox, On!” to turn the console on, however that means that it is constantly in a powered state. Will Kinect be able to hear what’s going on in your house even when the Xbox One is turned off? Is Watch_Dogs becoming a reality before the game even ships?
Version two of Kinect will be able to track your body more precisely than ever before, including wrist movements and smaller intricacies in the human body’s motion. It will also be able to tell when you pick up a controller so that it can put you right back into your last game. Oh, and it does that without a light bar.
We’ll have hands-on impressions of the console, controller, and of course, Kinect, once we get into Los Angeles for E3 in a few short weeks!