The Battle Continues With XBox 360

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Each and every year, video game engineering increasingly resembles the fanciful ideas found inside a Star Trek episode. In 2006, Nintendo released the Wii, which was the very first house video game console based around motion sensitive controls and featured games that one could directly interact with utilizing physical movements, as opposed to strictly pressing buttons.

The Wii proved wildly well-liked, outselling its competitors, the PS3 and Xbox 360, and in December 2009, broke the record for best-selling console in the single month within the United States. It was so successful in fact, that the PS3 almost immediately tried to implement some degree of motion sensitive control in its program, introducing the Six-axis controller. The Wii made video games a more physical activity than they had ever been perceived as and appealed to a wide demographic including people who were specifically non-gamers. It’s easy, fun interactivity made it appealing to all kinds, not just hardcore gamers.

On November 4th, 2010, nevertheless, Microsoft intends to up the ante inside a large way by releasing the Microsoft Kinect. The Xbox 360 Kinect is webcam style peripheral that detects motion, gestures, facial expressions, and voice commands, utilizing this as the medium via which players interact with games. Whereas the Wii still used a controller whose presence and physical orientation have been detected by the method, the Xbox Kinect requires no controller whatsoever. The gamer’s physical self is detected using an RGB camera and depth sensor capable of three dimensional motion capture, so that no controller is required to interact with the system. One’s physical movements are read and interpreted directly by the game.

The Kinect is capable of simultaneously tracking up to six separate folks, having a feature extraction of 20 joints or 48 skeletal points per player, and depending on their distance from the sensor bar, is able to interpret the movements of individual fingers. The sensor bar itself is seated atop a motorized pivot that can tilt 27 degrees up or down, and has an angular field of view of 57 degrees. Between the motion capture capabilities as well as the sensor bar’s ability to physically orient itself, the program is even in a position to track and follow a moving individual throughout applications for example video chat via Xbox Live or Windows Live Messenger.

Where the Wii was merely a glimpse into what house consoles have been really capable of, the Kinect firmly commits itself to that path and aims to revolutionize not only the way games are played, but what truly defines a game. So innovative is the technology in fact, that Microsoft intends for this to function practically as the release of an entirely new console, which doesn’t seem unfair given that the Kinect will most certainly make the Xbox 360 function as new. Thus far, 16 launch titles have been announced, having a myriad much more no doubt on the way.

Between the Kinect, and similarly exciting systems in development for the Playstation 3 – in addition to whatever innovations 3rd party software developers are in a position to wring out of the engineering – the future of gaming promises to be something genuinely out of science fiction.


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