Move vs Kinect: In their own words

Pt.2: Sony and Microsoft make their case...

In the first part of our motion control interview spectacular, Sony's Dr Richard Marks did his best to convince you of Move's exciting future.


Annoyingly for Sony, its not the only platform holder with its tanks on Nintendo's body-popping lawn.

Microsoft's Kinect launches in November for a cool £130. It's left critics equally excited, deflated and bemused - with plenty of questions still to be answered.

We caught up with Microsoft's Kinect Kingpin Kudo Tsunoda to, erm, ask 'em:

We've heard that Kinect has improved a lot recently in terms of performance - and you're constantly updating the SDK. Does it still have room to get better?
I think like any development process, we're not done with the games yet - there are bugs we're fixing. A lot of the demos we showed at Gamescom were smaller versions of the [final] games - just because you only have ten minutes or so to show people the product.

The stuff that is really important to making the games good - so far as them being fun, having gameplay skill and that depth of gameplay that I think is important in game - those are all already in there. We're adding the last bits of polish and bug fixing, that is a normal part of the game-making process.

What was the reason for going with Kinect Adventures for the £130 bundle, rather than Kinect Sports or another title?
All the launch games do a really great job at highlighting the technology. One of the things that we've been very focused on - and why Kinect is the name of the programme - is really trying to make a social experience for people; not so just playing games at the same time, but making part of the gameplay experience something where the communication is an important part of the gameplay skill.

I think Kinect Adventures does a great job of highlighting the technology; it's very social, inclusive and has great features like the show-off and share stuff, where you can take pictures and share them. It uses the full body tracking, the voice features. Really the game was built to be inclusive so multiple people can enjoy it.


In terms of technology how sophisticated is Kinect as a piece of hardware? Was it a case of cleverly using existing hardware or did you spend a lot of time on R&D?
To me it's not even the hardware that is the magic, it's the software that allows the hardware to do what we're doing with Kinect that makes it unique. There's the full body tracking part of Kinect where it uses infra-red to get a full 3D view of the room.

If you think about how sonar works, where it will send out a signal and as it comes back it collects the signal and depending on how strong the signal is, it can read the depth of everything in its range.

That's how the Kinect full body tracking works, it gives you the full 3D look of the room. Then the software that we've developed allows us to identify what in the room is a human being, because that's all we're really tracking. Obviously you don't want sofas or tables being a part of what we're tracking in the game.


We're filtering out what is the human being and what are they doing in the room, and that is special software that we've developed in Microsoft - it really was in development for many, many years in our Microsoft research department and is something that nobody else is doing.

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