With the PlayStation 4 announced and the majority of its architecture detailed officially by Sony, the fun of combing through rumors as to what the console’s specifications might turn out to be is over. Video game industry hawks, take heart: There’s still the Durango. Microsoft’s oft-rumored, never confirmed Xbox 720 is still waiting in the wings, with analysts like Wedbush Morgan’s Michael Pachter estimating that the machine won’t be made public until April at the absolute earliest. In the meantime, there’s still plenty for speculators to salivate over. The latest purported leaks detail the specifications of the Kinect 2, a next-generation motion control device that will come packed in with every Xbox 720 sold.
According to a source speaking with VGLeaks.com, the new Kinect will be an iterative improvement of Microsoft’s successful camera add-on, broadening its field of view significantly over the original model, lowering latency for greater accuracy, and improving the image reproduced on screen to HD levels.
To get specific, the new Kinect captures an area within 70-degrees horizontal and 60-degrees vertical capturing a depth up between just under three square feet and twelve square feet away. The original kinect captured the same depth of view but over a field roughly a two-thirds the same size. The depth accuracy will be dramatically improved, though, and as a result it will be easier for multiple people to play Kinect games simultaneously in smaller spaces. Players of different heights, like parents and kids, will be easier to track as well.
Latency will be lowered by around 33 milliseconds according to the article. If you move your arm up and down, you’ll see the game character’s arm moving closer in line compared to older games.
Also interesting is the fact that the new Kinect won’t have a motor inside tilting it up and down. The improved field of view probably negates the need for the sensor to move, but it will be sad to see the creepy movement of Kinect go away.
If these specs are accurate, the Kinect 2 will allow for more precise games but also more precise applications in other fields. The original Kinect is already used by a variety of professionals, including medical researchers, elder care practitioners, and even rocket scientists.