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By 29 November 2011 | Categories: news

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It would appear that Microsoft isn’t only working on a Windows PC version of its Kinect motion-based gaming add-on, but the next generation Kinect system as well. According to Eurogamer, the company plans to release a next-generation Kinect device “so accurate it can lip read”. This next generation Kinect 2 system will come bundled with future Xbox consoles, the publication’s sources have revealed. 

Kinect 2 will sport enhanced motion sensing as well as voice recognition technology over the current Kinect add-on. A development source explained to Eurogamer that Kinect 2 will be so powerful, it will be able to detect if gamers are angry (by monitoring their facial characteristics as well as the pitch and volume of their voices), determine the direction in which they are facing and read their lips as well.

According to Eurgamer the current Kinect system features a depth sensor with a set limit of 30 frames per second limit and resolution limit of 320 x 240. These limits can be attributed to the USB controller interface that is capable of around 35 MB/s data transfer speeds, but only employs approximately 15 to 16 MB/s. This artificial limit is in place due to the gaming console’s ability to handle input from multiple USB devices simultaneously.

The forthcoming Kinect 2 system will not suffer from these limitations. "It can be cabled straight through on any number of technologies that just take phenomenally high res data straight to the main processor and straight to the main RAM and ask, what do you want to do with it?" one source stated.

Two next generation Xbox consoles

More news from the tech rumour mill is that Microsoft will reportedly be launching two versions of the Xbox 360 successor. First up is a more affordable device that is similar to a set-top TV box, which will allow casual gamers to access a Kinect-themed gaming portal.

The second version is aimed at hard-core gamers that boast all the usual console features including an optical drive, built-in hard-drive for internal storage as well as backwards compatibility with Xbox 360 titles.

Microsoft’s Xbox 360 follow-up features prominently on the tech news rumour mill of late, with Develop reporting last month that Microsoft’s hardware and software gaming console partners expect the Xbox successor to be announced during E3 2013 and launched in time for the 2013 holiday season. Edge than also looked into its crystal ball, stating that developers such as Ubisoft and Electronic Arts are working on titles for Microsoft’s follow-up to the Xbox 360, expected to launch in the latter part of 2012.

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