Watching, Waiting: New Kinect Eventually Coming To PC

By Nathan Grayson on May 23rd, 2013 at 10:00 am.

I'm glad they're clearly making it look less ominous and horrifically Orwellian this time.

Yesterday’s Xbox One reveal may have prompted long sighs and tweets of derision from everyone not also watching ESPN and drinking beer from a hat at that very moment, but one portion of it at least sounded pretty impressive. Apparently Kinect One (which is actually Kinect Two, which I guess makes the original Kinect A, Kinect Prime, Kinect Route Zero or some other confusing designation) is quite a technological step up from its predecessor, allegedly able to track facial features, joints, fingers, and even the number of calories you’re burning while moving around. It’s also always watching as long as it’s plugged in, which – privacy promises from Microsoft or not – is basically terrifying. Intrigued? Researching the logistics of living among the animals in some far-off wilderness? Well regardless, Microsoft’s even more all-seeing eye will eventually end up on PC.

Polygon asked Microsoft corporate VP of interactive entertainment business Ben Kilgore about a similar Kinect upgrade on our shores, and he gave them an uncharacteristically casual confirmation. “At some point down the line, yeah,” he said. So that’s that, then.

This new Kinect is actually a required component of the new Xbox. If it’s unplugged from the ugly duckling of futureboxes, both devices simply cease to function. Paired with an Internet connection requirement that remains vague and poorly messaged, it’s a fairly harrowing package. At least, on paper.

For obvious reasons, I foresee the PC version being a bit less, er, restrictive. It’s also the sort of thing hungry hacker hands will surely crack open in seconds, yielding applications lightyears more interesting than anything Microsoft could devise. First order of business: reprogram it to tell Microsoft we’re always right behind them. How’s that for being watched?

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122 Comments »

  1. Anthile says:

    o____x

    It is staring, is it not?

  2. Chalky says:

    I wonder if someone is just going to hack it to work on a PC straight away.

    • Grey Poupon says:

      Well, there’s not a whole lot to hack. The hardware is just a pair of cameras, all of the motion control “magic” is software based and porting that through reverse engineering is probably harder than making a completely new one. Not to mention such software probably already exists.

    • amateurviking says:

      The connector is proprietary, so some rewiring required. Still uses the standard USB wiring though.

  3. BTAxis says:

    Actually, I wonder if there’ll be another kinect creativity storm at all. The first one was well and over by the time Microsoft decided to offer support for PC users, and somehow I don’t think this new kinect has anything to draw the whiz kids back to it.

    • nil says:

      Resolution (spatial and temporal), maybe precision, maybe range, maybe robustness? The original kinect was neat but limited, this one may relax some of the previous constraints.

      • BTAxis says:

        Yeah, but none of those things were really the limiting factor. It was the fact that the thing could see at all that got people to do fancy things with it. They never really cared for quality, it was always about making proofs of concept.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      I have to admit, watching the crashing launch of the Xbone makes me fall all warm and fuzzy inside!

    • Dreforian says:

      From now on I will only ever read “X-bone” when see that

  4. RedViv says:

    “Kinect, open Firefox”
    “I’m afraid I can’t do that, Viv”

    Words on design: Please do refrain from making devices look like HAL, especially ones that WATCH YOU.

    • Liudeius says:

      Oh no!
      The horror of being forced to use IE by our new robot overlords!

    • Don Reba says:

      Did you notice how the new model can “track facial features”? It can read lips!

  5. Bartack says:

    Kinect can be used as a cheap motion capture device. http://www.reallusion.com/iclone/iclone_mocap_device.aspx

  6. sbs says:

    I don’t know, why would I want to use it? For what? Most unappealing piece of hardware in a long time.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Exactly. Motion control is fairly gimmicky even with the traditional set up of a living room, lots of space and a flat panel widescreen TV. What the hell would I want a motion control device on my desktop for? I’m sat right next to the M&K, about 3 feet from the screen, with a crowded desk. There is barely space for my cat to sleep up here. If we start adding motion control devices to PCs, something is going to go flying.

      • cunningmunki says:

        I use my PC on my TV. I would love that kind of gesture control. Either Leapmotion or Kinnect; one of them is going to get my money in the next 12 months.

  7. abremms says:

    Anyone remotely interested in this? I mean, Kinect is fun. My sister and her husband have one in their living room. It’s always a good time when I go over to have a round of golf or whatever, but it seems a very livingroom-centric device. PC gamers, in my experience, tend to sit fairly close to their monitors, I’m not sure I see how a kinect on a PC would be that fun, unless you set it up in the living room, but at that point you might as well buy an xbox.

    • brulleks says:

      I guess it’s reasonably anthropomorphic, so might be satisfying to flick a finger to whenever something goes wrong on the PC.

      That’s all I’ve got, though.

    • golem09 says:

      After the first videos it is still clear that input lag is far beyond acceptable, so I don’t see it as a gaming device at all..

    • Glottis1 says:

      You can do some cool stuff with Kinect. Kinect combined with Source filmmaker for example.

      Gaming is not right place for Kinect.

    • cunningmunki says:

      If it can read your heartbeat, as microsoft claim, then you’ve got a piece of kit that can make games respond to your emotional state, which is exactly what Valve are trying to achieve but (supposedly) by using direct contact to your body. If you can achieve the same result via a camera, that’s got to be more useful, right?

      To be honest, though, I’m very skeptical about the whole heart-reading thing, especially as it’s supposedly based on changes in your skin tone(!). But your body language and facial expression might just be enough. You might not think you move around much when you’re playing a game sat at a desk or on a couch, but I bet if you watched footage of yourself doing so you’d probably be surprised.

      The only things that interest me about the Xbox One is the voice control (if it really is that good) and the Kinect (oh, and I’ll take the controller too). All the TV stuff is useless smoke and mirrors and I don’t play COD games. Was there anything else?

      • sockdemon says:

        as for a camera being able to monitor a heartbeat, I wouldn’t be too surprised if it’s based off of this (almost recent) bit of tech from MIT

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3rWycBEHn3s

        also….. not a spambot….. Unless they no say stuff like this, in which case, I’m not even sure anymore…

  8. amateurviking says:

    I’d be more interested* in them bringing out the updated gamepad with a wire. New rumbling function sounds funky.

    *well not *that* interested.

  9. Colthor says:

    “It’s also always watching”

    It’s a telescreen. An automated telescreen.

    • Kollega says:

      Trust Kinect One. Kinect One is your friend.

      • solidsquid says:

        I vote we all just start calling the XBox One “The Computer” from this point on. It just seems more respectful

  10. Mbaya says:

    I had hopes Kinect would be used for much more than wavey arm flailing, allowing more people to enjoy games in some way. I would genuinely be interested if there was more focus on it being more passive, listening, watching my reactions (even gauging my heart rate, apparently) and altering a game I’m playing in response – enhancing dialogue scenes, allowing me to respond more naturally or scaring me witless while playing a game like Amnesia.

    As it stands…no interest. I’m certainly not interested in having zero control of it watching/listening such as is apparently the case with the Xbox One, that kind of freaks me out.

    • cunningmunki says:

      I don’t think they sold it very well, at all. Either that or they’re lying about its capabilities. If it can read your heartrate and your body language then it should be able to do exactly what you want.

      I don’t think they mentioned eye-tracking either (I haven’t watched all the footage), but I know a developer who’s used it and says the eye-tracking is phenomenal. It’s just bad PR.

  11. Cinek says:

    Well, everything depends if there will be games or software supporting kinect on PC.

    First kinect could also run on windows, but it’s meaningless when nothing supports it.

  12. Firkragg says:

    But who watches the Kinect?

  13. Milky1985 says:

    I don’t get the point of it needing to be on all the time (other than MS trying to push the NUAdd crap)

    If i ever get a xbox one its going to be seeing the either the wall, the floor or a towel 99% of the time, nothing else.

    By xbox one i mean the new one not the original one obviously

    • Kollega says:

      I think the point is to watch the people when they’re in front of the TV and tailor advertisements to the audience – i recall reading an article alleging that it’s basically a marketer’s wet dream. So it’s basically like Google, but on your TV instead of your computer.

      Although i’m not sure if Microsoft could just sell that data to third parties. It might actually (le GASP!) violate the law.

      • ItalianPodge says:

        So the advertisers can watch me mute their advert and then get up to make a cup of tea. Do people actually watch adverts?

        • LionsPhil says:

          You’ve tried to skip trailers on a normal set-top-box DVD player before, right? What makes you think you can mute or change channel?

          Operation not permitted at this time.

          • Subject 706 says:

            Having to endure the anger of my two year old who likes trailers and warning texts even less than me, is what FINALLY drove me to rip all our familys DVDs.

            The joy of just getting to the movie without 15 minutes of wading through trailer after trailer after trailer after warning text is indescribable. Too bad you (probably) won’t be able to skip it on this box.

          • ItalianPodge says:

            I haven’t watched anything on a DVD for a long time. I use XBMC at home and before that mediaportal, I didn’t bother putting a DVD player in the build.

            I usually watch programs through the Sky box and inevitably get behind with the kids getting up and being put back to bed etc.. so I usually use the Ad breaks to catch up.

      • cunningmunki says:

        Hypothetically, though, surely? It would never actually happen, not in your own living room at least (the high street is a different story – Minority Report advertising is less than 2-3 years away I reckon). Can you imagine the reaction if microsoft even hinted that advertisers would be able to install tracking software to watch what you were doing? I think people’s heads would actually explode in outrage (hypothetically).

        • solidsquid says:

          How long would it take for someone to get penis enlargement spam and try to sue microsoft for slander?

        • RobF says:

          It’s not hypothetical. MS are very careful to point out that they don’t use the tracking data from Kinect for advertising purposes (their choice of phrase) which is a sort of vague handwave away from the fact that they are pulling tracking data from Kinect and NuAds.

          Here’s MS Kinect privacy policy page: http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Kinect/PrivacyandOnlineSafety#DataCollection1

          • cunningmunki says:

            “We may also share some of this aggregated data with companies that provide Kinect-enabled games which will help them improve their product.”

            “This anonymous data, also known as Kinect performance data, may be returned to Microsoft for analysis but does not personally identify you.”

            “This information is stored as a long series of numbers, and it does not personally identify you.”

            “We only collect and store speech commands if you give us permission to do so.”

            “You decide whether to share [photos] with others.”

            “Kinect does not collect information about you or your environment if you are not engaged in a Kinect experience”

            And most importantly…

            “[Third parties] are not permitted to use the information for marketing purposes such as selling you games or services, or for personalizing advertising.”

            I think all of this backs up my point, doesn’t it? If Microsoft reneged on any of these promises they would never sell another piece of hardware again. Do you really think they’d risk completely destroying their reputation and people’s trust?
            This isn’t even the same league as the wrist-slaps Google has had regarding gathering data illegally, or people’s personal data being hacked and published due to poor security. Using people’s activities at home to sell stuff to them without their consent; in other words, bugging them; would utterly destroy the company. Just look at the phone-hacking furore in the UK. People would actually burn Microsoft to the ground. Peddling child-porn would be a far less risky business for them to get involved in.

          • RobF says:

            No, not really. Quite the opposite. It’s confirmation that they are tracking and storing data through Kinect and sharing it with partners. And that information will be shared from interaction with NuAds as they’re classed as Kinect apps.

            The stripping out of PII is a requirement by law but the thing about the sort of data we’re talking about is that once you’ve bought enough data, you don’t need that PII to identify an individual. This is the reason there’s a massive market -for- that data in the first place and also how targeted advertising manages to work.

            Yes they have a vague hand wavey thing that the information isn’t allowed to be used to tailor advertising to people but the information is still shared with whoever sign on with Microsoft to get access to that data and yes, that data includes stuff that Kinect tracks both through usage in videogames and with other Kinect apps, like NuAds.

            And they get away with it because most people don’t understand how much they’re being tracked and traced on the internet in general, never mind with a magic camera that tracks how they’re interacting with an advert on a games console.

    • cunningmunki says:

      I guess it needs to be on all the time so that you can just plonk yourself down on your sofa and say “Exbaahcks aahn” or make an X-Factor style arm configuration (you all know what I mean, don’t pretend otherwise) and on pops your Xbox.

      I’d actually love to be able to turn on my PC by just asking it, or with a custom gesture (flicking the ‘v’s, for example). If that means it’s ‘always watching, always listening’ then so be it.

    • darkChozo says:

      Idly speaking, it’s more than likely because they want the Kinect to be a guaranteed tool that developers can implement without having to warn users to plug things in beforehand. For example, if you want to have voice recognition in the middle of your mostly non-Kinect game, or the glorious inevitability that is full-body QTE waggle, you don’t have to worry about telling the player to plug stuff in first.

      In addition, an always-plugged-in requirement serves as a form of user training, in that it makes the Kinect more like a part of the whole instead of a peripheral. Probably the same reason why the Wii menu is Wiimote-pointer driven. Microsoft’s done it before; store-bought Xbox Live subscriptions originally came with bundled-in mics, and as a result, mic use in pubs is much more common on Xbox than any other platform I’ve used, for better or for worse (that being said, there’s obviously no always-on requirement for mics, so…)

      That being said, while the privacy issues are legitimate, they’re hardly unique. If you’ve ever used a laptop, chances are you’ve used a Microsoft-controlled computer with a not-required-but-difficult-to-disable forward-facing camera and integrated microphone before. Smartphones are another fairly obvious culprit.

      • belgand says:

        That’s exactly it. Microsoft is quite evil, but that’s not their agenda here.They just think that terrible, unwanted “features” like sign-in through facial recognition and voice control are great and everyone should be required to use them. They just want to push the living hell out of this and think that by forcing everyone to always have one that’s turned-on they can convince developers to use it in games.

        The privacy concerns strike me as rather paranoid. There is no desire to secretly watch and record you. Even if they had wanted to the penalties for being caught doing that (and they would be caught pretty quickly) would be so severe that it wouldn’t make any sort of practical business sense to even try. The risk is simply too great for it to be a sensible business move, no matter how evil you are. The real concern should be the utter idiocy of voice controls and waggle in gaming and the desire to encourage this.

        The good thing is that it won’t work. Sony forced a bunch of first-party developers to use their horrible tilt sensors in the first run of games produced for the PS3 (notice how it shows up briefly in Uncharted, Ratchet and Clank Future, and inFamous), but everyone quickly stopped doing that after they were no longer forced to. The same goes for the usage of the microphone and often the touch-screen in DS games. Sure, a few games utilized the two-screen and touch-screen functions well, but they’ve tended to be the exception instead of the rule. Everyone else just ignores it and goes on with making the same games they would if it didn’t exist.

  14. h4mst4h says:

    A university here in Finland used a couple of kinects and a camera to track your hands and eyes.
    Makes me wonder what else they could do with this new and supposedly better version. Hopefully something with the Oculus Rift.

    • takfar says:

      Yes yes YES! Oculus Rift plus Kinect. Pretty much bleeding-edge consumer-level virtual reality, right there.

  15. BobbyDylan says:

    SO, when I come home, will the “eye” turn red and say

    “Good morning, Dave”.

    And then try murder me in my sleep?

    • Sheng-ji says:

      Nah, it’ll turn red and you’ll need to send it back to microsoft because it melted itself!

    • cunningmunki says:

      Seriously, though, wouldn’t that be GREAT! Not the murdering thing, of course, but the ability to imbue your PC with it’s own personality and respond to your requests and gestures. How many of us would have our own versions of HAL or GlaDOS at home? That would greet us when we came home, or asked us “Would you like to play a game? How about a nice game of thermonuclear war?” Man alive, I’d sell my brother for that kind of responsive technology on my PC (we don’t see each other much, anyway).

      The annoying thing, that the Xbox demo made me realise, was that this technology is available now, and has been for years, but no one’s put it to good use.

      • Subject 706 says:

        That would greet us when we came home, or asked us “Would you like to play a game? How about a nice game of thermonuclear war?”

        It’d would probably get old rather fast. I can see hilarious family conflicts ensuing though.

        Xbone: “Would you like to play a game of Call Of Honorfield 23?”
        Man: “You bet!”
        Wife: “No way Xbone! Shut up and do nothing until [insert unfinished domestic chore] is finished!”

        • cunningmunki says:

          It’s a sitcom in the making. Exclusive to EXBAAHKS WAAHN!

    • cunningmunki says:

      On the subject of trying to murder me, I’d like to see my PC try. The most damage it could do is turn off my internet and sulk.

  16. confused_cheese says:

    Johnny Five, is alive… or at least his fat uglier cousin

  17. nasenbluten says:

    This is going to be the most frightening form of DRM yet. Just wait and see.

  18. UncleLou says:

    I really don’t think I am particularly paranoid about such matters, nor would I think I am an angry internet man, but I am surprised that there isn’t a much bigger fuss made not about the lack of gameplay footage, but about an always-online, always listening device. With facial recognition.

    The data mining options are so astronomically, unimaginably gargantuan, it makes Google look like choir boys.

    • Vorphalack says:

      There have been quite a few sources on the internet siting lack of gaming footage as a concern, just not the mainstream press. Apparently they are incapable, or unwilling, to make that leap of logic and call out the lack of evidence for the core function of the device. All i’ve seen so far are neutral reports about the Kinect, ”social media” integration, and some reporting of the backlash over the still unconfirmed stance on used games. It hasn’t gone unnoticed by the people who might have bought one though.

  19. RProxyOnly says:

    Seriously? A couple of funny words? Have none of you been present for the wholesale revoking of our civil liberties over the last decade?.. Were you all fucking absent that day?

    A camera that is always on, watching and listening (referring to the console kinect)… you people need to pull your head out of your arses and read more Orwell.

    Call me paranoid if you wish… but it’s not paranoia when it’s true… There is no reason whatsoever any person/persons/organisation should have ANY access to an always on camera and mic in someones house.

    If you buy this POS.. you ARE the fucking problem, and in a decent world you would be lobotomised.

    • BobbyDylan says:

      This is a PC gaming focused site. If the ConsoleTards what to slap on a ball and chain, then they can go for it.

      Calm down, and buy a PC.

    • Harlander says:

      It’s probably a good idea, when making your points, not to end with a piece of hyperbole that makes you look needlessly monstrous.

      It overshadows the rest of what you’ve said.

      • RProxyOnly says:

        Over situations like this?

        You’re DAMN right I’m of a monstrous state of mind.

        I would slot every stupid asshole on the face of the earth who acquiesced to conditions like this. It’s not their rights I have any concern for, anyone stupid enough to agreed to this doesn’t deserve any autonomy, it’s everyone else’s rights, including my own, when the idiots finally out number those of us who have a brain and are capable of thinking about long term ramifications of something so goddamned obviously anti-privacy.

        This is the first step, and if they are successful, it’s just going to get worse…. and WHY?….. for the sake of a fucking game?

        Americans, at the very least, should know better….didn’t they have a president of something who stated that those unwilling to fight for their freedom and their rights don’t deserve to have any at all.. they’ve been brought up with those words, but their unwillingness to understand the words are infecting the world.

        This POS console should NEVER be allowed a market in the UK..apart from the camera thing (the always on matter is illegal in this country and IS classified as spying/evesdropping and if our gov’t wasn’t so cripplingly corrupt the law would be upheld), most of the features won’t work anywhere outside the US.. at the very least all that crap should be ripped out and the console should be sold for half the price outside the US… That’s IF it has to be sold at all… Personally though, if I had a say, this would not see the light of day in the UK.

        • Asurmen says:

          Totally not paranoid.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Justify that comment.

            Is there ANY way whatsoever, that someone can comment/scream about obvious threats to personal privacy where some asshat like you DOESN’T shout “paranoia”?

            It’s not paranoia.. we’ve SEEN the lengths companies and gov’t go to to trample on our individual civil liberties.. it’s been done, it’s BEING done.. that is ABSOLUTELY unequivocal.. it’s can’t be argued with.

            People like yourself just simply seem unable to cope with the larger issues in life and the decisions that are being made for us, the big picture is possibly too scary for you, or it may be that your mind simply isn’t adequate enough to comprehend… and as a result the only thing you, and people like you, are capable of doing is throwing up a wall of denial, regardless of the absurdity of your position.

            Believe me… the problem isn’t mine.. it’s wholly yours for being unable to open your eyes.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            So, you’re up in arms about peoples privacy, yet not so up in arms about mass murder and peoples right to live. Hmmm…..

            Anyway, surely this is only an issue if the thing actually moves the data collected by the camera off your machine, otherwise a baby monitor is a significantly worse privacy problem, what with the unencrypted radio broadcast of images of your children and all!

          • derbefrier says:

            I think your over reacting a bit. I mean really all you have to do is unplug it, if your that paranoid. Hardly an invasion of privacy when you can simply turn it off when you don’t want it on. An invasion of privacy means you don’t have a choice or that choice is out of your control. Its not like its a secret. You still very much have a choice here.

          • RProxyOnly says:

            Sheng-ji.. they aren’t ‘people’.. they are simply brainless drones, with open wallets, who are taking up oxygen.. Anyone incapable of thinking for themselves over such drastically important issues and instead actually ADD to the problem, don’t deserve their lives in the first place. If they aren’t willing or intelligent enough to stand up and be counted then they are nothing more than a danger to every sane person’s liberty.

            ..And to the people who say ‘just unplug it’… it isn’t necessarily the current generation of technology I’m talking about, although you are still putting up with being spied on when you are using the machine for whatever.

            What happens when people buy into this and other manufactures do the same, camera and mics built into all of our technology, the most immediate being smart TVs.. it’ll happen if this succeeds… So get your mind OFF the present and start to think about the situation in the future when it’s been several generations of technology. and cameras and mics are a standard

          • Asurmen says:

            I was totally joking in a winding you up sort of way, but your extreme response with personal attacks and strawman (which is pretty funny when I didn’t even give a point of view) pretty makes me realise you are paranoid. Until you prove that the new Kinect collects data and sends it to MS without your agreement you ARE paranoid. It’s practically the definition of.

            It’s fine that it’s a concern of yours, but you’re coming across as a frothing madman and attacking other people just because they may or may not share your opinion and concerns. Be a bit more reasoned in your comments.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Sooooo… People who buy a kinect are no longer classifiable as people, but presumably vermin – given your view that they can be “slotted” and thus do not have human rights. Including article 8, the right to privacy. The one you are raging so hard about. Do you see why you look really fucking stupid right now, even if your paranoid fears come true.

        • cunningmunki says:

          Not sure if paranoid or troll.

          You don’t go out much, do you?

    • cunningmunki says:

      You’re paranoid and you’ve seen Enemy of the State way too many times.

    • Chaz says:

      But lots of people already have webcams that do much the same, except without all the fancy body tracking malarkey, so a bit late to start getting upset about this now.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pjGEMALNAjc

      Put your bracelets on.
      You are safer when you are watched.

  20. mondomau says:

    “It’s also always watching as long as it’s plugged in”

    “If it’s unplugged from the ugly duckling of futureboxes, both devices simply cease to function.”

    They really have lost the plot.

    • cunningmunki says:

      “the ugly duckling of futureboxes” Made me guffaw.

    • Mana_Garmr says:

      Isn’t that just another potential point of failure then? I never owned a 360, but I gather the red-ring issue was quite common. Are people really going to be happy with the idea tha,t not only can their console fail, but a peripheral failing will stop the console working too?

  21. Seafort says:

    It’ll be Windows 8 exclusive I bet.

    I ain’t touching this crap anyway. It’s bad enough being on the console never mind PC as well.

  22. Rossi says:

    The potential for data gathering via this device is huge and I’m sure the likes of Google and others are rubbing their hands at the prospect.

    What really needs to happen is clear and concise information about what data is gathered and an acceptance criteria for the user to agree too.

    The notion of clandestine data gathering is a bit paranoid but the point still stands, it does have that potential so the consumer needs more control as to what is gathered.

    • Vorphalack says:

      Or, you could just not buy one, and never have to worry about it. If a product is already generating this much controversy before it’s even been fully revealed then it’s not worth the trouble.

      • Vorphalack says:

        I suspect that the future will still have a market for electronic products that do not contain cameras. Besides, regardless of what Microsoft say they can / will do with whatever user data they are able to gather, I wouldn’t trust them. The only sure way to avoid all this crap is to not buy into it.

    • cunningmunki says:

      Three words: Illegal surveillance laws

      If you’re unsure what this means:
      http://www.internetrights.org.uk/factsheets.shtml?cmd%5B512%5D=i-512-972b9120a7ddc843a4226d2bed2e8e15&x=53233

      It’s not like Google (or any other other browser, search engine or ISPs) tracking your internet activity or search terms (also the target of paranoid-Will Smith-wannabes).

      I’m a fervent supporter of civil liberties, but you have to know what liberties you’re dealing with.

      • Panda Powered says:

        And then they put a clause on accepting their data-mining in the user agreement that noone reads?

        • cunningmunki says:

          As you’re a RPS reader I’m assuming you read other gaming and tech-related websites too, yes? So you know full well that in the information age nothing goes unnoticed. Remember this? http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-16286367
          There’s not a cat’s chance in hell they will try to sneak something in to their user agreements which violates about a dozen US and EU privacy laws. Stop being, or pretending to be, so bloody naïve.

      • cunningmunki says:

        Please see my above response to Panda Powered and remind yourself what happened when Sony tried to slip something into their user agreement.

        Also, could you back up your assertion that “if those laws really worked they should never allow eulas the way they exist today” by providing a link to an EULA which breaks any territorial or international laws.

        Just one will do. You seem to think there are many, so it shouldn’t be too hard to find one. They’re all published online. Go on. Just one.

  23. solidsquid says:

    “I’m sorry, but we do not recognise player 2 as a valid licence owner for this game. Please purchase a second licence for the game if you wish to play multiplayer”

  24. cunningmunki says:

    Do you and @RProxyOnly have your own little club where you sit in a basement and wear hats made from tinfoil?

    Thankfully, in this country (and most civilised countries) there are laws against illegal surveillance, so unless microsoft put it in their subscription policy, the kind of clandestine behavior you describe is going to be a bit tricky.

    My own PC watching me, however, now that scares the willies out of me. I can feel it watching me now.

    • Harlander says:

      Even if they did put something about it in their EULA or TOS or whatever, it’d probably still be a bit tricky, law-wise..

    • cunningmunki says:

      “[Third parties] are not permitted to use the information [gathered from the Kinect] for marketing purposes such as selling you games or services, or for personalizing advertising.”(http://www.xbox.com/en-US/Kinect/PrivacyandOnlineSafety#DataCollection1)

      It says “information”, not just photos. That means all data, movement and audio included.

      I’m not disputing that companies have researched and patented ways of targeting customers via the kind of information captured by devices like the Kinect, that kind of tech would be invaluable. But the point is that there’s no way that either Microsoft or Sony (or Google or Apple, or Samsung, or LG, or anyone) is going to use that kind of information to sell you stuff without your permission. And even then, it might not actually be legal, even with your consent.

    • Don Reba says:

      Thankfully, in this country (and most civilised countries) there are laws against illegal surveillance, so unless microsoft put it in their subscription policy, the kind of clandestine behavior you describe is going to be a bit tricky.

      “This country” – is it the one with 4.2 million CCTV cameras or the one records all your phone calls?

  25. Reapy says:

    Always on kinect bothers me. Maybe I’m old or something but I don’t like an Internet attached device streaming my livingroom 24×7. Even if I disable it, does that not mean it couldn’t be remotely enabled? Unlikely but possible. Am I doing anything in my living room or saying things I don’t want recorded, yes.

    I do get the advantage, I have a webcam on a htpc that we use for Skype, but it is disconnected when not in use. I could see how it would be nice to go remotless, just, ehh, I dunno.

    Honestly am thinking to just skip a console esp if the days of proprietary games is passing. Always has and will be about who has which games.

    • cunningmunki says:

      I’m afraid to tell you that if you read back what you’ve just written, you’re going to give yourself a scare:

      “I have a webcam on a htpc that we use for Skype, but it is disconnected when not in use.”

      “Even if I disable it, does that not mean it couldn’t be remotely enabled? Unlikely but possible. Am I doing anything in my living room or saying things I don’t want recorded, yes.”

      Do you actually unplug your webcam when it’s not in use? If not CEILING CAT IS WATCHING YOU.

      • Reapy says:

        USB cord on the front of it, takes half a second to remove, skype call doesn’t happen too often. Ff all the devices that have a cam/mic on you all day, a windows 7 PC webcam is probably the most vulnerable to what the average person would face, drive by ‘lulz’.

        You do realize that there are essentially an army of people and bots out there scouring the internet to build bot nets for ddos and whatever, all day, everyday? Is it one more step to “haha lets turn the webcam on”.

        Honestly your lack of knowledge of what is possible is understandable and I guess I am jealous I can’t live in that world of ignorance that you appear to be thriving in.

        • Sheng-ji says:

          I’m going to bet a tonne of companies will sell you a smart little lenscap to cover the kinect with, much the equivalent of unplugging your webcam.

          • Sheng-ji says:

            Stick some shiny foil inside, allow a slither of sunlight through and voila, the kinect is fooled! Hell, I may even manufacture these things myself!

        • cunningmunki says:

          I am jealous I can’t live in that world of paranoia that you appear to be thriving in. It sounds like so much fun!

  26. PikaBot says:

    Two years and an absolutely depressing numbers of units shipped later, there is still not a single good Kinect game, unless you count the guffaws generated by a Star Wars-themes dance simulator.

    It’s a boondoggle with way more problems than a technological upgrade can fix.

    • Jekhar says:

      While i’m more generous than you on what makes a good game, what’s depressing to me is the ratio of “real” games to minigame compilation shovelware. Off the top of my head i can only name Rise of Nightmares and Steel Battalion. Maybe add that haunted house XBLA game narrated by Tim Schafer. Then what’s left? Kung Fu High Impact is pure flailing around, Dr. Kawashima is minigame hell, as are both Kinect Sports Titles. I never tested that Fable game, as i already lost interest. At this point i’m not sure if getting the kinect was worth it. I was fun for some evenings with friends, but that’s about it.

      • darkChozo says:

        Gunstringer is another good one. Dance Central is also supposed to genuinely be good, though whether rhythm games, particularly something like Dance Central, count as casual or “real” games is somewhat up to debate.

        But yeah, the Kinect library is fairly dire.

    • Jupiah says:

      Child of Eden was pretty neat. But yeah that’s about it. That Kinect was quite a waste of money in retrospect.

      • Jekhar says:

        Yes, totally forgot about Child of Eden and Gunstringer. While i wasn’t as interested in CoE to begin with, i always wanted to check out Gunstringer. And while we’re on the topic of railshooters, what the hell happened to that spiritual sequel to Panzer Dragoon?

  27. engion3 says:

    This site always has the most conspiracy centric conversations. Taking those guns away really did a number on you guys…*runs away*

    • cunningmunki says:

      hey that’s not fair, we never had guns in the first place!

  28. Barberetti says:

    Not that I’m getting one anyway, but if I did I’d have the lid off and take my soldering iron to it in a jiffy. One hour later, and some extension leads and a 2-way switch box installed, and I’d have the Kinect active in the living room when I’m actually using it, and active in the toilet when I’m not.

  29. robertgibson says:

    I saw a great cut of the Xbox One Reveal video on youtube. This one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KbWgUO-Rqcw
    After I saw that I couldn’t resist, so I made a spoof illustration. This one: http://wp.me/pSboV-m3

  30. Veeskers says:

    ^ I bet shady link spammers are having a field day with “click my xbox video lol”

    • robertgibson says:

      sorry, I didn’t mean to be shady. While the video is pretty funny, I didn’t make it. I really just wanted to show the drawing I made and then realized it might not make any sense if you didn’t actually see the release video. Again, sorry.

      • Veeskers says:

        My bad, I’m just being a bit paranoid. There are a lot of spam posts in here with irregular links and some of them are disguised better than others.

  31. Bhale7 says:

    I can’t wait until I can just start using my mind to make my in-game characters do stuff!

  32. P.Funk says:

    *Squints*

    Yea, no.

    Oculus Rift all the way.