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?