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iFixit Tears Down Microsoft's Kinect For Xbox 360

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the will-it-fix dept.

XBox (Games) 280

alphadogg writes "Microsoft's new hands-free Kinect game controller is packed with four microphones, two autofocus cameras and a motion detector chip that together make for one heck of a complex toy, according to iFixit's initial teardown of the device. 'We haven't been this excited to get our hands on new hardware since the iPad,' says Kyle Wiens, CEO of the company. 'The way that we interact with computers is (finally) evolving, and Kinect is unlike any hardware we've ever taken apart. In fact, the only thing we've ever taken apart that has anywhere close to this many sensors is Pleo, the dinosaur robot.' iFixit describes Kinect as 'a horizontal bar of sensors connected to a small, motorized pivoting base.' The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of millions of dollars of research into can be purchased separately from the Xbox 360 or as part of a bundle. A Prime Sense PS1080-A2 is at the heart of Kinect's motion detection capabilities, as it connects to all of Kinect's sensors and processes images of your game room's color and scope before shooting them over to the Xbox. iFixit couldn't immediately identify all of the chips within the box, so plans to update its teardown."

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280 comments

cost cutting (2, Insightful)

flyingfsck (986395) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133188)

So MS can reduce the cost of the device in version 2 by dropping half the sensors?

Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133250)

Microsoft couldn't even sell out their stock of Kinect at the launch party last night.

If they couldn't even find enough suckers from their die hard fanbase to buy all of the launch units there is no way this piece of junk is going to last long enough for cost reducing the components to matter.

Even the failed HD-DVD did better than this piece of crap addon.

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133364)

Both newegg.com and amazon.com are currently sold out. I'd say that's pretty damn good.

Kinects In Stores Everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133390)

Stores everywhere have them. People have been seeing them everywhere today.

Microsoft has been undershipping the individual Kinect units to try to force people to buy the in stock Xbox 360+Kinect bundles and allow the PR people to shout the inevitable 'sold old!' BS.

This isn't like the Wii where you couldn't find one for a year.

Re:Kinects In Stores Everywhere (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133450)

There was a genuine production problem for the wii; whereas Microsoft has kinect supply chain figured out. Still, ubisoft is predicting shortages this season - http://gamrconnect.vgchartz.com/thread.php?id=118957&page=1

Re:Kinects In Stores Everywhere (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133456)

of course they do, there are litterally hundreds of thousands of pre orders and believe it or not, not everyone picks it up the day its released. Current estimates have been upped from 3 million to 5 million sold by end of year.

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (4, Insightful)

triffid_98 (899609) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133634)

I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that HD-DVD wasn't Microsoft's invention and the BluRay/HD war was in full swing when they designed their console. It's just that their format lost and Sony's won.

This is no different in principal than the PS3 motion controls. They're both trying to capitalize on the light-gun/motion controller market since that is extinct since the CRT/owned by the Wii.

I am by no means a fanboy of any console, but Microsoft is at least trying to do something much cooler than the 6-axis. I for one would love to see a modern console with proper motion controls (sorry Wii, but you're essentially a Gamecube with a reworked power-glove. Control is great, but CPU/Video performance-wise it isn't even comparable)

Both consoles lack compelling titles since they are expensive add-ons that people won't necessarily buy. It's like the Sega 32x all over again. Addons create console fragmentation and developers won't cater to it since they won't be guaranteed sufficient customers to make a profit.

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133708)

I agree. I'm a sucker who bought the 32x and sure I loved virtua racer but wtf.. What do you even play on kinect?
I'm not about poo pooing technical achievements and I don't think of myself as a fanboi but I love my 360. I was inspired to learn to code so that I could try and make a game for the xbox live marketplace but as much as I want to see something awesome about kinect, even if it's nothing real but something in development, or some application I could believe would be awesome, I can't/don't.
Where the hell is the FUN that is supposed to be associated with this? I swear they got lost in the technical puzzle and thought that making the tech would immediately result in something fun like some kind of inherent epiphenomenon.

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (5, Insightful)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133902)

I also wonder if they've even thought about the logistics. In all the adverts people are using it in massive open plan living spaces, that's just not a realistic representation of most people's homes (especially in countries where housing prices are high and living space has to be maximised, the UK, Japan, other parts of Europe, I can't speak for typical US homes as I only see fictional representations of them on TV and they're all either huge empty white spaces or cluttered messes). Personally the only way I could make this work is to throw away my coffee table - the Wii balance board just about works because the sensor can look over the table at the control and doesn't need to know what I'm doing with my legs, but the Kinect seems to need a massive open space just to get a decent field of view. I think people are going to either be put off by that (if they bother to think about it) or else they'll buy this, realise it's not practical and leave it in the box after the novelty wears off.

Beyond simple games for kids and stuff like video chat, I can't see a practical use for this, and if that's all you're using it for MS could have done it with a £15 webcam instead of a £150 sensor array. That doesn't mean it won't sell by the bucket-load, of course - I couldn't and still can't see a real use for the balance board but it didn't stop it selling millions and me spending the best part of a month hunting one down for my girlfriend the year after it was released.

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133882)

Agreed, MS were stymied a little with BluRay - they wanted HD but they could hardly go with the competitor's product. Imagine the headlines when it got around that a fee from every XBOX sold was going directly to the company making the competing console. If they wanted a HD format disk I think they made the only choice they could at the time, although personally I've not missed it and I think they could have shaved a lot off the initial costs by simply ignoring this (it's already obsolete now you can install games directly to the hard disk, sure it's a hassle if I have to copy four disks instead of one to the HDD, but ultimately that's a one time effort, after which it makes zero difference to me what format the verification disk in the drive is - BluRay movies, again I've not bothered with a BR player so far and I haven't missed it, I now stream probably half of my content and this is likely to be closer to all my content by the time the next generation rolls around).

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133780)

Well I wouldn't say I'm a member of their die-hard fanbase, but I have owned both iterations of their consoles and it's been a largely positive experience for me (in fact, I've owned three of this generation - upgraded one and then bought a spare for the bedroom). I can say Kinect is not even on my radar, to the extent I'm now avoiding games that claim to have kinect functionality built in because I suspect that will negatively impact the non-Kinect experience. I would go so far as to say this might actually drive a lot of their hardcore fans away from the consoles, if it wasn't for the fact that all console manufacturers seem to be doing the same crap right now.

Re:Won't Be On The Market Long Enough To Matter (2, Interesting)

ThirdPrize (938147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133864)

I am sorry, but it's people like you who totally miss the point of Kinect. You probably bitched about Macs when they first came out because using a mouse would never be as fast as your DOS typing speed.

It is a control-less controller. You don't have to hold any wands, press any buttons or do anything like that. They have finally made it possible. V1 probably isn't perfect, as these things never are. However give it a couple of years, the price/size will get smaller and eventually they will start building things like this into TVs and monitors. Now imagine lying on the sofa flicking through the TVs EPG as it knows, relative to your head, what part of the screen your finger is on. That is the future.

Re:cost cutting (2, Insightful)

jrobot (1239050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133650)

really?

Microsoft can sell these at a loss and make it back with game sales.
kinect version 2 will likely include MORE sensors what with M$ buying Canesta http://canesta.com/ [canesta.com]
who build time-of-flight optical depth sensors...

anyone have specs on microsoft's IR CMOS sensor in this thing?
TFA lists X853750001 / VCA379C7130

The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of mil (-1, Flamebait)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133196)

The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of millions of dollars of research into.... that sentence is a lie... lol. And the kinect system is everything but groundbraking. Everything MS said itself about the WII still holds up but even worse. I can use the WII a meter away from the screen. Try to do that with that MS crap, that hasn't caused hundreds of millions, but like, 20, 30 bucks in total, taking prior art into account.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133222)

English motherfucker, do you speak it?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0, Offtopic)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133226)

Next to french, german, greek and dutch? I speak it perfect. can't write it for shit though. How is your Dutch or German? Or French or Greek? I can both speak and write those without error... well.... bitch?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133360)

I don't mean to make fun of you for speaking a foreign language, but this wasn't just some grammar error. It's hard to tell whether you just didn't understand the comment about hundreds of millions of dollars or are just retarded.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (-1, Flamebait)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133374)

Bullshit, you would have logged on your account for that ;) Now your just another meaningless AC with an excuse afterwards. You have an account. Use it. Like men use their balls and not the balls from "mister X"

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0, Troll)

daath93 (1356187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133408)

I'll say it. Perhaps taking a go in your native language would be more useful, because you your English is fucktard bad. I still can't seem to grab whatever it was you were trying to say in your reply, except that somehow you are pissed off and trolling against Microsoft because they are Microsoft. You most likely hump goats. Thank you.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0, Offtopic)

wmac (1107843) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133566)

English is not the only fucking language on the earth.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (2, Funny)

daath93 (1356187) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133600)

Really? Maybe that would be why I told him to use his default. In case you hadn't noticed, he was bragging about his depth of knowledge in languages a few posts ago, or can't we trouble you to keep up with the fucking thread?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (1, Funny)

RMH101 (636144) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133682)

No, French is conventionally the language of love

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133956)

No, but it's the only language on an English language forum. For the same reason, I don't post to French or German forums and then get upset when they have difficulty understanding me. Likewise, as a guy, I don't use the female bathrooms in restaurants and when they complain, use as my excuse "male is not the only gender on the planet". The correct response, if someone questions your use of a non-native language, is to try and rephrase in a way that better conveys your meaning, not to start flaming everyone.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (1)

flimflammer (956759) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133540)

Your original post makes no sense at all, bro. I can barely discern the meaning of 90% of it.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133530)

"I speak it perfect" is grammaticality incorrect. For someone who speaks English perfectly, that error should not have happened, whether it was written or spoken!

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133244)

Does this English motherfucker speak what?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133230)

Comparing the wii to the Kinect is absurd. One is an accelerometer, the other is a full-body skeletal pose estimator with probably 20 degrees of freedom. Like comparing a flashlight to an LCD display. The only question now is, will Kinect actually work?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133236)

And yet the wii does work... without question... Why ask the question in the first place?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (5, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133314)

And yet the wii does work... without question...

Well, it does "something" reliably (which might well beat a more ambitious but failed attempt). But compare Dance Dance Revolution style games on the two; with Kinect, you dance and it watches you dance and scores you; on the wii, you just tilt your hand in time with the music. Big difference.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (-1, Troll)

santax (1541065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133334)

I am sure that ratings like troll for my criticism and these kind of comments will magically go away in half a year. When MS stoppes doing the Israel trick and paying peeps to provide good publicity ;) The kinect is a failure. I tested it. It is as sucky as a wii but less fun. And anyone who didn't get payed to test the kinect will tell you the same. But, curious as I am, how long did you have your Kinect? Well?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133392)

If you say "as sucky as a Wii" you're already putting yourself into a category of people whose opinions do not reflect any sort of consensus.

I guarantee the criticism won't go away until you stop randomly bringing up international politics in random discussions, making irrelevant comparisons, calling clear and verifiable statements of fact "a lie", and tossing around opinions you know are widely disagreed with (that the Wii sucks) as if they proved your point. I'm sure you're better at my language than I am at yours (unless maybe it's French, and then only maybe), but your stuff is difficult to understand.

Don't blame PrimeSense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133420)

Posting anonymously, for obvious reasons.

I have a friend who works at PrimeSense. I asked him, a while back, how good Kinect is going to be. He said that Microsoft bought their hardware, but insisted on writing their own software drivers. I asked him whether, when the product sucks, he's not worried that people will think that's all PrimeSense is up to, and he claimed their clients know that fact.

Reading your comment, I'm not sure that was a good idea, after all....

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (3, Funny)

Confusador (1783468) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133670)

Wait, you're on /. and you think dancing is different from tilting your hand in time with the music?

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133630)

Comparing the wii to the Kinect is absurd. One is an accelerometer, the other is a full-body skeletal pose estimator with probably 20 degrees of freedom. Like comparing a flashlight to an LCD display. The only question now is, will Kinect actually work?

If all you're trying to do is light up a dark room, the flashlight will work just as well and be a lot cheaper.

Re:The $150 device that Microsoft put hundreds of (1)

delinear (991444) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133964)

I think that's the point - not only that the two things have different levels of complexity, but that they're meant for entirely different tasks (hence the different levels of complexity).

Failure in the making (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133202)

Kinect is going to be hyped to hell and back by Microsoft's marketing department. Be prepared to puke from all the commercials plastered all over the place.

Then watch it fail when used in real life by actual gamers.

It might bring in more gamers (4, Interesting)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133958)

like how the ease of use of the Wii did (well once they fixed that damned controller). The difference is, with the Wii you can "game" it. As in, half the time the motions you make with the controller really don't have any bearing on what your avatar is doing. What I have see of kinect is that we finally have a system which does what you physically do. None of the "interpretation" like the Wii controller .

It will probably open up gaming to more people now. I can see great uses in exercise programs here, your own personal trainer who really does know if your doing it right. Think of the ability to extend this to at home rehabilitation! That alone makes this device a break through.

Many of us keep lamenting all those wonder sci fi depictions of what computer technology can do and when its delivered some simply dismiss it because its from Microsoft.

It is a good start. Perhaps it will give other people the inspiration to help us make a real leap.

do not want (-1, Troll)

arkane1234 (457605) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133214)

Do not want... xbox* has been and always will be a cancer to be avoided. Simply having the name Microsoft attached seals the deal even after that, in my book.

Re:do not want (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133386)

Good, then go away. Meanwhile the rest of us sane people who aren't fighting a religious war over software companies will continue to enjoy our games.

what ELSE can MS do with the images? (-1, Troll)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133246)

You've got a live multi-camera sensor scanning your living room and a closed-source box constantly communicating with the Internet, produced by a company that has repeatedly uploaded personal information to its servers from other products (read the EULA for any version of Windows later than 2KSP2, where you explicitly allow the practice). What else do/can/will they do with the images?

Re:what ELSE can MS do with the images? (1)

jpmorgan (517966) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133488)

What personal information have they been stealing from people's computers again?

Re:what ELSE can MS do with the images? (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133620)

The first example I can remember was back in the dial-up days when they would upload the installed software list and send targeted advertising to the users of WordPerfect, WordStar, Borland Compilers, Quicken, ... to offer discounts on the MS more-or-less equivalent.

Since then they have regularly captured similar data, and around Windows 2000 SP3 or SP4 (SP2 doesn't have it; SP4 does) added explicit language to the EULA granting them access to all data on a Windows system.

Nice to know they can scan your living room for market research purposes (if nothing else).

Re:what ELSE can MS do with the images? (1)

SteeldrivingJon (842919) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133704)

"Nice to know they can scan your living room for market research purposes "

Google would put the images of your living room in Street View.

Re:what ELSE can MS do with the images? (1)

freeshoes (826204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34134058)

I want to live in a World where I can zoom into any place on earth and have HD realtime video, anywhere including inside people's homes. People who disagree with this must be terrorists or doing bad stuff. Ok you give away your privacy, but its worth it to never be bored again, ever!

But... Does it blend? :) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133252)

n/t

Worst Console Add-on Ever (-1, Troll)

RingBus (1912660) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133270)

All the major gaming sites say the same things over and over again:

Input lag problems
Tracking problems causing games to loose sync with your movements
You need about 7 feet of distance from the device and another 3 foot or so around
Issues with lighting, clothing, and other environmental problems
Voice tracking only works half the time
Menu navigation is tedious and pointless and slower than just using a controller

No wonder Microsoft resorted to faking their two E3 demos of Kinect and refused to let the press have access to it before the thing went on sale. 500 million in advertising and PR isn't going to salvage this disaster of a console add-on.

Pictures of unsold Kinect boxes at the launch (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133294)

http://www.gamesradar.com/xbox360/xbox-360/news/kinects-new-york-launch-misses-expectations-but-still-a-good-party/a-20101104112747310011/g-20060321132945404017 [gamesradar.com]

Hard to imagine how bad Kinect has to be for hardcore Xbox fans to not even buy it. These are the same guys who have bought 3,4, or 5 versions of the worst console hardware in history with the RRoD plagued Xbox 360 and the shitty HD-DVD format.

Re:Pictures of unsold Kinect boxes at the launch (2, Informative)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133340)

Oh boy, a store in NYC over purchased Kinects. And the holiday season is STILL going on. Wow, newsworthy. I also remember completely empty lineups at stores during the PS3 launch, and that sure doomed that system, right???? RIGHT??? Seriously, I work at another major electronics store, and we sold out, and were getting calls from virtually everybody telling us that Toys R Us or Future Shop or various other stores, were sold out. The ONLY thing worth complaining about is a some what lackluster launch featuring too many similar titles (exercise games, sports/minigame compilations, and dance simulators). And most consoles have had shitty launches during the last few gens.

Nope, Unsold Kinects At The Damn Launch Event (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133372)

500 million in advertising and PR. Practically bribing people to show up at the Kinect launch event and they only managed to sell 2/3rds of their units.

Epic Fail Microsoft.

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (5, Interesting)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133310)

I've had no problems wit hit recognizing me, or any clothing related problems. My kinect sits on my desk, in front of my HDTV, and I have no problem with it reading me. ZERO problem with voice tracking, ever. Sure, it gets mixed up when you do things like cross your arms or hide them behind your back, but it isn't THAT much of an issue. Nothing an update wouldn't fix. And I still hope they release a handheld peripheral to assist with 3D movement in games, or to constantly recognize left/right hands.

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (3, Insightful)

frnic (98517) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133318)

And the Wright brothers couldn't fly around the world in their first plane either.

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133322)

Worst console add-on ever?

No, not THE worst ever. I had one of these: http://www.club-nintendo.ch/boutique-2007/images/u-force.jpg

Joystiq - Kinect Is Absurdly Broken (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133324)

http://www.joystiq.com/2010/11/04/kinect-vs-our-living-rooms-a-survey/ [joystiq.com]?

"For all the talk of revolutionizing the Xbox 360 experience and making gaming more natural/ accessible, it's bordering on absurd how broken Kinect is when it comes to something as simple as working in your home."

Jeez, that's brutal.

Re:Joystiq - Kinect Is Absurdly Broken (2, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133510)

Wow, sweet spot is 7 feet? I somehow doubt it's going to do well in the Japanese market ;).

What The Hell Was Microsoft Thinking? (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133354)

It would be one thing if Kinect was just some extra for the Xbox 360 but Microsoft has closed down almost all of their first party studios, piss off Bungie and let them leave, let other traditional Xbox focused PC developers go multi-platform. The release list for 2011 and beyond for the 360 is almost barren.

It is mind boggling that they actually thought they were going to be able to abandon their current Xbox userbase and magically turn the Xbox 360 into a Wii type success. Or even something remotely close to the Wii in sales.

I can't imagine what it must feel like to own an Xbox 360 and see Microsoft blowing 500 million trying to attract soccer moms. It's like some guy using his old girlfriend's car to take a new girl he met on a date.

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (4, Interesting)

Vickor (867233) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133376)

I'd recommend trying it before you bash it. I've tried it on several occasions in the past (and now own it) and it's accuracy/lag do not feel significantly worse than the wii. I've seen zero problems with lighting, clothing, etc. The voice recognition is actually quite excellent and it even works reasonably well while a video is playing.

The required distance from the device is annoying though. The menu system as well, but thats a software problem and can be fixed. Check out the dance game for a great example of an intuitive menu.

Even if it fails as a gaming device (which I doubt), I still see the ability to control your entertainment system without a remote as being common place in the future. For example, I was watching a movie on my xbox while I was reading slashdot. When I wanted to concentrate on replying to a post, I just said "xbox pause" without my fingers every leaving my computer. In fact, I hope the kinect is a finanicial success, because that will inspire competitors to emulate and improve the experience, which means even more awesome stuff for consumers.

xbox play...

the OP is spot on for lag (4, Informative)

aepervius (535155) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133816)

a kinect review [digitaltrends.com]
Highs:

* Just plain fun
* Limitless potential, could move beyond gaming.
* New, innovative technology will only get better.
Lows:

* $150 price on top of Xbox 360 console
* Half-second of inherent lag
* Fairly basic games
* Only handles two players at a time



german summry [gamecaptain.de]
Approximative transaltion in english :
The setup is a problem too. So kinect needs really much place and has problem with light. One tester from joystiq was not
recognized due to his glasses, because it was reflecting too much light.

Whoever want to paly to 2 needs 3 meter of free palce from TV (9 foot aprox) which needs a lot of moving furniture by many.
Which means also that the dashboard features like move command cannot be used when one want to do only a to watch a film, not to play.
Also the price is critized.



IGN video review linked ina rticle [youtube.com]

Mixed reviews for kinect [i4u.com]



My verdict from what i all read : the lag will probably limit it to games where it is not too important (casual family game, or game where a 1/3 to 1/5 second lag has no impact). Tech looks good and could be a revolution, but at the moment too expensive. Wait and see for Kinect 1.2 with a good offering of games.

"xbox pause" (1)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 3 years ago | (#34134014)

I remember saying "calculator!" to Windows 95 using a free microphone and the built-in calculator would pop up.

15 years later and people are impressed by this...impressed enough to spend $150 on it?

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (4, Informative)

bloodhawk (813939) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133384)

And just about everything in your list is massively exaggerated. My young sister and brother are both happily playing right now and none of the problems you listed appear to exist with maybe the exception of some of the voice commands can be iffy

Every Major Gaming Site Reports Those Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133588)

But hey! Some random fanboy on the Net say Kinect doesn't have all those problems!

Who do we believe?

Re:Every Major Gaming Site Reports Those Problems (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133592)

yep tough decision, people that are actually using it, or some of the more biased sites that have ps3 or wii affliations.

1Up,Kotaku,CNet Trashing This Turd Of An Addon (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133604)

Yep, those bastions of Sony fanboyism 1Up,Kotaku,CNet trashed Kinect when they knew it was actually an amazing and revolutionary motion control system and totally isn't an over hyped crappy ripoff of old Sony PS2 era Eye Toy tech...

LOL!

You don't fake E3 demos and then keep your 'revolutionary' product out of the hands of the press like Microsoft was forced to with Kinect because it is so good...

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (4, Insightful)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133714)

Yeah the guy is a troll, look at his post history. He made a similarly stupid post last time Kinect was discussed. Criticism of Kinect is fair enough but some of the points he made don't even make sense- complaints about lighting etc. when it works using IR. Still he gets modded up because he's slagging off Microsoft and that gives your average Slashdotter a hardon no matter how factually incorrect it is.

That's not to say all his points are invalid, the distance thing is a bit of a pain certainly (although the Wii and Move struggle at very short distances too) but for the most part he's just trolling.

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (2, Interesting)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133460)

My only complaint as a non-kinect user is the update introduces significant lag in the menu system.

It's not horrible, but it's not nearly as smooth as it was.

There was no gain for non-kinect users as well... unless you like the windows 3.1 menu look and feel.

Re:Worst Console Add-on Ever (1)

Xest (935314) | more than 3 years ago | (#34134038)

I've not seen any issues with lag in the menu system or anything like that, but I agree the new design is horrible, but then, I never liked it since the original 360 dashboard personally.

All major sites are saying... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133526)

You dont own a Xbox.

Open source driver news.. (3, Informative)

LingNoi (1066278) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133290)

I can't believe the summary didn't mention the $2000 bounty reward for making an open source driver.

http://www.adafruit.com/blog/2010/11/04/the-open-kinect-project-the-ok-prize-get-1000-bounty-for-kinect-for-xbox-360-open-source-drivers/ [adafruit.com]

Ask iFixit anything (5, Informative)

kwiens (604321) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133328)

I started iFixit, and I wrote today's teardown. I'm also a long-time /. member.

I totally dig the anti-Microsoft sentiment. But just like with the iPad, we've got real innovation here that came out of a closed environment. Microsoft's got hundreds of millions of dollars invested in visual motion recognition and speech recognition technology. The best reaction all of us in the open source community can have is to use this innovation as a call to action, and as building a block to write open tools. Adafruit's contest is a fantastic start, and I'll be supporting that any way I can.

Got any questions about the hardware that I didn't address in the teardown? Fire away.

Kyle Wiens

Re:Ask iFixit anything (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133458)

But just like with the iPad, we've got real innovation here that came out of a closed environment.

I don't see any innovation here. Kinect and iPad are both just evolutionary steps. None of the concepts of these devices are in any form new. To have companies with infinite resources make products out of ideas and concepts that have been researched and prototyped for decades by public institutions as well as the private sector is not innovation.

A ourney of a Thousand Miles... (4, Interesting)

TheEyes (1686556) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133636)

But just like with the iPad, we've got real innovation here that came out of a closed environment.

I don't see any innovation here. Kinect and iPad are both just evolutionary steps. None of the concepts of these devices are in any form new. To have companies with infinite resources make products out of ideas and concepts that have been researched and prototyped for decades by public institutions as well as the private sector is not innovation.

String enough evolutions together and you get a revolution. Like the Wiimote, which put Bluetooth-enabled accelerometers and infrared cameras into a small handheld device at a price that anyone can afford, this Kinect camera device has the potential to seriously change how the do-it-yourself community interacts with their computers. Think of all the new applications the open source community came up with for the Wiimote, many of which were featured here on /.; now imagine what they'll be able to come up with for this device.

I can't wait to see what comes around when someone builds usable open drivers for this baby. I don't own a 360, but the prospect of plugging this into my computer or HTPC and getting voice controls, facial recognition, and arbitrary movement recognition for use as input are giving me chills. I mean, just look at what you get for $150 [ifixit.net]: two cameras, an IR projector, four microphones, all mounted on a motorized base with hardware/software that can generate a 3D image in approximately realtime. I can't wait to be able to sign my name in midair to use as my password.

"Computer, open Firefox; website: slashdot.org."

execution is important (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133644)

Linus Torvalds places value in a well executed implementation. Isn't there value in producing a very well implemented product?

Re:Ask iFixit anything (0)

jdogalt (961241) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133652)

mod parent up. ipod was not innovation, but a company with vast resources waiting for the right time to walk into a market and ensure that the actual innovators did not end up with the lions share of the market. Same thing with the ipad. I know the silicon valley attitude from much firsthand personal experience. The attitude is not to innovate, or place a high value on groundbreaking ideas, but instead to understand that to cash in, you wait to leverage other advantages when the time is best to cash in on someone elses innovation. This is precisely the attitude of Jobs-2.0 as opposed to the attitude of Jobs-1.0 who got sorely bested commercially until he adopted the Gates strategy.

Re:Ask iFixit anything (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133770)

What a bizarre attitude. Who is sitting around with the fantastic ideas waiting for the right time to walk into a market and screw the actual innovators? Who could actually do that without worrying they were going to have their lunch cut by the actual innovators walking into that market a few minutes earlier with perhaps some new innovations you never even heard of what with being a total parasite and all? Seriously you believe that is whats happening?
Or are the vast resources of those you implicitly deride actually working towards and producing the innovations you speak of and, god forbid, profiting from the investment?

Re:Ask iFixit anything (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133482)

Any idea what Microsoft's parts/manufacturing costs would be for the kinect?

Re:Ask iFixit anything (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133628)

How much are Microsoft paying you?

Re:Ask iFixit anything (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133776)

No question about the hardware, feel free to ignore.

The best reaction all of us in the open source community can have is to use this innovation as a call to action, and as building a block to write open tools.

In my opinion, no it's not. That would mean to support a company that gives itself the right to monitor you and your communications, record them and share them with anybody they feel like. Don't let them catch you smoking weed or doing anything you wouldn't want other people to see when you use the Kinect. They granted themselves the right to record you in their updated terms of use.

That's like buying a slightly better car that unfortunately runs on ground babies ... and was made by BP.

From a less emotional point of view, the whole "open tools" aspect is rather moot. Look at the open Wii remote tools. They are rudimentary, occasionally working hacks that never found any real use. Sure there were a few fancy demos, but those were never heard from again. Not to mention that said companies would sick their lawyers on any remotely successful use they don't approve of.

MS Had To Cap Pre-Orders Due To Demand (2, Interesting)

SoVi3t (633947) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133398)

LOL! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133422)

Fanboy. When people are seeing Kinects sitting in stores unsold on launch day and easily bought online you just look ridiculous and pathetic trying to imply there is some amazing demand for this piece of junk add-on.

Poor engineers (4, Insightful)

GF678 (1453005) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133418)

I'd hate to have been an engineer working on this thing. Putting all your heart and soul into the R&D trying to make something novel, interesting and cutting-edge, and all you get in response is hate.

Not that I'm defending the product or Microsoft. Theory is nice but if the physical product sucks then it sucks, but it's kinda obvious why companies are afraid to try something different.

Re:Poor engineers (1)

Sylak (1611137) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133444)

I agree. The sad part is that many 360 owners will not even give this a once-over glance, much less consider buying it on a serious level. I would want to get one to see what my computer can do with it honestly (assuming that either it uses generic webcam/microphone drivers or that people will write them soon enough like the 360 wired controllers)

Re:Poor engineers (2, Insightful)

Cylix (55374) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133480)

You don't have to defend or defame the product until you have tried it.

I'm waiting for a billion reviews to see if it's something worth acquiring. My main problem with the kinect is the use videos are all microsoft released and they have a lousy track record for being honest about their products. Point in case was the virtual friend for xbox 360/kinect demo. Completely scripted and a total wash, but it was later defended as a "what if" video and not a technology demo.

While they never solicited public feedback on the unit before shipping I do hope they did some earnest research. Then again you can of course make a good deal of money in this country if you rely solely on advertising.

In the end we just have to wait for user reviews from our peers or take the plunge ourselves if you feel like being a risk taker. However, what I will not do is praise a product on it's technological merits alone. That might get it some street cred or geek respect, but I'm not going to give someone money because they tried really hard. It has to have value for me (and a lot of other people) to be successful.

Re:Poor engineers (3, Insightful)

NixieBunny (859050) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133508)

Think of this product as something similar to the DARPA autonomous-vehicle race series: the first one was a total failure, and the second one produced spectacular results.

They can continuously improve the firmware to make it quite a usable product. This stuff takes many iterations, and the more units out there, the more feedback you get.

A Ripoff Of Old Sony Eye Toy Tech (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133594)

There were no Microsoft engineers involved.

The Kinect tech is a copy of old Sony PS2 era Eye Toy technology. It was created by a company that Nintendo and Sony passed on and then ended up licensing to Microsoft.

Microsoft then proceeded to hype it to absurd levels and now the reality of how much it sucks is setting in.

So give the 'hate' BS a rest. Microsoft has no one to blame but themselves for playing the hype card with tech that wasn't up to the hype. No one held a gun to the clowns running the Xbox fiasco to fake those E3 demos.

Re:A Ripoff Of Old Sony Eye Toy Tech (1)

am 2k (217885) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133996)

Uhm, no. The Kinect has a 3D depth camera built-in, while the EyeToy is only using a 2D image with background elimination. That's a huge difference.

Re:Poor engineers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133890)

I'd hate to have been an engineer working on this thing. Putting all your heart and soul into the R&D trying to make something novel, interesting and cutting-edge, and all you get in response is hate.

Not that I'm defending the product or Microsoft. Theory is nice but if the physical product sucks then it sucks, but it's kinda obvious why companies are afraid to try something different.

Microsoft Engineers are used to this by now... sadly

3d webcam (2, Insightful)

Khyber (864651) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133520)

If Microsoft whips out the ability to use this as a 3D webcam with my PC, I'd buy it in a heartbeat. Screw the 360, I want this for my computer.

I would feel cheated if i bought this. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133562)

Me and a few game-addicted friends observed how several people tried to use Kinect at Gamescon. They had 6 or 7 cubicles with different games for people to test.

We were baffled about how terribly bad this Kinect is .... the lag was several seconds ... the moves barely ever recognised ... you saw the people getting frustated after a minute of (non-)play.

It may suck as a game controller, but... (4, Interesting)

joh (27088) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133608)

...this is actually opening up some interesting potential. This thing is a tool to recognize and track persons and their movements in a room, no more and no less. Have some of such things in your home, one in each room, connected to a small server. Improve the voice recognition and speech synthesis, add some software and you've got something very close to a home that is watching you, your family and your guests, knows where you are, what you're doing, what you're saying and can speak to you. Give the software access to all your personal communication and data (email, phone, voicebox, scheduling, ...) and your house starts to become aware of you and your life. Could be very interesting (and also very spooky).

Open Source drivers for these things would open up a world of interesting things to do with it, no doubt.

Re:It may suck as a game controller, but... (2, Interesting)

middenview (517699) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133676)

It was the spooky aspects that got me first. Apart from mobile 'phones, what better way to hide a sophisticated eavesdropping device in plain sight.

Re:It may suck as a game controller, but... (1)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133788)

Disconnected from the power it becomes a very useless eavesdropping device.

Apart from mobile phones though I would thing any webcam would be better. Many households already have them (pretty much all lalptops/netbooks/notebooks/ipads) and provided you have access to the system you can record any and all conversation and video and have it delivered to a web location of your choosing.

The Kinect lags to much (3, Interesting)

miffo.swe (547642) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133618)

Tried one yesterday and i was very disappointed. My Eye-Toy, the Sony product Microsoft copied and extended is eight years old and still more responsive. The lag was very annoying and made games like boxing unbearable since you punch and your boxer punches long after on the screen.

Since i have used Eye-Toy extensively i was expecting that the Kinect would be much better but it was actually worse in some respects. The tech behind kinect/Eye-Toy has been used extensively in arcades etc so its actually pretty surprising Microsoft couldnt get it right. Perhaps they had to work themselves around some patents of variants that actually work and in the process ended up with an inferior product.

Re:The Kinect lags to much (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133900)

eyetoy is not really a fair comparison. All that's doing is detecting changes in an image within an area. It's a much much simpler task.

Now, if Kinect sucks then it sucks, and that's a shame, especially since there are ways of dealing with this, but the solution is different from eyetoy.

I normally love MS, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34133674)

I swear, it seems like 95% of the amazon reviews were paid for. They are just gushing, and interspersed between these is the occasional sucker who actually bought it complaining. Seems gimmicky to me, but hey, so did the wii at first.

CMOS and 3d (1)

WarJolt (990309) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133718)

I have a very basic understanding of how the system works. IR beam gets sent out and the CMOS sensor picks up the pattern and interprets the z axis information.

I would imagine that there are inherent problems with this. If the pattern is too spaced out then resolution suffers. If the pattern is too close together then there are many errors. The processing must be complicated. I bet even the type of clothing you're wearing has an effect on it.

So what about PC? (1)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#34133984)

What about Microsoft's PC gaming revival initiative? Is it dead already?

It would be actually quite interesting to see Kinect used with PC. Could result in many cool projects outside gaming.

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