We already know that Microsoft is hard at work on its third-generation Xbox as we speak. And it goes without saying that that console will come with Kinect technology built in. Today, a report is circulating that suggests this “Kinect 2” will be able to do some downright astonishing things.
Eurogamer says they’ve heard from an “inside source” that the Kinect tech that will ship with the next Xbox will be capable of reading lips, detect the direction players are facing, and even read players’ emotions. Yeah, you read that right: pretty soon your game console will track your vocal modulation and facial tics know when you’re pissed off.
I don’t know what Microsoft plans to do with that data, but I can imagine things like game developers having the option to build games with adaptive difficulty that eases up when players grow irate, or amps up the challenge when players are too relaxed. Or maybe it will learn from our silly human emotions and become self aware, launch a nuclear holocaust, and create killing machines to hunt down the last remnants of humanity. But that’s just one possibility.
The new Kinect will be part of the new Xbox, tossing out the silly USB cable that currently connects the two in favor of a Charge-Coupled Device. Eurogamer’s report says this will enable its sensors to record a lot more information, with significantly a higher resolution and frames-per-second.
Industry scuttlebutt has it that the next Xbox will launch sometime in late 2012 or early 2013. Expect to hear the first official details about the device via next year’s E3.