Citing an anonymous game developer “familiar with the situation”, CVG is reporting that Microsoft has “briefed” several European studios on their next generation Kinect hardware and those teams are already working on games using new development kits.
While the source was unable to provide any details about the next-gen Kinect development kits — having not actually seen them “in person” — the reports do dovetail nicely into prior rumors and speculation about Microsoft’s next Xbox console.
Earlier this week Baird Equity Research analyst Colin Sebastian predicted that the company was planning to make Kinect integration standard on their next system. He stated that this prediction was based on talks he had at CES with “a number of companies involved in video game development”.
In August of last year, Twitter user DaE claimed to have of an early Xbox Durango (a code name that has been associated with the next generation Xbox console) development kit. He backed up his claims with an image (pictured above) that appeared to show a view from the improved sensor’s point of view. If the leaked image is to be believed, the next generation Kinect will be able to track multiple users at the same time, have a much better depth of field, be able to see and track individual fingers against clothing, and have a higher resolution than the current version.
Despite all the rumors and speculation we do not have any concrete evidence to suggest that a next generation Kinect sensor will be included in Microsoft’s unannounced next-gen Xbox, so all of this should be taken with a grain of salt. With that said, Kinect has found a certain amount of sales success — despite its failure to catch on with core gamers — and as fun as it is to envision a world where Microsoft stops pushing Kinect, it seems incredibly unlikely to happen.
The next generation Kinect sensor and its corresponding console are expected to be revealed prior to E3 in June. We will let you know as soon as anything official is announced on either piece of hardware.