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Five ways Kinect 2 must improve on the original

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4) Recognizing People in Different Positions

Steel Battalion and The Gunstringer tried to let people play Kinect sitting down, exercise games have players lay on the floor and do sit-ups, but the Kinect has a hard enough time tracking a player standing perfectly still and waving one arm around. Kinect 2 simply has to understand people better. It has to read their quirky movements, variety of body types, and be ready to adjust to changes. 

Maybe I want to sit down for a minute and navigate the menus in Dance Central. Maybe I want to step away for a second without the entire experience breaking down and requiring five minutes of readjustment. I have a friend whose exaggerated enthusiasm leads the Kinect to throw its arms up in defeat every time he steps near the thing. How is that something that's fun for the whole family?

Kinect3 Image

5) It MUST Simply Work Right

Having any success with the Kinect required me to learn its language. There is a measured subtlety required when playing most Kinect games that's honestly quite absurd when you think about it. The Kinect should work around you, not the other way around. You should be able to control it with gentle swipes or flying karate kicks, gentle whispers and violent shouts, from 8 feet away or 3, it should simply work.

It may be a lot to ask, but so was the $150 I dropped on unfulfilled promises for the first round. If Microsoft expects to get gamers in their good graces with Kinect 2 and drop even more money on a new peripheral, that thing better be made of sunshine and rainbows.

It's not impossible, either. The truth is that a lot of the work has already been done. A couple years ago, controlling your Xbox with your body sounded completely crazy, and yeah, it still doesn't work quite right, but the hardest part is done. The Kinect is still pretty magical, flaws and all. The Kinect 2 just has to refine everything about it. Microsoft doesn't have to reinvent the wheel, they just have to make it spin better.

Tags: Kinect 2, Microsoft, Xbox 360

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