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Is the sensor accurate enough for more resolution to matter?  (Source: Microsoft)
Four times as much data could mean a slower system

Microsoft rolled out the Kinect accessory for the Xbox 360 back in November to rather lukewarm reviews. However, sales for the accessory have shot through the roof. The billions the company spent in ads for the console have wooed many gamers to try the device and the modding community has also caught onto the fact that the Kinect is massively hackable to do all sorts of things.

Right now, the resolution of the sensors used by the Kinect to monitor the player's movements is limited by the firmware to 320 x 240 at 30 frames per second. Since the resolution and all the features of the device are driven by firmware, upgrading the resolution and feature set of the Kinect is as easy as updating the Xbox dashboard.

Microsoft's Kinect team is working to increase the resolution of the depth sensor used to 640 x 480. If the update happens, the increase to 640 x 480 would effectively quadruple the accuracy of the sensor and allow the sensor the resolution needed to detect finger and hand rotation.

The reason the resolution wasn't cranked up by Microsoft to begin with was to allow for multiple USB devices to be used at one time. The USB controller interface inside the device is capable of 35MB/s but only uses about 16MB/s of that bandwidth.

Eurogamer reports that Microsoft is at work on a fix to get more bandwidth for the device. Microsoft had not given official comment on the story to Eurogamer. However, Rich Leadbetter from Digital Foundry said that such an update is "eminently doable." He also said, "[Microsoft would need to] disable or lower throughput of game installs running from USB flash drives to free up additional bandwidth."

However, if Microsoft did increase the resolution there is a question on how accurate the sensor will be. The other caveat is that processing four times the number of pixels could slow the system down.

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RE: Xbox 720 and PS4
By carniver on 12/20/2010 1:10:43 PM , Rating: 3
NO. Bringing out a new console just for 3D controls would be way too much risk either company shall take. The current consoles has been out for less than 10 years, their capabilities are still sufficient for current-gen games.

Dumping the current console for a new one means discarding the current installed user base, and will likely disappoint many existing owners. A user base is hard to establish. Even with the significant hype of PS3 at launch, Sony has only been able to establish significant marketshare not too long ago. Same goes to Microsoft, they had a year of headstart compared to Nintendo and Sony, but still they had to spend a money in many years of advertising and incentives to slowly establish their current installed user base. Even Nintendo is seeing a significant decline in their sales nowadays.

One wrong move and you're gone, pun intended. If Sony dumped PS3 now, Microsoft will grab at least half of their users. And vice versa for Microsoft.

RE: Xbox 720 and PS4
By FITCamaro on 12/20/2010 2:50:58 PM , Rating: 2
I wasn't saying motion only controls. Just that the console will likely be designed with the horsepower to handle 1080p graphics in 3D and a motion controller if the user has one. Currently the Kinect will be limited in the kind of game it can be used to the full extent with. Graphically intense games are already pushing the 360 to the limit. Trying to add processing of motion controls into say Gears of War 3 would probably require reduced graphics.

RE: Xbox 720 and PS4
By titanmiller on 12/20/2010 8:51:30 PM , Rating: 2
Have you downloaded 3dMark11 yet? The current state of the art graphics are insanely beyond anything that the current consoles could ever hope to push out. My personal opinion is that the next gen consoles should wait until they can fit something akin to a 2048 core Fermi at a reasonable cost.

RE: Xbox 720 and PS4
By FaaR on 12/21/2010 7:36:48 AM , Rating: 2
A 2048-core Fermi at reasonable cost is a decade-long wait for sure. We can't do HALF of a Fermi yet at reasonable cost (meaning, fit to put into a cheap consumer device like a console), and with silicon processes becoming ever more complicated, it's going to be quite a while until 400% of a fermi will be cheap enough for that.

RE: Xbox 720 and PS4
By Hiawa23 on 12/21/2010 10:11:54 AM , Rating: 2
I agree, it would not make good financial sense for MS & Sony to rush new hardware out anytime soon, especially Sony with the huge cost associated with the PS3, & barely 4 years old, & Ms just did a redesign ont he 360. I love both consoles & I am fine with each consoles graphics, & in this bad economy, 9.8%unemployment, much higher in individual states, there is noway I would even consider buying another platform, & the whole 3D craze, MS & Sony would be fools to release new consoles just for that when at this point 3D Tvs cost way to much for the average consumer & most of us don't even care for 3d movies, or games. There is noway the masses are going out to buy 3D tvs in this economy so to me what MOVE & Kinect has done for MS & Sony is bought them more time & will extend this generation which I am totally fine with. Like I said the graphics I am fine with both consoles so far this gen, & if you are not, then grab or update your PCs as I don't expect to see a new platform form MS or Sony atleast in the next 1-2 years. Nintendo needs a new platform but Sony MS doesn't, IMO.

"What would I do? I'd shut it down and give the money back to the shareholders." -- Michael Dell, after being asked what to do with Apple Computer in 1997
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