Kinect 2- Right time to use A.I. in Nextgen Consoles?

When the console war was going all in for best graphics or most power consoles during the seventh generation of consoles, Nintendo blinded everyone with their nunchucks and motion controllers became a thing. Not only that, Nintendo Wii started becoming the dominant console with less than cool graphics but more fun to play with. It was that time when Microsoft and Sony knew they had to do something and thus Sony gave birth to the adult toy which was more of a rip-off of Wii controllers and Microsoft went ahead with Kinect, which everyone thought was way ahead of its time.. or was it?

what was kinect?

Consoles have been stuck with same feature set i.e some buttons, joystick and vibration. Sure there are improvements but till date you need some sort of controller or keyboard or mouse. Kinect actually went ahead and almost made the controller redundant.

Kinect was a motion sensing input device produced by Microsoft for Xbox 360. The devices also contained RGB cameras, and infrared projectors which could be used to perform real-time gesture recognition and body skeletal detection, among other capabilities. They also contain microphones that can be used for speech recognition and voice control.

On papers this seems absolutely fun thing to play games with where you could just use gestures, jump, rotate etc to play the games, however, Kinect was a disaster, which would be an understatement. It went well during 360 era, but with Xbox One Platform, things fizzled out. why was that so? well for the most part, games were designed for the controller first since Kinect was an afterthought addon. So the games which supported it had poor implementation. People had privacy concern and the number of accidents and poor usage of kinect was all over thr youtube.

So what changes now? we milking a dead cow? well AI changed

A.I. has now taken over like a storm, from photos to videos to programming, everything is being sugar coated with AI. IN fact, all the hardware vendors, be it Nvidia, AMD or Inter are running hard to add AI features in all of their portfolio. This actually gives a good chance to havean extremely improved kinect version with AI capabilities.

AI can overcome the limitation of previous kinect implementation with superior gesture detection, realtime body detection and instant simualtion in the console.

want to play tennis? sure no need to have a controller, just swing your hand and it will work. Multiple players can play simultaniously with accurate detection of bodies. heck you dont need to have an extremely good camera since AI can do the heavy lifting and thus the hardware cost can be saved.

The microphone usage can be improved too, you can just blurt out commands and AI will understand, you can switch weapons by just speaking, reload with gesture or just yelling reload. you dont need to ohysically jump, just say jump. there are all sort of utility with this.

Not to mention new type of gameplay. where a puzzle needs to solved by drawing a circle or touching some corners. all this can be so much fun and healtheir, instead of just sitting on the couch and pressing buttons.

Will this end the controller era?

Simple answer is no, it is omposssible to replace the controllers as there are still limitations like movement. so we still need controllers, and sitting on counch is also a blessing not everyone want to leave behind. So a blend of controller and gesture could a good future. Similarly looking anywhere would be an another challenge.

So the jist if kinect can make a new comback but its still not going to replace traditional games or controller. games and mechanics need to be designed for this type usage and this will always be a chicken and egg situation. But AI certainly will play role in the future of consoles. Lets find out how!



Abhishek is a Finance Professional and has worked in multiple MNCs. However, he is also an avid tech reader and tinkerer with over 20 years of experience. His passions include 3D animation and drawing Illustrations. His creations can be viewed at www.artstation.com/abhifx