Shacknews has learned that the new Kinect 2.0 device bundled with Microsoft's upcoming Xbox One won't be an exclusive to the console, and will be offered for the PC as well. Kinect program manager Scott Evans relayed the news to the site, promising that more information will be revealed soon. That said, we expect to hear more at E3 2013 next month.
This is certainly good news given that Microsoft didn't release Kinect for Windows until early 2012, a little over one year after the device was launched on the Xbox 360. Shacknews speculates that Microsoft may use the same release pattern for Kinect 2.0 although Microsoft's previous hesitance was due to wanting to keep Kinect an Xbox 360 exclusive. However enthusiasts used Kinect on the PC nonetheless, and soon Microsoft caved in and released an unofficial SDK followed by a commercial version.
On Tuesday Xbox's UK marketing director Harvey Eagle told IGN that the new console will not function without a Kinect connection in "all cases". He also said that Xbox One owners will be able to play in the bedroom. "We use the living room almost as a moniker - that's where we assume the best screen is in the house," he said. "But if you like to play in any other room in the house, the Xbox One will deliver the same quality of experience whatever the environment."
Kinect 2.0 is also reportedly capable of detecting a user's current heart rate by examining his/her skin color and transparency. It also keeps track of different player profiles by linking them to a specific controller. When Player One swaps controllers with Player Two, the new console can recognize which profile is the new Player One.
Kinect 2.0 sports a 1080p RGB camera, a huge improvement from the VGA sensor used in the original Kinect. It also processes two gigabits of data per second to accurately read the user's environment, and allows for six "skeletons" to fit in the frame at once. The field of view is 60-percent better than the first generation, and the minimum object threshold is 2.5 times better than before.