Kinect tech specs reveal 2-player limit? - Retail Radar

British retailer posts reputedly detailed breakdown of motion-sensing system's features--which say it permits only a pair of "active players" at one time.

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The world got its first glimpse at Kinect at the 2009 Electronic Entertainment Expo, when it was unveiled to the world as Project Natal. Microsoft used a slickly produced video to show how the motion-sensing device could be used by an almost frighteningly perfect family, all four of whom laughed and smiled as they played a series of games.

Purportedly leaked tech specs say only two
Purportedly leaked tech specs say only two "active players" can play Kinect at once.

Now, though, it appears that the number of people able to play a Kinect game may be limited to two. UK-based retailer Play.com has posted a product page that lists the technical specifications (see below) for Kinect in unprecedented detail.

The product listing says that the controller-less system "tracks up to 6 people, including 2 active players" (emphasis added). It is unclear if the tech spec's careful phrasing means that up to six people could simultaneously play a simple passive title--a trivia game like that shown in the 2009 Natal introduction video--or that it can just recognize six people at once. By comparison, four people can play Nintendo's Wii and Sony's upcoming PlayStation Move, but all will require controllers.

Since Microsoft did not hand out a similar document at E3 2010 earlier this month, it is impossible to verify the specs on Play.com as 100 percent authentic. As of press time, Microsoft had not responded to requests for verification of the apparently leaked tech specs.

However, Play.com's disclaimer says "this information is based on specifications supplied by manufacturers," indicating it is likely genuine. Backing that up is the tech specs' wording, which describes features such as Kinect's "skeletal tracking system" using the exact phrasing in Microsoft press materials.

KINECT TECH SPECS (UNCONFIRMED)

Sensor
Color and depth-sensing lenses
Voice microphone array
Tilt motor for sensor adjustment
Fully compatible with existing Xbox 360 consoles

Field of View
Horizontal field of view: 57 degrees
Vertical field of view: 43 degrees
Physical tilt range: ± 27 degrees
Depth sensor range: 1.2m - 3.5m

Data Streams
320x240 16-bit depth @ 30 frames/sec
640x480 32-bit colour @ 30 frames/sec
16-bit audio @ 16 kHz

Skeletal Tracking System
Tracks up to 6 people, including 2 active players
Tracks 20 joints per active player
Ability to map active players to Live Avatars

Audio System
Live party chat and in-game voice chat (requires Xbox Live Gold Membership)
Echo cancellation system enhances voice input
Speech recognition in multiple

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