Microsoft enjoys strong Kinect sales, endorses hacking

When Microsoft first revealed its Kinect motion controller, I wondered whether consumers would really want to interface with games by waving their arms in the air. Apparently, quite a lot of folks do care about such a control schemeβ€”2.5 million of them, to be exact. According to Ars Technica, that’s the number of Kinect units snapped up in the first 25 days of availability. Microsoft expects 5 million Kinect controllers to be in in the hands across the room from consumers by the end of the holiday season.

What’s most interesting about Kinect’s strong sales is the fact that the device hasn’t been greeted with rave reviews. Joystiq was quite critical of the controller’s need to be in just the right room configuration, for example. Of the Kinect-enabled games that have been released thus far, only one, Dance Central, scores higher than the mid-70s on Metacritic. That sort of game seems like a natural fit for Kinect’s ability to track body movement, and I suppose it’s easier to dance like no one’s looking if your only audience is a bionic eye.

Although Kinect remains an Xbox accessory, a community of hackers has already risen to adapt the device for the PC. Microsoft isn’t complaining about the meddling, either. In fact, it’s claiming that Kinect’s interface was left open by design. Developers are taking advantage, and some have gotten Kinect to control Minecraft, the Windows 7 mouse, and instruments in GarageBand. Those examples barely scratch the surface of what’s been done thus far, and given that a number of the projects appear to be open-source, I suspect we’ll see quite a lot more from the homebrew community in the coming weeks and months. Indeed, Kinect may ultimately prove to be more compelling on the PC than it is connected to a console.

Comments closed
    • derFunkenstein
    • 9 years ago

    This isn’t really “hacking” in the console world. When I hear “encourages hacking” I think of modchips and piracy, not open-source drivers for your PC.

    • thesmileman
    • 9 years ago

    It was “left open by design” because any encryption would cause some latency as it has to be encoded and then decoded. It also would have made the device more expensive. I could care less but this is just marketing going along with the public opinon.

    Also I love my Kinect and I haven’t even hooked it up to my XBOX.

      • HisDivineShadow
      • 9 years ago

      Why would you? Kinect on Xbox is lame. Kinect on PC is full of potential.

      • CasbahBoy
      • 9 years ago

      You may be thinking too much into it. I believe it was left open ‘by design’ because Microsoft may make a healthy profit on the hardware, so as long as they’re flying off the shelves they don’t really care what the devices are used for.

      Depending on the nature of the hacks, warranties could be voided too – meaning even more sales πŸ˜‰

    • Mat3
    • 9 years ago

    Kinect, Wii, PS3 Move… if this is the way most video games will be played in the future I won’t be gaming anymore. They’re all lame.

      • Xenolith
      • 9 years ago

      Wait a few generations, they will be compelling. This current generation of motion controllers is just a look into the future. Things will get more exciting when the technology matures.

        • cphite
        • 9 years ago

        Actually, I think these things will always be somewhat of a fad, and will always be limited to games that involve a very narrow range of activity.

    • Xenolith
    • 9 years ago

    The games aren’t compelling. The hacks are cool, but not useful. I’ll take a backseat until the killer app appears.

    • TaBoVilla
    • 9 years ago

    countdown until porn industry takes advantage of kinect in a 3d porn game in 3 … 2 …. 1….

      • 5150
      • 9 years ago

      Force feedback FTW!

        • derFunkenstein
        • 9 years ago

        You know there’s just a camera and no actual controller, right?

          • cphite
          • 9 years ago

          You are the controller! :b

      • yogibbear
      • 9 years ago

      Jizz in my pants!

    • ronch
    • 9 years ago

    “Microsoft isn’t complaining about the meddling, either.”

    If only MS will do this with Windows and make it open source!

      • Xenolith
      • 9 years ago

      Wow… still people around beating this dead horse.

        • trackerben
        • 9 years ago

        Didn’t Balmer show good spirits when that was suggested for Win9x’s deprecating codebase? Maybe these guys should just file a proposal with an 8-year release lag.

    • no51
    • 9 years ago

    Kinect is basically a consumer grade vision system and you can do a lot with those.

    • Silus
    • 9 years ago

    Hehe, “endorses hacking”. Now there’s something that I don’t read often…actually I don’t remember a single time I’ve read it πŸ™‚

    • StuG
    • 9 years ago

    Very cool, will be keeping an eye on the progression of this.

    Oh and all those fighting for #1 posts, eat your heart out ;D

      • dextrous
      • 9 years ago

      What’s up with all the lame and annoying first post comments around here lately? Is this dailytech?! Sheesh. Nobody cares. Now or ever.

        • cavedog
        • 9 years ago

        Obviously you care enough to string two sentences together to show your utter displeasure! I am just saying…

        • sweatshopking
        • 9 years ago

        dude, it’s just about having some fun. that’s it. what’s up with the “This is how I want this site to be, and you should all conform to my wishes.” Some of us enjoy the first post thing. if you don’t that’s cool.

          • StuG
          • 9 years ago

          Its a forum full of regular people. I don’t really play the first joke game, but I like to comment now and than on it because I enjoy reading their posts over who got first. Its funny, and all just for some laughs. I don’t see it being very hard to ignore, if just one post that gets commented on. Not like its the whole thing.

          Its kinda like an inside joke, but everyone can add in πŸ˜›

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