SCE engineer criticises Kinect tech

Having previously questioned Kinect’s ability to pull-off the much hyped lightsaber game that will be released on Microsoft’s console next year, an SCE software engineer has once again gone on the offensive regarding Microsoft’s motion technology.

"We’re not necessarily against Kinect or against depth cameras, it’s just we feel like Move has more applicability across more genres so it fits better with what we try to do," Anton Mikhailov told Videogamer.

"I think the tech is a bit, not so much immature, but not quite up to spec in what we think. The PlayStation Eye camera runs at 60 frames per second so it can track you very quickly whereas the Kinect and other depth camera are only 30fps.

"So they are more suited for slower motions. Dancing is still kind of okay and then the yoga stuff that they were doing, it fits that very well, whereas if you want to do quick punches it’s harder to do that just because you can’t see the player as quickly. And there’s also more latency, things like that. So you know, it’s not a particularly sexy result, it’s just mostly technological problems.

"We thought [the problems] were just minor. Marketing-wise they’re minor tech problems, technologically-wise they’re quite big. The fact that it runs at 30 frames per second instead of 60 – that’s a common problem with all those cameras. It’s actually hard to fix because you have a lot of data to transport. I think they quoted something like 10-15 per cent of the Xbox resources, plus like 50 megs of memory or something like that. The Move takes less than 1 per cent, and like 1MB.

"So, you know, that’s just a bunch of numbers but to developers that means like Killzone 3 can just put in Move and not have to worry about it, whereas something like Kinect you have to make significant game changes to actually fit that into your game.

"Another issue is resolution; it’s a 320×240 camera as far as I’ve heard and the out-to is 640×480 so neither of those are particularly hot resolutions but you can take what you can get. I think the frame-rate is too low, and I think some materials are still a problem. So like, some jeans are a problem.

"You get these things called infra-red black objects, so for example you’re wearing a black shirt so the camera when it looks at you it sees black because no light is being reflected back at it. So infra-red is just another band of light and there are objects that are black in the infra-red spectrum."

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