Nevermind Kinect 2 Support Dropped Due To “Red Tape”
I’ve got some awful news to report. Unfortunately the Xbox One version of Nevermind won’t have biofeedback due to “red tape” concerning Kinect 2. Here’s a quote from Flying Mollusk’s latest Nevermind Kickstarter update with more details:
As you all know from previous updates, content-wise the Xbox One version of Nevermind has been more or less ready for about a year. That said, the biggest hurdle has been finding a way for the Kinect to detect biofeedback so that Xbox One players can experience the same features as Mac and Windows players. To cut to the chase, despite over a year of extensive research and exploration of a wide variety of options (including my recent optimism that we had a potential solution), it is with an incredibly heavy heart that I must share that biofeedback support on Xbox One is not likely going to happen.
I’ll spare you the tedious details (some of which are all NDA-bound, which limits the degree to which I can explain the whole situation), however, I also feel that I owe you all an explanation – especially after you have been so patient. Needless to say, it has been a very draining rollercoaster process for me and the team. Originally (per our KS proposal), our plan was to use the Kinect’s rarely-utilized ability to detect Heart Rate (which it is totally capable of doing). However, contrary to our original understanding going into the Kickstarter campaign, we encountered a lot of red tape regarding accessing that functionality that a small developer like us (even with internal Microsoft support) ultimately wasn’t able to get through.
Of course, we still had a number of plan Bs, Cs, Ds, and Es to fall back on! Each of them seemed promising (to varying degrees), but alas, each fell through for one reason or another in the end. Our most recent attempt (over the course of the past few weeks) came very, very close. However, due to some late complications, and the potentially endless ongoing iteration required to try to make that version a reality, we have simply run out of time for further R&D.
The news gets even worse though, since I asked the developers whether the Xbox One version of Nevermind will still include motion controls and/or any other Kinect features and they told me that due to the fact that they have spent all this time trying to sort out the biofeedback issue they haven’t had time to work on any of the other Kinect features, so Kinect 2 support has been dropped entirely and it will just be a standard Xbox One game. The only slight bit of hope is that they haven’t entirely ruled out updating the game with not only the Kinect features but also VR support for Xbox Scorpio, but that console is about a year away from release.
If you want the full Kinect-like experience of Nevermind now and have a powerful enough PC with at least a 6th generation Intel processor then it’s still possible if you buy, or already have, a depth-sensing webcam with Intel RealSense technology such as the Razer Stargazer or the Creative BlasterX Senz3D. Intel RealSense webcams are also embedded in some recent laptops, so if you have bought a laptop in the past year you should check to see if yours includes it.
If you’re happy with just having the biofeedback and your PC is at or above the minimum specs for Nevermind then you can either use one of the heart-rate sensors listed on the game’s “Sensors” page or you can even just use a basic webcam thanks to a recent update to the game which added Affectiva’s Affdex technology support for emotion-based biofeedback.
Plus of course the PC version now supports VR via both the Oculus Rift and soon HTC’s Vive, although the VR version requires a heart-rate sensor if you want biofeedback too, you can’t use Intel RealSense or a regular webcam with it. You can watch a trailer for the VR version below:
This is really devastating news for Kinect fans as Nevermind was one of the most eagerly awaited Kinect 2 games. Are you disappointed that it won’t support Kinect 2? Are you still planning on buying the Xbox One version or will you buy the PC version instead? Let us know in the comments below or discuss it in our Kinect 2 Games Forum.
(Disclosure: I backed Nevermind on Kickstarter with a pledge high enough to get a copy of the finished game as a reward.)