Next-gen is finally here, Xbox One, and therefore Kinect 2 are now available! So I thought it would be a good idea to post an article that presented everything you need to know about Kinect 2. First the 2 most important things, the tech specs and most important of all the games! I’ll include comparisons to Kinect 1 in the the tech specs below to show the improvements and you can see a demo of that technology in action above.
1920×1080 (AKA 1080p) 30 fps 16:9 camera (compared to 640×480 (AKA 480p) 30fps 4:3 for Kinect 1) with
70° horizontal & 60° vertical field of view wide-angle lens (compared to 57° horizontal & 43° vertical field of view standard lens for Kinect 1.)
- Recommended minimum distance from Kinect 2 for full body tracking (standing) – 4.5 ft (compared to recommended distance of 6ft from Kinect 1.)
- Active IR (for the video camera to see in the dark/low light, compared to no Active IR for Kinect 1’s video camera.)
- IR (infrared) TOF (Time-Of-Flight) depth sensor for 3D tracking (compared to IR structured light depth sensor for Kinect 1.)
- 20 ms minimum latency (AKA lag, compared to 102 ms minimum latency for Kinect 1 and 50 ms minimum latency for joypads in 60 fps games.)
- 70° horizontal & 60° vertical field of view wide-angle lens (compared to 57° horizontal & 43° vertical field of view standard lens for Kinect 1.)
- IR illuminator (compared to IR structured light projector for Kinect 1.)
- 4 microphone array operating at 48 kHz (compared to 4 microphone array operating at 16 kHz for Kinect 1.)
- Non-motorised manually hand-adjustable-only tilt (compared to motorized manually adjustable via joypad & automatically adjusted tilt for Kinect 1. I guess Kinect 1 actualy wins that one, lol!)
3D full body tracking
- 25 joints per player & 6 active players simultaneously (using default skeletal system, compared to 20 joints per player & 2 active players simultaneously using the default skeletal system for Kinect 1.)
- Full joint rotation such as wrist rotation (using default skeletal system, compared to more limited joint rotation such as no wrist rotation using the default skeletal system for Kinect 1.)
- Full head tracking simultaneously with body tracking (using default skeletal system, compared to no full head tracking just tracking head tilting left & right simultaneously with body tracking using default skeletal system and might not be possible at all even using custom tracking system for Kinect 1.)
- Finger tracking (1 finger & thumb on each hand using default skeletal system and all fingers using custom system, compared to no finger tracking using default skeletal system and very limited finger tracking using custom system for Kinect 1.)
- Facial expression tracking & facial recognition (using custom system presumably, compared to more limited facial expression tracking & limited facial recognition due to problems with low lighting & of course darkness due to lower resolution & no Active IR for Kinect 1.)
- Muscle mapping (AFAIK not possible with Kinect 1.)
- Heart rate monitoring (AFAIK not possible with Kinect 1.)
- Voice recognition (most likely more advanced than Kinect 1, especially since the microphone array is higher quality.)
- Tracks IR lights on joypads (compared to no IR lights on Xbox 360 joypads, although Kinect 1 can object track a joypad but that hasn’t been used in any Xbox 360 games.)
- 1080p Skype video calls with Skype users on any device supporting up to 4 simultaneous callers for group video calls plus audio chat during games at launch and “snapped” video chat during games coming soon (compared to 480p Video Kinect chat with only other Kinect users as video chat to PC has been discontinued and no group video support plus audio chat during games but only video chat in games that support it and “snapping” not possible with Kinect 1.)
- Also Kinect 2 surely must be able to do object tracking beyond just people (should of course be even better than Kinect 1’s object tracking.)
You can get loads more info about Kinect 2’s technology in a great thread by 123KINECT user dirtyvu called “Some tech articles on Kinect 2.0 and Xbox One” in our forums which you can “jump ahead” to by clicking here.
Kinect 2 Supported Xbox One Games
Xbox One is released with 23 day one launch games and 1 game, Peggle 2, confirmed to be launching within a month, plus the trial game Kinect Sports Rivals Preseason. Of those 25 games 22 are confirmed to support Kinect 2 in some way which means 88% of Xbox One launch games support Kinect 2!
Unfortunately only 7 of those games have been 100% confirmed to be full Kinect 2 games, as in have mandatory or optional full Kinect 2 controls. But more full Kinect 2 games have been announced for next year and hopefully there will be a lot more full Kinect 2 games announced sooner rather than later since it’s actually part of the Xbox One console rather than an optional accessory. Also the ID@Xbox program allows self-publishing independent developers to use Kinect 2 in their Xbox One games (unlike the Xbox 360’s self-publishing “Indy Games” section) so that should lead to loads of both full Kinect 2 games and games with some kind of Kinect 2 support if all the “Kinect hacks” created so far are anything to go by!
Here is the list of Kinect 2 supported Xbox One games and you click on each game’s name for more info:
Xbox One Launch Games With 100% Confirmed Mandatory Or Optional Full Kinect 2 Controls
ANGRY BIRDS STAR WARS – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Intuitive gesture and motion controls, as well as voice command support.
FIGHTER WITHIN (Xbox One exclusive) – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls: Full body tracking motion controls for a combination of 1:1 and gesture-based fighting.
JUST DANCE 2014 – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls: Full body tracking for dancing and voice recognition for singing and voice commands.
KINECT SPORTS RIVALS: PRESEASON (Xbox One exclusive & free trial game) – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls & features: Full body tracking motion controls, body & facial scanning for stylised character creation and voice commands.
PEGGLE 2 (Xbox One timed exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Full Kinect 2 controls. Motion controls for aiming and voice commands. Kinect 2 controls are currently US only for some reason.
XBOX FITNESS (Xbox One exclusive & free 1 year subscription!) – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls & features: Full body tracking motion controls, body & facial scanning for stylised character creation and voice commands.
ZUMBA FITNESS: WORLD PARTY – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls: Full body tracking for dance workouts.
Xbox One Launch Games With Some Mandatory Or Optional Kinect 2 Controls Or Features
ASSASIN’S CREED IV: BLACK FLAG – Optional Kinect 2 feature(s?): Minor Kinect 2 feature or features that are currently unknown as Ubisoft say it’s a surprise.
BATTLEFIELD 4 – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Head tracking to look around, body tracking for leaning e.g. leaning to peek out from behind cover and voice commands. All possible while seated.
CALL OF DUTY: GHOSTS – Optional Kinect 2 features: Only some voice commands have been confirmed so far.
CRIMSON DRAGON (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls: There’s some confusion over Crimson Dragon’s Kinect 2 support. At E3 the game’s Director, Yukio Futatsugi, said that although they had added the option to play the whole game with just a joypad there was still the option to play the game with full Kinect 2 controls. But recently there have been previews claiming that Kinect 2 is only (and optionally) used for some movements and voice commands such as giving commands to dragon wingmen. That could of course just be 1 control scheme you can choose and personally I’m hoping that the final game will have 3 modes, Kinect only mode, hybrid mode which is what recent previewers have played and joypad only mode. All will be revealed when Crimson Dragon is released on Xbox One’s launch day.
DEAD RISING 3 (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls & features: Some motion control during grapples where you can shake off, push away and even punch zombies in the face! It also features voice recognition that enables you to not only give commands to survivors but also distract zombies and call in air strikes!!
FIFA 14 (Available for free for European Xbox One pre-orders.) – Optional Kinect 2 features: Voice commands.
FORZA MOTORSPORT 5 (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 features: Head tracking and voice commands.
KILLER INSTINCT (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 features: NO known Kinect 2 support during gameplay but Kinect 2 does recognise who is holding which joypad and can automatically configure the game’s settings to your preferences and display your favourite character first on the character select screen.
LEGO MARVEL SUPER HEROES – Optional Kinect 2 features: Voice commands.
MADDEN NFL 25 – Optional Kinect 2 features: Voice commands.
NBA 2K14 – Optional Kinect 2 features: Voice commands.
NBA LIVE 14 – Optional Kinect 2 features: Voice commands.
NEED FOR SPEED: RIVALS – Optional Kinect 2 features: Voice commands.
RYSE: SON OF ROME (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls: As we all know Ryse used to have full Kinect controls when it was being developed for the Xbox 360 but since moving to the Xbox One Crytek decided to change it into a joypad based game with minor Kinect 2 controls. Although both voice commands and minor motion controls have been previously mentioned only voice commands have been 100% confirmed:
Kinect integration and battle formations
Command legions using the all-new, high-fidelity Kinect. With the power of your voice you can command your surrounding units in battle in a strategic way to help defeat your foes, fire pilums or arrows, or block incoming attacks.
ZOO TYCOON (Xbox exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls & features: Interact with the animals via motion controls, facial expression tracking and voice recognition. Plus the game features support for voice commands and in-game Skype chat. (Slightly confusing as I thought the Xbox One allowed you to use Skype while playing any game anyway? Maybe it’s more integrated somehow?)
See more info about these games in our “List Of All Kinect 2 Supported Xbox One Launch Games” article.
Upcoming Xbox One Games With 100% Confirmed Mandatory Or Optional Full Kinect 2 Controls Announced So Far
D4: DARK DREAMS DON’T DIE (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Motion controls & voice recognition. (Release date: TBA, possibly this year.)
DISNEY FANTASIA: MUSIC EVOLVED (Xbox exclusive, will also be available for Xbox 360) – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls: Motion controls. (Release date: TBA 2014.)
Kinect Sports Rivals: Full Version (Xbox One exclusive) – Mandatory Kinect 2 controls & features: Full body tracking motion controls, body & facial scanning for stylised character creation and voice commands. (Release date: Spring 2014.)
Upcoming Xbox One Games With Some Mandatory Or Optional Kinect 2 Controls Or Features Announced So Far
DYING LIGHT – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Only voice recognition for attracting zombies confirmed so far. (Release date: TBA 2014.)
FABLE LEGENDS (Xbox One exclusive) – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Voice commands in Villain mode and motion controls in pub games & other mini-games. (Release date: TBA 2014.)
PLANTS VS ZOMBIES: GARDEN WARFARE (Xbox timed exclusive, will also be available for Xbox 360) – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Voice commands and gestures in Boss Mode. (Release date: February 18th 2014.)
PROJECT SPARK (Microsoft exclusive, will also be available on Xbox 360 & Windows 8 devices) – Optional Kinect 2 controls & features: Performance capture, voice recording and voice commands confirmed with possibly more to be announced. (Windows 8 beta: November 2013, Xbox One beta: January 2014, Release date: TBA 2014.)
TOMB RAIDER: DEFINITIVE EDITION – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Voice commands and some motion controls confirmed so far. (Release date: January 28th 2014.)
THE WITCHER 3: WILD HUNT – Optional Kinect 2 controls: Only voice commands announced so far. (Release date: TBA 2014.)
Here’s a video highlighting just some of the ways Kinect is being used in launch games (and D4):
More Kinect 2 Info
Here is some more useful information about Kinect 2, especially if you’ve just bought an Xbox One:
Common Kinect 2 Navigation Gestures
There are 6 common navigation gestures that you can use to get the best experience with Xbox One and Kinect 2. Here is a video with animated demonstrations of them along with text directions below. (You can also review this information by going to the “Gesture Tutorial” in “My Games And Apps” on Xbox One.)
Return to Home
- Hold out both of your hands towards the edge of the screen.
- Close your hands and move them towards each other in front of your chest.
Make a selection
- Engage Kinect by raising your hand with an open palm facing the sensor.
- Move your hand over a specific item or tile.
- Push forwards (away from your body) to make the selection.
Scroll through a screen
- Engage Kinect by raising your hand with an open palm facing the sensor.
- When the hand icon appears on the screen, close your hand anywhere over the area that you want to scroll.
- Move your hand to the left or right to pull the screen in that direction.
Open the system menu
- Engage Kinect by raising your hand with an open palm facing the sensor.
- Extend your arm forwards towards the Kinect and hold until a circle timer appears.
- After the ring has filled up, you’ll see the system menu and can select the item that you want as usual.
Open notifications on screen
- Hold both hands in front of you, close together in front of your chest.
- Grip with both hands.
- Pull apart, moving both hands out horizontally.
Zoom in and out
- Engage Kinect by raising your hand, with an open palm facing the sensor.
- When the hand icon appears on the screen, close your hand over the area that you want to zoom.
- Pull your hand towards you or push it away from your body to zoom the screen in the desired direction.
List Of Current Kinect 2 Voice Commands for the Xbox One Dashboard
Here is an incredibly useful list of the currently known Kinect 2 voice commands for the Xbox One dashboard. You might want to print these out to keep handy until you’ve learnt them off by heart.
“Xbox Démarrez” (French)
“Xbox An” (German)
Turn on your Xbox One console (works only when Instant-On power mode is enabled). Wakes up Xbox One, can turn on television and cable/satellite set-top box.
“Xbox, turn off”
Turn off your Xbox One console. Puts Xbox One to sleep/off, can turn off television and cable/satellite set-top box. You’ll then have to confirm you want to turn it off with a “yes”.
“Xbox, sign in”
Go to the sign-in page to sign in to any profile.
“Xbox, sign in as <person>”
Sign-in to a specific account (use the first name on the account).
“Xbox, sign out”
Sign out of the active profile. Signs in/out an Xbox Live member.
Shows menu of voice command options and begins listening for the next command.
“Xbox, go home” or “Show my stuff”
Return to the Home screen. Returns to Home. This is the command you’ll probably use the most.
You can interact with your Xbox One console by saying “Xbox, Select.” When you say “Xbox, Select,” some features appear in green text. This lets you say just that word. For example, if you say “Xbox, Select” while you’re in Xbox Video, you can just say “Movies Stores.” Shows voice command options for everything on the screen that is supported, highlighting relevant commands.
“Xbox, go to <application name>”
Open and go to a particular application
(for example, Xbox Music or Xbox Video). Launches specific games, TV shows, apps, notifications and sections of the dash. This is a hugely important command, you’ll use it a lot.
“Xbox, go back”
Go back to the previous screen. Returns to previous screen or menu option.
Cancel the current action.
“Xbox pause/Xbox play”
Pauses gameplay or resumes gameplay, meaning no more scrabbling for buttons when the phone rings.
“Xbox, show menu”
View the context menu. In full screen: shows menu for whatever is on the screen. At Home: shows menu for whatever is in the current window.
“Xbox, change view”
Change view (same as pressing the View button).
Display the on-screen Help. Shows help menu with available options.
“Xbox, stop listening”
Stops Kinect from listening or cancels voice commands if Kinect is triggered during casual conversation.
“Xbox, snap <application name>”
Snap a particular application. Launches activity in Snap mode. This is great fun and works well.
Unsnap a snapped application. Unsnaps activity in Snap mode.
Switch focus between snapped view and main view. Switches focus of the activities in Snap mode and Fill mode.
“Xbox, Bing <subject or topic>”
Search using Bing. Launches Bing, then searches for the game, movie, TV show, game add-on or app using conversational voice. We’ve found it to be a bit hit and miss.
Note: When you do a Bing search, wait for the search box to display before telling the console what to search for.
“Browse to [website]”
Browses to a specific website when already in Internet Explorer.
“Scroll up/Scroll down”
Scrolls the page up or down.
“Click on [link]”
Clicks a link on the webpage.
Bring up a list of your contacts.
“Xbox, Skype <person>”
View the contact details of your Skype contact. Launches Skype call to a person from your Skype favourites list on your Xbox One.
“Xbox, call <person>”
Start a video call using Skype. Launches Skype call to a person from your Skype favourites list on your Xbox One.
Answer a video call. Answers incoming Skype call.
“Xbox, answer without video”
Answer a voice call. Answers incoming Skype call.
“Xbox, hang up”
Hang up or end a call. Ends Skype call.
Messages & notifications
“Xbox, send a message”
Send an Xbox Live message to a friend. Sends message to your Xbox Live friends.
See your notification history.
“Xbox, show notification”
See more details about a notification that appears. Shows on-screen notification(s).
“Xbox, close notification”
Dismiss a notification that is on the screen.
Answer an incoming call when the notification appears.
“Xbox, answer without video”
Answer an incoming call without video when the notification appears.
“Xbox, invite <name>”
Invite a friend to a game or chat.
“Xbox start a party”
Launches the Party app in Snap mode, although you can start the party at any time.
“Xbox, use a code”
Scan a QR code for a game or downloadable content. Triggers Kinect code scanning for QR codes for game downloads, etc.
Xbox play/stop/pause/fast forward/rewind/faster/ slower/skip forward/skip backward/next song/ previous song – controls for media playback, works on both music and video
Play video content. Launches video and music playback.
Pause video content.
Rewind to a previous point.
“Xbox, fast forward”
Fast forward to a future point.
Rewind or fast forward at a faster pace.
Rewind or fast forward at a slower pace.
“Xbox, skip backward”
Skip to the previous chapter.
“Xbox, skip forward”
Skip to the next chapter.
Stop playback of the content.
“Xbox, play music”
Play music, starting with the last active playlist.
“Xbox, pause music”
Pause the track.
“Xbox, next song”
Skip forward to the next track of a playlist or album.
“Xbox, previous song”
Skip backward to the previous track of a playlist or album.
Note: Xbox Music must be active to use music commands.
“Xbox, watch TV”
Watch live TV. Launches cable or satellite TV from set-top box. We’ve used this a lot, it works really well.
“Xbox, show guide”
Display the OneGuide. Launches OneGuide for cable or satellite TV subscribers. Less useful in the UK at the moment, as it’s not coming to the UK until 2014.
“Xbox, watch <channel name>”
Watch a specific channel.
Mute your television. Controls volume of TV set or AV receiver, if enabled in the settings.
Unmute your television. Controls volume of TV set or AV receiver, if enabled in the settings.
“Xbox, volume up”
Increase the television volume. Controls volume of TV set or AV receiver, if enabled in the settings.
“Xbox, volume down”
Decrease the television volume. Controls volume of TV set or AV receiver, if enabled in the settings.
“Xbox, record that”
Record a game clip or highlight. Records the previous 30 seconds of gameplay.
Here’s a demo of some of Xbox One’s features that includes a lot of Kinect 2 usage:
You can find even more info on Xbox.com in the Xbox One Kinect support section: http://support.xbox.com/en-GB/browse/xbox-one/kinect and keep reading and posting in the 123KINECT forums: https://123kinect.com/kinect-forums/
Source: The Official Xbox YouTube Channel, WIRED, OnlySublime's YouTube Channel, Xbox.com
Thanks to 123KINECT visitor dirtyvu for submitting this news!