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Microsoft: Kinect now more accurate than at launch

Company has improved finger tracking, for example, and says that even more advances for the motion-gaming peripheral are coming in the next couple years.

More than 10 million Kinect peripherals were sold in its first four months on the market.
Josh Lowensohn/CNET

Microsoft's Kinect motion-gaming peripheral is now more accurate than it was at launch, according to Xbox senior product manager David Dennis.

"I think like we showed at E3, like Kudo [Tsunoda, creative director for Kinect] showed with Kinect Fun Labs--a lot of that tech is the advancements we've made in the accuracy, the tracking...being able to show finger tracking in the Sparkles demo he did," Dennis told Eurogamer in an interview published yesterday. He went on to cite Ubisoft's upcoming shooter Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, which allows people to take shots using their hands in the game's firing-range mode.

The improvements created so far have reached Kinect owners via software updates. Meanwhile, questions over Kinect's future advancements have been raised for months. In December, Eurogamer cited sources that claimed Microsoft was working on increasing the amount of data the peripheral's camera could transmit to the console. The publication's sources also said that Microsoft wanted to quadruple resolution to capture finger movement.

Even before the improvements were made, the Kinect performed quite well at capturing movement. As CNET's Jeff Bakalar pointed out in his review of the Kinect last year, the device features "impressive body tracking." Overall, the device earned a rating of 3.5 stars out of 5.

Regardless of its accuracy, Kinect has proven extremely popular. Though the controller-free peripheral was only supposed to sell 5 million units last year, Microsoft reported at the Consumer Electronics Show that it had actually sold 8 million units of the device in 2010. In March, Microsoft announced that 10 million Kinect units had been sold altogether.

Looking ahead, Microsoft is promising more improvements for the Kinect. Speaking to Eurogamer, Dennis said the company is "working on things for next year and the year after."