Digital Foundry Tech Analysis: Kinect

The Digital Foundry Blog at Eurogamer takes a closer look at Kinect:

"These guys and girls aren't really going to give a toss about matters like latency, or the question of whether Kinect will work well with titles aimed at the hardcore. For the sort of crowd that were attracted by the Wii, it's clear that Kinect works, and offers something genuinely new and exciting.

But where does this leave us, the hardcore gamers? We may have to wait to see how those Star Wars and Forza Motorsport games due next year turn out."

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Chris3992958d ago

Ending in a dribble. The product works brilliantly, according to two pages of text (and despite 200ms of lag - confirmed in the article). Then they throw in a couple sentences at the very end questioning it's longevity or use with core games.

Awesome journalism /s

Guess they're enjoying their free 360s.

GWAVE2958d ago

Microsoft's conference was horrible. It really was. Any hardcore gamers who were hoping for a strong showing from Microsoft were not only disappointed, they were slapped in the face.

The Kinect segment made me laugh inside at all those who claimed "Natal will be awesome! It will appeal to the hardcore, too!"

N4G king2958d ago Show
N4G king2958d ago

why the hell did my comment got flagged as trolling ?
i didn't say anything wrong
the article says clearly "with lag in the 200ms range "


Christopher2958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

You obviously can't read...

Bottom of the first page after all the praise:

***So, having established that the system actually works, it was then time to revisit our thoughts on the lag. If you recall, the latency inherent within the new control scheme was one of our biggest reservations about Kinect when we saw it last year in its pre-production Project Natal guise. To give some idea of comparison, we chose to run our patented wavy-arm test on the very same game, albeit an updated rendition.

So, not much has changed in terms of the performance level compared to what we played a year ago. You still need to think ahead and react in advance somewhat to make sure that you hit all those balls, with lag in the 200ms range (including the latency from the display, of course). It's the sort of shift that you're likely to make naturally as you get to grips with the way the system works.***

They also covered on the second page how difficult it would be to retro-fit Natal into games and how games reliant on low latency will have their own issues as well.

This wasn't all just a big pat on the back ending in a hardcore question of whether it'll work, it was a matter-of-fact look at 1. the technology 2. the capabilities from casual and hardcore experiences and 3. their person opinion.

Chris3992958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

They say "lag in the 200ms range" and "not much has changed in terms of performance". It's in your own post.

And really? A "matter of fact look" at a motion control device where by their own claims you have to "think ahead and react in advance" just to use the tech?

Really? If we're just talking the tech here, the article should have been less forgiving and more critical.

fooltheman2958d ago

it works... we all know it worked... the eyetoy worked...does in work well? that's another question...

I think Natal table tennis will be a very poor thing with 200ms... Move will do better ..

Christopher2958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

This above isn't critical? This isn't critical?

- despite the fact that none of the games on offer were designed to appeal to the core audience that has loyally stuck by the platform over the last five years.

- it's capable of a standard 640x480 resolution, operating at 30 frames per second (Non-HD camera)

- although the integration of the two planes together does incur a small additional CPU load.

- So, not much has changed in terms of the performance level compared to what we played a year ago.

- was very specific in pointing out that his game operates with a latency of 150ms, not including display lag.

- we should never assume to see any kind of response better than the 100ms "standard".

- an RGB image with the depth map aligned (or registered, as Microsoft calls it) along with voice command analysis is clearly going to require more CPU work than processing skeletal data and some gesture-recognition alone.

- Even in our own latency tests, we can see an enormous spread of controller lag across many titles running at the same frame-rates and we can imagine the situation being a lot worse with Kinect, definitely in the short term.

- lag factor definitely feels like more of an issue simply because we are used to our actions being transmitted to the console at the highest, fastest level.

- Factoring in the inherent latency of human movement is perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing Kinect developers, and what's more this is this is likely to be more or less of an issue depending on the person playing.

- So while today's Forza demo suggests that Kinect can be backwardly imported into existing games, scheduling those significant NUI libraries into an existing pipeline could be problematic, especially in a system as sensitive to lag as this one.

Are you reading the same article I am? Just because something is said in a nice manner, doesn't mean it's not being critical of the technology.

I don't see how they can't be impressed with the accomplishments that Microsoft has had in full body capture game technology and critical of it at the same time. Especially considering this is done at a Microsoft demo event and not at their own place with the technology under their control.

Mike134nl2958d ago

The target group for which these games are intended won't care about the lag. Let alone know if 200 ms of lag is allot.
For the hardcore gamers lag may be an important issue but if in the end the games are fun too play they are still fun too play...

Chris3992958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

I'm not going to sit here and nit-pick over excerpts from an article to try and spin them to fit into the mold of my opinion (though I could just as easily do this, such is the nature of nit-pickerry and debate :P).

As a tech review, being done by people who we can only assume are gamers, who have been waiting for over a year to see what sort of experience (hardware and software) Natal/ Kinect was capable of, the initial showing - 200 ms lag, an on-rails Star Wars game - was disappointing.

It all sounded and ended on a rather positive note for something that was not what was promised.

We clearly have different opinions on the subject, and you're a bit belligerent, so I'm just going to agree to disagree with you on this one. This is a forum for opinions after all, and not everyone has to conform to yours. I certainly do not.

Christopher2958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

They said that for what it was, it was good tech, but that it has problems that won't allow it to work for the hardcore audience. I don't begrudge techies being interested in some interesting tech, which also came across in the article. But they didn't paint it all sunshine and daisies, either.

I guess we'll agree to disagree.

I do applaud your use of 'belligerent' instead of the usual 'whining' terminology found here on N4G. You're the one that stated this was "...a load of verbal masturbation." I only responded in like and think you misinterpret most of my point to say that the criticism was there, you just chose to not see it.

Last point, neither of us said that the tech works as it should, neither did the DF guys. They said it works for the games being shown, which it does.

Chris3992958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

But you felt it necessary to say that I couldn't read.

That's a little more personal than discussing the article at hand and where the "belligerence" came in :)

Peace and all that. This should be a happy day for all really, it's E3!!!

Edit: And that's exactly what was missing, was an examination of the promises made for the tech vs. it's actual execution. It's not hard to make shovelware camera games.

dragonelite2958d ago

Just to be fair Move has lag too.
They say move has 27ms latency but how would you show that in a game you cant. There a big difference in seeing it in a game or knowing the specs. Just like 30 fps games you have halo 100(150 jumping) ms with shooting latency and then you have killzone 2 with the patch that has 150 ms they both run at 30 fps.

Im pretty sure move will have lag too and its not a disadvantage it just a rock a dev has to work around and that will seperate the good designer with the bad. The bad will cry about the lag and the good one will accept it and make it work with the lag.

To make it really simple.
It doesn't matter if you can input at 4mhz per second if you only display result at 30hz. Make it 29hz for games because you will most likely run behind one frame.

Christopher2958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

***Just to be fair Move has lag too.***

Just to be clear, all controllers have lag. The problem with Kinect is that it's the additional processing as well as the extended 100ms lag from the RGB camera that causes the biggest issue. If they didn't have to do as much software processing, it might get closer to the 100ms lag level, which would be much easier to manage in many hardcore games. FPS-wise, Kinect just isn't an option unless it gets the lag down to the level of the usual controller.

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andron6662958d ago

The Kinect tech works, that's beyond doubt at this point. Lag is dependent on how complex the game is, and there are only casual games out there at the moment.

How it's going to fare with more complex hardcore games is anybodies guess at this point. But it might be an indication that they have none coming out anytime soon...

gypsygib2958d ago

It won't have any and star wars will be on rails ala 1997. Kinect is only for the Wii audience but for that crowd it may be successful. MS knows where the money is.

Inside_out2958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

Look at all the PS3 guys jumping off buildings..oh works...LOL...

M$ sucks right know because...well...your is the rest of your ignorant friends...

Did you really believe M$ was showing things that don't exist...WTF...get a grip guys...what would be the point of that?...

Sony is the one that shows things that don't exist...removes features that were advertised with the console...removes features but sells it at the same price why they are getting sue right now...

When is the Sony presentation...

BTW...unless they dedicate more processing power to Kinect, they will always have some lag...Its way more sophisticated than the glowing ball Move...measures thousands of points of info a second...Move is Wii hd...everybody knows that...Kinect is patented army technology, M$ just signed a deal with the Army...

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St02958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

ouch, 200ms lag compared to 33ms on move? that's gotta suck. Always knew it was gonna be higher but not that high!

wazzim2958d ago

Move has 200ms lag with screen output, the 33ms is from what the controller itself has.

lagoonalight2958d ago

None of you are right. There is not set output of lag for the move at this point and what you say doesn't even make sense. Most screens have from 0 to 50ms of lag. The move was said by sony to have 22ms of lag. It seems like devs are still working on it but no one has ever said it is over 150ms. And from what IGN said of Socom just a day ago it has been drastically reduced. You are looking at sub 100ms of total lag with the move including screen.

T9X692958d ago

You have to think though, the Move is a controller and you point it at a sensor bar or w/e they use. So there really shouldn't be a whole lot of lag, where MS is controller feel and uses the camera to detect your body movements which will cause more lag. 200ms for what MS is trying to do isn't bad at all, they just have complete shit games to use it with.

Redlight2958d ago

This is a positive review and yet the first comments are the usual queue of Sony fans desperately trying to spin it to a negative.

A respected site with a good track record says that Kinect works and is remarkable technology.

Deal with it. It doesn't make Sony's offerings any less good or less valuable, so take your insecurities somewhere else.

fooltheman2958d ago

yes, it works....(but not that good... )^^ maybe they try to spin it a bit more shiny than it is... ever thought that?

nikrel2958d ago

Make it like the movie and i'll buy it.

crazyclown2958d ago (Edited 2958d ago )

free machine....bias...conflict of interest

lightningsax2958d ago

It's a tough argument to make in this article, but it's also tough not to find some implied bias in everything after that. The whole press audience got Oprah'd.

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