Microsoft's Xbox 360 Kinect motion-sensor gaming accessory will not be limited to gamers willing to stand up the whole time. The perceived lack of seated gameplay, largely driven by the early demos and advertisements of standing gamers, will not be a problem for future games: you'll be able to sit down on the couch and still be the controller.
Kinect previously set the base node used to create skeletal models at the bottom of the spine, confusing the device if players sat down with their knees raised in front of their pelvis, or if they lay down on the ground. Microsoft has updated the software behind the technology so that the Kinect sensor sets the base node to the back of the neck.
"It means that should the bottom of your torso get confused with the sofa, because your bum and your legs are enveloped inside the sofa, it doesn't matter because your hands and arms are still working," Blitz Games Studios co-founder and Chief Technical Officer Andrew Oliver told Eurogamer. "You can do most actions. A few months ago they changed stuff around. A lot of developers were like, 'Oh my God! Everything's broken,' because all the nodes were moved. But then it was like, 'Oh, actually, this is more logical.'" While the changes made to Kinect's software libraries have come too late for the launch line-up, "games going forward won't have a problem," Oliver reassured.
With this good news, Microsoft has also revealed the launch lineup for Kinect, which is launching in November (on the 4th in the US and on the 10th in Europe). The launch window will be wide: the 17 games listed will be released between the first day of the hardware's availability and the holiday season.
On November 4, Microsoft will release Kinect Adventures (bundled with the hardware), DanceMasters, Dance Central, Kinect Sports, MotionSports, The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved, Sonic Free Riders, Kinect Joy Ride, Adrenalin Misfits, Kinectimals, and Fighters Uncaged. On November 16, EA Sports Active 2 and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 1 will arrive, while on November 18 we'll see Zumba Fitness and Game Party: In Motion ship. That leaves Deca Sports Freedom for "Holiday 2010" as the 17th game.
Kinect will be sold for $149 by itself, but Microsoft and retailers will also offer several bundles that include an Xbox to attach the Kinect to. Which game has you excited, or are you waiting on the non-launch titles that don't require standing?