Microsoft is officially going to support the Kinect motion controller on the PC, at least that's what the rumor mill is saying. The information comes from Korean developer GamePrix, which says its upcoming PC-only MMORPG, Divine Souls, will support gaming pads making "it resemble console games even more, and is scheduled to support Kinect, a new control system of Xbox360."
"Kinect will soon be available as a new controller so it might be supported like joy pad mode in the future," GamePrix's Jason Lim said in a statement to IncGamers. "Currently in MS, there are many game companies that are trying to apply for this system." The implication is that Divine Souls won't be the only game for the PC that supports the Kinect.
The game's trailer, embedded above, has a catchphrase: "your console will be jealous." It's quite clear that the game is not coming to the Xbox 360, so the Kinect mention is indeed for the PC. Divine Souls is already available for free in beta form in North America, but Kinect support has not yet been added, so those who want to start playing now will have to deal with more conventional controls.
There are a few reasons why we're placing this one neatly into the rumor box. First off, the source is hardly reliable: something tells us that a bigger game developer than GamePrix would get first dibs on something as significant as this. We would have heard about it elsewhere first. Microsoft is a big company and even phenomenal sales are not enough to change the corporation's strategy. In order for the software giant to officially support a huge platform like Windows, it has to do a lot of planning and development.
Secondly, Microsoft's strategy for Kinect never included the PC. Sure, Bill Gates said he would want to see it on Windows one day, but other than that Microsoft made sure to emphasize that this was an Xbox 360 add-on. When the Kinect hacking community erupted, enabling anyone with a little technical knowledge to use the Kinect with more than just the Xbox 360, Microsoft spent a little while condemning the practice before turning around and embracing it.
Last but not least, there are technical limitations. Microsoft would have to write more than just basic drivers; the company would need to develop and maintain software that covers all possible scenarios for the add-on's use with Windows. Furthermore, the Kinect requires quite a bit of space, which most people have in front of their TV but not in front of their PC.
We think it's more likely that Divine Souls will unofficially support the Kinect on the PC, much like a certain more risqué game is planning on doing. Microsoft may decide to flip the switch and support Windows officially at one point, but right now is not the time.