On March 19, the website vgleaks.com posted screenshots of what it claims is the software development kit for the next-generation Microsoft gaming console, code-named Durango. The shots, which were reported by Edge Magazine as "entirely legitimate" revealed that the system will install games directly to its hard drive, and will not support play from its optical disc.
According to Forbes, disabling optical disc play will kill the market for used games and possibly require the new console to come with up to a terrabyte of hard drive space.
Microsoft does not comment on rumors or speculation about its products, but the significance of the system's alleged design was not lost on Reddit. User GideonJWells compared the tentative hard-drive install to rights-management strategies used by PC game publishers in the late '90s and early '00s, whereby the optical disc gradually became "just an install medium."
"If they can get console users used to this, [like] PC [gamers] already are, then it means they are one step closer to doing away with physical mediums and pushing for making the X-Box [sic] digital only," wrote GideonJWells.
Other features indicated by the documents include a Kinect sensor that is "required for the system to operate," and the use of an "always on, always connected" design.
Last month, Edge Magazine reported that continuous connectivity could be leveraged as digital rights management to block used games.
Such DRM strategies have proved unpopular with gamers in the past. In 2012 publisher Ubisoft retracted its always-online DRM after receiving negative feedback from users. More recently, the colossal headaches caused by EA's launch of "SimCity" were blamed on the game's requirement to maintain a connection to faulty servers.
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Now you can become "invisible." <a href="http://mashable.com/2011/04/14/xbox-kinect-hacks/#4qhXQ_1CQjg" target="_hplink">Mashable</a> writes, "
On April Fool's day, Google introduced a phony new feature called <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/01/googles-april-fools-day-joke-gmail-motion_n_843449.html" target="_hplink">Gmail Motion</a>, which would supposedly let users control their inbox without using a mouse or keyboard. A week later, USC's Institute for Creative Technologies <a href="http://www.switched.com/2011/04/04/kinect-makes-gmail-motion-april-fools-prank-a-reality/" target="_hplink">brought the joke to life</a>.
3D Shadow Puppets
<a href="http://www.geek.com/articles/games/kinect-hack-makes-awesome-digital-shadow-puppet-show-possible-20101119/" target="_hplink">Emily Gobeille and Theo Watson</a> use the Kinect to track the motions of their arms and fingers as they mime shadow puppets in front of the sensor. A 3D character is projected that mimics the puppet's motions and comes to life.
Super Mario Brothers
YouTube user <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8CTJL5lUjHg" target="_hplink">Yankeyan</a> has created an interactive version of Nintendo's beloved "Super Mario Brothers" that accepts input from full-body motions. The game is quite a workout, Yankeyan explains on his YouTube page. "Mario isn't designed to be played like this, so this is really really hard," he says.
3D Video Capture
One of the earliest Kinect hackers, computer scientist <a href="http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev/Kinect/index.html" target="_hplink">Oliver Kreylos</a> modified his Kinect to display a <a href="http://idav.ucdavis.edu/~okreylos/ResDev/Kinect/index.html" target="_hplink">hologram-like image</a> he could control from his computer.
Combining a Kinect sensor with a programmable iRobot cleaning device, MIT student <a href="http://singularityhub.com/2010/11/17/hacked-irobot-uses-xbox-kinect-to-see-the-world-obey-your-commands-video" target="_hplink">Philipp Robbel</a> was able to create a device that creates a 3D map of its surrounds and can recognize humans and respond to certain gestures. Robbel hopes that his <a href="http://singularityhub.com/2010/11/17/hacked-irobot-uses-xbox-kinect-to-see-the-world-obey-your-commands-video" target="_hplink">KinectBot</a> creation may be used to help locate and bring aid to people in disaster situation.
Augmented Reality 'Vision' For The Blind
Created by graduate students in Germany, the wearable <a href="http://www.immersivetech.org/academic/kinect-to-help-the-blind-see-in-augmented-reality/" target="_hplink">Navigational Aids for the Visually Impaired</a> (NAVI) system uses infrared data about the surrounding area and converts it into audio information that guides the visually impaired person. The NAVI issues a warning countdown when the wearer approaches an obstacle like a door.
Surgeons at Johns Hopkins University control a <a href="http://medgadget.com/2011/02/kinect_3d_gaming_camera_used_to_control_da_vinci_surgical_robot.html" target="_hplink">da Vinci surgical robot via Kinect</a>, allowing the user to perform gesture-based incisions from a distance. [via <a href="http://xboxkinecthub.com/hacks/top-10-best-kinect-hacks/" target="_hplink">Xbox Kinect Hub</a>]
Kinect Home Automation goes HTML5
nitrogen.posterous.com In this video you'll see my latest Kinect software, a web interface for configuring the Kinect for home automation. You'll also see, for the first time ever, my own home automation software. See a more complete description on my blog, linked above.
Kinect Home Automation goes HTML5
With the HTML5 though, the Kinect Automated Home Lighting software can be used and viewed in the web browser. This development makes it more convenient to users who may want to view the status of their home lighting through the web. This also poses the possibility of manipulating the lights through one’s browser. http://www.kinecthacks.com/kinect-home-lighting-now-on-htlm5/
This Kinect hack gives you x-ray specs--sort of--by allowing you to "see" through your body. <a href="http://www.engadget.com/2011/01/04/magic-mirror-kinect-hack-puts-an-x-ray-spin-on-augmented-reality/" target="_hplink">Engadget</a> writes, "Of course...it doesn't actually peer through your body to reveal your skeleton (yet), but instead maps a random skeleton from a CT scan onto your frame to create a real-time freakout."
Kinect Home Automated Lighting System
The room lights up if human presence is detected and dims down if there is no one present. With the HTML5 though, the Kinect Automated Home Lighting software can be used and viewed in the web browser. This is our Top 1 choice at http://www.kinecthacks.com/top-10-best-kinect-hacks/