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2013-05-22 14:51:00

There’s been plenty of positive Xbox One coverage since yesterday’s launch, not least here on Forbes — and it’s entirely justified. Microsoft ‘s unveiling came with much more detail than Sony’s event back in February and it highlighted many non-gaming features that the PlayStation 4 apparently fails to match.

The Xbox One has an eight-core CPU and 8GB of RAM, but so does the PlayStation 4 — and in fact both consoles are based on the same IP from chip maker AMD. They both do Blu-ray; they both hook up to a wider ecosystem and cloud-based gaming. Don’t forget: Sony has Gaikai for game-streaming, plus a well-established storefront and mobile ecosystem of its own — even if it isn’t quite as all-encompassing as the Windows kernel underpinning the new Xbox.

Kinect has been in development even longer than the Xbox One. At some point early on in the development cycle, Microsoft split from its partnership with PrimeSense, the company that provided the IP for the first Kinect, in order to go it alone. This was presumably going on behind the scenes even while the two companies held hands in public for the sake of the Xbox 360 and the first-gen peripheral.

The result of this split was an entirely new depth-sensing technology, based not on multiple stereoscopic cameras but on the time-of-flight of individual photons, which are emitted from the new Kinect’s IR module. They’re measured by a totally in-house CMOS chip as well as an equally custom-built I/O processor specialized in turning analog information into digital depth maps without burdening the main chip inside the console.

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Index :: Gadgets, Games and Gizmos :: Microsoft's Kinect for Xbox One: What It Can Do And Why It's Special