With the dust settling after the launch of the Xbox One, Wired has posted a couple of really interesting videos showing the new Kinect in action and how the hardware design of the Xbox One was developed.
The new Xbox One went through many different design iterations before a final look was decided upon.
The Kinect video shows how the new device includes an IR lamp and receiver that it uses to counteract the potential inconsistency of ambient light sources, providing a consistant - though monochrome - image to work with. The new sensor array can also now track more joint movement, including rudimentary hand and finger movements, and even estimate the forces being applied to different joints.
Up to six people can play using one Kinect and the device will recognise each user, logging them in if they're already registered (no need to say or do anything, it just works as soon as you walk into frame) and tracking the players as the move round the room, swapping their position on screen if they cross over. It will also track which controller is being used by which person. Meanwhile the RGB camera supports 1080p colour video.
As for the design of the Xbox One, Microsoft Senior Industrial Designer Scott Dallmeyer talks through how Microsoft wanted the console to "fit in with the things that are already in your living room", pointing out that where previously the Xbox 360 was vertical and stood out, the new console was to be more subtle.
Dallmeyer also talks about how all the aspects of the console "fit together as a family", though essentially this seems to boil down to them all being black.
As for the controller, Dallmeyer points out that "getting rid of the battery pack was a huge deal", making it easier and more comfortable to hold. He also points out that the new XYAB buttons use a new three-step injection mould process, for what that's worth.
The videos are short and sweet, and definitely worth a watch.