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MS: Kinect "really hard to pull off"

Doubts others' ability to recreate experience.

Microsoft reckons companies are in for a "super-challenging" time if they try to imitate controller-free Xbox 360 add-on Kinect.

So complex is the technology inside the Kinect sensor that "it will be hard" for anyone to deliver a similar experience, Xbox executive Kudo Tsunoda told Eurogamer in an interview published today.

"What we've done with the software is something that's really hard to pull off," the lead designer of Kinect said.

"We have a good advantage at Microsoft because we have groups like our Microsoft Research department that not a lot of other companies have, and we're able to solve some super-complicated technical problems in a short period of time.

"They were actually working on something like this before we even started it on Xbox. I think it's going to be super-challenging for anybody else to solve those problems."

Kinect, due out on 10th November for £130, allows gamers to interact with their Xbox 360s without a controller.

It also has voice recognition software built in, allowing gamers to order their consoles about with voice commands.

Microsoft has high hopes for the device, and has predicted it'll extend the life of the 360 by five years.

Tsunoda reckons if other companies manage to come up with a rival controller free technology in that time, it will be too little, too late.

"People have been trying for a long time and we're the first company that's been able to deliver this.

"If people are able to figure it out, by the time they've figured it out we're going to be off into adding more new things to the platform. But I just think that's such a hard technology challenge that it will be hard for anyone to deliver on what Kinect is."

One man who may take issue with Tsunoda's comments is Softkinetic CEO and founder Michel Tombroff.

He's developed a Kinect rival, called iisu, which works similarly to Microsoft's sensor and is being used by EA in the Tiger Woods PGA Tour Golf series.

In fact, Tombroff reckons iisu works better than Kinect, and suggested to Eurogamer last month that his tech has solved problems associated with lag, player detection and occlusion that have dogged Microsoft's tech in the run up to its release.

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