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Microsoft: XNA Will Support Kinect Eventually
Microsoft: XNA Will Support Kinect Eventually
November 23, 2010 | By Kris Graft

November 23, 2010 | By Kris Graft
More: Console/PC

Users of Microsoft's free XNA Studio development tools will, at some point, be able to develop games that use Xbox 360's Kinect sensor, according to one Microsoft developer advocate.

"There's no Kinect support through XNA today, but that is something that we will support in the future," said Xbox director of incubation Alex Kipman on NPR's Talk of the Nation show last week.

While there is no Kinect XNA support currently, Microsoft said this month on its App Hub development forum that a Kinect API support is one of the elements it is evaluating in future updates to XNA.

Even without official development tools, there are already people who have, to an extent, opened up the USB-based Kinect to create their own unique applications. "I get YouTube videos on an hourly basis of people doing cool, neat, creative experiences based on using Kinect on PC," said Kipman.

Asked if people who experiment with Kinect would "get in trouble," Kipman replied, "No, absolutely not."

It's a different tone from Microsoft's corporate response to a recent video that purportedly showed the Kinect sending depth and video data and receiving motor control instructions from a Windows PC. In that case, the company said it would "work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant."

Kipman said that Microsoft left the Kinect open by design, and knew that people with the expertise could get into the device. "The first thing to talk about is Kinect was not actually hacked. Hacking would mean that someone got to our algorithms that sit on the side of the Xbox, and was able to actually use them -- which hasn't happened."

He continued, "Or it means you put a device between the sensor and the Xbox for means of cheating, which also has not happened. That's what we call hacking, and that's why we have put [in] a ton of work and effort to make sure it doesn't actually occur."

He said that instead, people have written open-source drivers for PC that "open the USB connection, which we didn't protect by design, and reads the inputs from the sensor."

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Jed Hubic
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But only for Windows Phone 7.

David Lively
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@Jed XNA works for PC, XBOX 360 and Windows development. It'd be hilarious to see someone build a Windows Phone 7 app using Kinect, but that's not really the target audience.