Any new release brings rumors with it (Halo 4 with Chief’s armor looking different, Warhammer 40k releases ahead of time, features and looks of new phones, etc.) and while most are wishlists or heavily lauded and desired rumors, some are downright scary and infuriating. A particular rumor that started floating around during the second week of February has caused some concern. This is something that wasn’t a highly discussed topic during the week and got very little exposure, but can be very chilling for anyone who uses an XBox. We will offer you the short synopsis, but for more information, please see:
The rumor that is going around in the tech industry is that Microsoft is close to dropping a new system in the laps of the consumers. This is to be expected from Microsoft and Sony as both systems have a roughly 10-year development life, meaning the time for these new systems is definitely at hand by the cycles that the two corporations have confirmed they maintain. The other half of the rumor is that this new XBox is going to REQUIRE an updated Kinect (capable of tracking up to six players with better accuracy) in order to operate most games for the system, if not all. This part of the rumor stands to mean one thing bad for gamers….$$$. This means a new system that will be more expensive because of a revamped Kinect. Yet that is not the most chilling aspect of this rumor.
As the NBC news article pointed out in what is probably the best possible description:
“Kotaku’s report points out that a mandatory Kinect connection could mean a camera always watching players’ in-home behavior. Meanwhile, Microsoft recently filed patents for technology that would not only allow companies to use Kinect to monitor people’s media usage and charge them for it but also allow them to target advertising at gamers based on their mood — mood sensed and determined based on Kinect-collected data.”
Great! So not only can this thing watch the gamer, it can monitor our in-home behavior, bill us for data (we already have cell phones), AND invade our privacy if it’s used in such a way. It can have some serious ramifications. Children being spied upon, embarrassing adult moments, or being watched eating or any other thing you can imagine you don’t want strangers watching you doing (mundane or not.) Sometimes ideas just go too far– and this is one of them. Let’s take this rumor, like all rumors should be taken, with a grain of salt, but pray that it is not true. This would have some serious issues, especially in light of the patents that Microsoft has recently gone for.