While Gamescom hasn't technically started yet, Microsoft's troops have already arrived in Cologne. In fact, we've already been gifted some details about new titles, but we also managed to get a little more intimate with the new Kinect. You know, the one there's been all that fuss about. But if you do plan on using it, skidaddle past the break to see more about how it works.
Many of the games on display we'd seen before, so we headed straight for one of the booths set aside for the motion sensor. While some full game play was on offer, more interesting was a FPS tech demo specifically designed to show the Kinect working alongside the regular controller (an expansion on how we've seen it utilized with Halo etc...). This configuration is a good example of how the controller action in your front room might actually look once the console finally lands. Those exaggerated leans your buddies do when guiding their character off to the left or right were shown as legitimate controlling moves, nudging your point of view in the corresponding direction. You could even jump into night vision with a tap of your head. Other examples showed onscreen aiming with fingers and used voice commands to fire your weapon. While much of this is an extension of what we've seen before, with Kinect becoming an increasingly integrated part of the system, Microsoft's definitely keen to show that it will offer enough features to warrant it.
Beyond the demo game, we were also able to get a look at some of the other, more detailed utilities -- such as the various Kinect skeleton modes -- including detection (via modeling) of muscle tension. Beyond the potential for in-game interaction, there's also the more practical matters such as handing over the controller to a friend, detecting your pulse (via changes in skin tone invisible to the human eye), player engagement and whether you're talking (and more specifically if that's at your friends, or the Kinect itself). Given that the demo was delivered in a noisy exhibition hall, and it still understood the voice commands, it should definitely be able to handle your frantic game sessions. There's the video below, too, if you want proof for yourself.