Eurogramer have revealed
how Microsoft have been able to patch an issue within the Kinect hardware that meant players who were sitting down, or lying down for that matter, were difficult if not impossible for the motion sensor to track.
This all boiled down to the skeletal mapping system that Kinect employs. Identifying a core 'node' at the base of the spine around which to predict and observe all body movements, the hardware depended on a line of sight to this node at all times. Of course, once a player was to sit down or similar, the core node would be obscured.
Microsoft had initially downplayed this as a problem, but developers working with with the hardware insisted otherwise. The article at Eurogamer states that Microsoft were able to circumvent this problem, and possible critical flaw, by altering the way in which Kinect perceives sitting players and switching the core node to the neck of the player. Developers have praised the move as being 'more logical' after some admitted they thoguht 'it was borderline' as to whether Microsoft would develop a fix for them or not.
The interesting aspect of this update coming so late in the development life cycle of Kinect, is that it comes too late to have figured into the development of launch titles
. Despite this developers have assured gamers that the hardware update will not affect Kinect launch titles. Any games developed to incorporate elements where the player was sitting down have had software solutions bundled into the game which have been created by the developers themselves, with Blitz being one such example.