New Windows-optimized Kinect hardware is coming in 2012, but another disturbance in the Force says that a super accurate Kinect 2 will be bundled with all future Xboxes.
Eurogamer says its learned that Kinect 2 will be an evolution of Kinect's current motion and voice recognition technology, with one of its development sources saying:
"Kinect 2 will be so powerful it will enable games to lip read, detect when players are angry, and determine in which direction they are facing. Kinect 2 can track the pitch and volume of player voices and facial characteristics to measure different emotional states."
Additionally, Kinect 2 will also be able to track depth with a resolution that is higher than the current 320x240 resolution.
We're digging around for more info, but it could be possible that the upgraded Kinect is really just the Windows-optimized Kinect. That device is confirmed to be a tweaked sensor that will allow for gesture-tracking at up to two-feet distances. That's already a serious upgrade to the Kinect's six feet to eight feet requirement.
Facial recognition is interesting. It'd be funny if Kinect 2 prevents angry gamers from playing violent video games. Wouldn't that be something?