On November 4, Microsoft released its foray into the motion gaming world in the form of Kinect. Kinect uses sensor to detect the players body and motion and translate it into in-game actions. Some of Kinect’s launch titles allow players to get scored on their dancing abilities, burn calories smashing on screen block and even play with a virtual tiger. But no Kinect title allows users to do what you’re about to see.
One enthusiastic Kinect owner decided to step outside of Kinect’s boundaries and hack the device. Using OpenKinect drivers, Yankeyan programmed Kinect to work with Super Mario Bros. As you can see from the video, Yankeyan is able to play Super Mario Bros., Super Mario Bros. 2 and Super Mario Bros. 3 using his PC and hacked Kinect. The games are being played using emulation software that emulates the original Nintendo titles.
Yankeyan need to program the emulation software to recognize his motions from Kinect and translate them into button presses. According to Yankeyan, he could’ve simply placed buttons on the screen and sent commands to the game that way. But, what fun is that? Kinect and the emulation software now use the player’s actual movements to control Mario. Meaning, to run forward the player must run in place. To make Mario jump, the player must actually jump. It sounds like quite the workout, but most Kinect games are.
As the video shows, this emulation isn’t perfect. Some of Yankeyan’s movements don’t register, not to mention it’s nearly impossible for him to run and jump at the same time. Yankeyan isn’t pretending this is perfect though, he fully realizes this hack has problems.
This certainly isn’t the first Kinect hack we’ve seen so close to its launch. In fact, this isn’t the first hack we’ve seen from Kinect hacking expert Yankeyan. Yankeyan was able to hack Kinect and make it display the user holding an object that wasn’t actually in their hands. For example, if you were holding a broom, Kinect would make it appear as though you were holding a light saber. Just not this real life replica light saber sadly.
With new technology comes new testing and discovery. We can’t wait to see what Yankeyan comes up with next.