Microsoft’s Marc Whitten and Larry “Major Nelson” Hyrb have both confirmed that the company has included QR code recognition into the Kinect 2.0’s abilities, which means that you no longer have to enter codes manually for Xbox Live subscriptions and DLC.
Yesterday a thread on Reddit started up with one of the users requesting that if Microsoft forces Kinect on everyone, that they should be able to use the camera in a new way – QR code recognition. License keys have been a staple for the gaming industry for years because they can be printed in plain font and used for verification purposes to make sure your copy of the game is legal.
PC digital distribution platforms such as Steam, Origin and UPlay make use of license keys for games that you’ve bought in a retail store; however, while it makes sense on a PC because you have the venerable keyboard, using a controller to enter in case-sensitive codes with letters and numbers involves more work than it should.
Hours later, both Marc Whitten and Larry Hyrb tweeted that this was a planned feature for Kinect and to many gamers this makes sense. You simply pop the disc into the console and while you’re standing there, hold up the QR code to the Kinect camera to scan it and get your DLC or Xbox Live subscription.
Redditors then talked rather enthusiastically about the chance of using Smartglass and the Xbox Live app on Windows Phone to scan the QR code while you’re still in the store with your game and tell your Xbox One to start downloading it immediately. A good idea to be sure, but others have pointed out that since Microsoft dropped most of their online and DRM requirements for their console, this wouldn’t be possible anymore.
Microsoft, it seems, still doesn’t sell their console and their vision very well. If they had communicated that Kinect was capable of these kinds of things and that the always-online requirements for the Xbox One meant that they could do things like that, a lot of people would likely have been comfortable with the idea after all. Its rather surprising that it took a thread on Reddit to draw it out of Microsoft that they were working on something like this, but they didn’t say why this wasn’t announced.