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Asus' new Xtion 2 depth-sensing camera isn't a huge upgrade

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PrimeSense built the original technology that powered Microsoft's Kinect, which never did much for video games, but was a huge leap forward for robotics and 3D scanning. There are a number of cameras on the market now that use PrimeSense's technology, but there's just one problem: PrimeSense doesn't exist anymore, it was bought by Apple in 2013.

Asus just announced the Xtion 2, a sequel to its Xtion PrimeSense-based line of cameras. Unfortunately, the new camera is only a minor upgrade over prior models. The depth sensor is still limited to 640 x 480 at 30 fps. Upgrades include a higher resolution 5-megapixel RGB camera, and USB 3.0 support. The new camera is also a lot smaller than Asus' prior models.

Depth sense like it’s 2010.
Image: Asus

The biggest competition in this space is Intel's RealSense 3D camera, which is typically much more affordable and offers higher frame rate scanning at 60 fps. The new Asus camera is $269.99, while you can get an Intel RealSense camera for around $100.

I'm not sure if the disappearance of PrimeSense is responsible for these stalling specs or if there's another reason that VGA depth cameras are all you can get on the consumer market right now.