The Problem With Kinect

Ever since I first saw Kinect (If you don’t know what Kinect is, go here), I thought it was pretty cool. A bit gimmicky, but it was definitely better than what the other consoles were developing, like the Playstation Move. Kinect’s capabilities are pretty impressive. It can detect movement from each individual person in the frame, and distinguish who’s who through your physical appearance and voice. It can also track certain body parts as well, turning your whole body into a huge Xbox controller (Just like Microsoft’s motto for Kinect, “You are the controller”). The problem that everyone, including myself, had with it was that we were afraid of how Microsoft was going to use it. We were first amazed by Peter Molyneux’s (The man behind the Fable franchise as well as others) showcase at E3 entitled “Milo”, where he had a representative interact with a virtual boy by using the Kinect. You could talk to him, hand him things, and interact with the boy’s environment (Or so we thought). It turns out that the showcase was a scripted video, showing what the Kinect might┬ábe capable of in the future. This was the first of many disappointments.

The next disappointing moment was what most of the game industry saw coming. The lineup of games that the Kinect ended up supporting is not great at all. It has a couple worthy titles now and then, but for the most part, Microsoft has completely missed their mark. I’m not saying I have any better game ideas, but I’m sure they could’ve had someone whip up a few good titles. Instead, we have games like Kinect Adventures, where you play a bunch of mini games, like rowing rafts down a river. Other developers have started to utilize the Kinect properly, by showing how they’re integrating it into their future titles, but that doesn’t help what’s happening now. If I were to recommend a game to buy for Kinect, the only one that comes to mind are the dancing games. They’re not my cup of tea, but I know those are going over very well (sales-wise at least). I really hope that future games start coming up with creative uses for it, because they need it.

If you’d like to see some of the more recent uses of Kinect in games, check out Mass Effect 3 or Skyrim. If you’re wondering what Kinect capabilities Skyrim has, then check out Bethesda’s latest news updates. They’re currently coming out with an update that allows for over 200 body gestures, and a bunch of voice commands as well. Also, start looking online for funny videos of people screaming “Fus Rho Dah!!!” in their living rooms, because I’m sure it’s gonna happen…

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