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 be capable of in the future. This was the first of many disappointments. Continue reading

Why Xbox?

When I tell people I have a blog about Xbox, a common response I get is, “Why Xbox? Why do you choose to only write about 1 system?” I thought this was a great question to discuss, so I’ve decided to write a post about why I prefer to play Xbox instead of other systems. I’ll begin by talking about the other consoles, and then say why I’ve chosen Xbox as my favorite. Note: Although I might be biased toward Xbox, since I have played it the longest, I’ll try to weigh out the pros and cons of each. I do not hate any of the consoles, so don’t accuse me of “hating on them” like so many people do online. I appreciate any and all video game systems. After all, the advancement of video games would not spread as fast as it does if it weren’t for some great competition. So let’s begin! Continue reading

E3 2012

E3 2012 is still pretty far away, but I would like to remind everyone that if you’ve ever wanted to see the latest and greatest in gaming, the Electronic Entertainment Expo is what to pay attention to. You might not be able to go if you aren’t a part of the gaming industry, but don’t let that stop you! G4 TV always has their hosts on the show floor, displaying the latest games that you’d see if you were there. As I’ve stated before, I’ve been given an opportunity to go this year, and I’m extremely excited. I’m not sure how I’m going to approach it though. I don’t know if I want to live-update blog posts, or just blog at the end of each day. I’ve pretty much decided that I want to just stick in the Xbox-related section of the event, but I’m not really sure of where to go from there. I was also thinking that I could have anybody that happens to be on my blog at the time comment about what they want me to do. For instance, if you’d like me to check out a certain game, I could do that, and then tell you what I see. This would all depend on if I had time, of course, because I might be going to the developer meetings as well, but we’ll see.

I’m also going to try and grab as much free stuff from the booths as possible. Then, if I end up getting more followers, maybe I can have some giveaways or something (or just grab some stuff for people if they want something). We’ll see when the time comes. I’m just super excited to go, and I figured I’d ask everyone reading this if they’re already hoping to hear specific news about a game when E3 hits. I’m sure Halo 4 and COD will be there, and so I’ll probably try to check those out. I’ll also look for any new hardware accessories while I’m there. Most of all, I’m hoping for some brand new IP’s. These last few years have been dominated by sequels and and continuations of old games, and I’m really hoping to see some fresh new games out into the market. It’s not that I don’t like playing a bunch of trilogies (Halo, Gears of War, Mass Effect, Modern Warfare, etc.), but when every game ends in a number, then I just don’t get the same level of excitement. I want new experiences, new worlds, new characters, and new stories. Is that too much to ask?

February’s NPD Sales Numbers

Have you ever heard of the NPD sales numbers? I’m not surprised if your answer is no. A lot of people haven’t. They are basically the sales figures of the gaming industry in the United States. Meaning, it tracks how many consoles, handhelds, games, etc. were sold within a given month or year. The stats are released every month, and are typically used by game industry analysts and people who work within the industry in order to see how they are doing. The NPD sales numbers for February just came out a few days ago, and I figured I’d pass along the news. Admittedly, I did not look up these numbers myself. I actually get them from KOXM (The Official Xbox Magazine’s podcast) every month. It’s quite fascinating to see what the stats look like each month because then you can see how each console/game is doing, and from there, attempt to predict what will happen in the following months. These are some of February’s sales numbers:  Continue reading

What Does A Game Rating Even Mean Anymore?

I’m sure most people who play online can agree that FPS games are breeding grounds for obscenity-shouting 10 year olds. We’ve all seen/heard it. Some kid is always in the lobby shouting the most horrid things straight into your ear until the whole lobby mutes him. The problem is that we often blame these games for turning these kids this way, when I personally believe that the games have little to do with it. Yes, I agree that they might have taught the kids these words (Or the other people online that are playing the game), but it’s not the video game industry’s fault. I know this is a touchy subject to a lot of people, but you have to understand that these are just my opinions (Obviously seen right in the title). I believe that the video game industry often gets a bad rap for what the players (specifically kids) do. After all, we rarely hear of an adult doing something horrid and having the media blame it on video games (Even though the average age for gamers is anywhere from 20-30 from the different sources I’ve read). I believe that Continue reading

E3: A Glimpse At The Future Of Gaming

The Electronic Entertainment Expo (also known as E3) is coming soon, and I am extremely excited. What’s E3, you ask? Well, in most gamers’ eyes, it is the center for the biggest and baddest (in a good way) games of the near future. It is a 3 day event at the LA Convention Center where game developers get together and show off their upcoming releases and/or hardware. There’s tons of booths where journalists can go and play early-stage versions of the hottest upcoming games in order to write previews for their respective companies. The only unfortunate thing about E3 is that regular gamers are not allowed to attend the event. It is only for developers and game-related organizations, in order for them to figure out where the current industry stands, and get a glimpse at what there is to come in the near future. Now this does not mean that regular gamers are never able to know what goes on during the show. In fact, that’s the complete opposite. Continue reading

MLG Pro Circuit Controller

There’s a new controller on the market for Xbox and PS3 users, and I figured I’d spread the word. It’s called the MLG Pro Circuit Controller and it seems pretty interesting. I’d definitely like to try it out. Mad Catz built the controller on the idea that every gamer has their own preference when using a controller. All of the main buttons can be rearranged in order to fit your style. Even the joysticks can be moved! You can now put the D-pad in place of where the joysticks are, or add weights to the bottom of the controller (Which is cool, but I wonder how it would affect gameplay). It is a wired controller, which at first I thought was a downside, but then it made sense considering it is designed for MLG (Major League Gaming) use. Nobody wants to run out of batteries in the middle of a tournament. On top of that, the cord is extremely durable and screws into the controller, which allows you to easily store the controller if you want. Lastly, the grips and faceplate of the controller can be changed to have different textures while playing. I found this controller to be quite fascinating, considering the fact that nobody has made anything like it before. I’d like to state that I heard this news on the One Of Swords podcast, so here’s another example of great news that they talk about. If anybody wants to see what it looks like, visit the Mad Catz website. The only downside I can foresee people talking about is the cost, but I don’t even think that’s a problem, considering what it does. It’s $100, whereas the regular Xbox controllers (wired) are about $50 I think. So if you’re looking for a new controller, might as well go for the top-of-the-line hardware being used by the pros!

Xbox: The Next Generation

Everyone’s talking about what they’re expecting from the next Xbox console, so I guess I’ll give my two cents. Personally, I don’t care about a lot of the things that people seem to be looking forward to. I don’t really care about 3D, and as of right now, I’m not a huge fan of Kinect either. It’s not that I don’t like 3D, but it’s that I don’t think I really need it. I already wear a Turtle Beach headset when I play, so I don’t want to have to wear glasses too. Now if they came out with TVs that had 3D built in somehow, then I’ll join the party, but as of right now, I’m just not seeing it. As for the Kinect, it’s not that I don’t like it, but I don’t think that they have supported it in the right way. It has SO much potential to do great things, but only a couple of games have really embraced it to its full potential (I did however see the commercial during the Super Bowl where Microsoft showed some of the real-world capabilities of kinect, which I thought was cool). So as long as they don’t make every game in a way where Kinect is a necessity, or isn’t complete without it, I have no problems with it.  All I’m really looking for is better graphics, better online functionality, and an all-around smoother running console. I can’t think of any little add-ons that they need to put in it to make it better. Going back to the Kinect issue, if they were to put Kinect INSIDE the console, with the lenses next to the disc slot of something, I would definitely like that. Then people won’t have to go out and buy an all-new peripheral as soon as they buy a new console. That’s all I can think of right now, and I’ll post any more ideas as I think of them.

I’ll make a post tomorrow discussing what I’m looking forward to on the software side of the next console launch, so stay tuned! Don’t touch that dial! (Really, who has dials on their TVs anymore? Not sure why TV shows still say that…)