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Kinect Musings

Posted 06-17-2010 at 09:26 AM by modeps

The Kinect for Xbox 360 is coming this Fall. Read aloud, it sounds like you're going to be playing Hasbro's classic token dropping game on your Xbox, but quite honestly, I'm more optimistic than I was before solid details came out about it. Microsoft aimed to create something for the entire family and just from the lineup of things coming out for it (eventually) they've certainly succeeded.

I'm a father of two with a lovely wife. My two daughters love cute things so Kinectimals is right up their alley. Sure, the demonstration at Microsoft's briefing with Skittles the tiger was rehearsed and fake, but I certainly could visualize my own girls playing with their on-screen pets. An actual pet is not in the immediate future for them, so this could fill a gap and it's kind of neat looking.

Ubisoft's (You-Bee-Soft) Your Shape: Fitness Evolved could fit into that sweet spot my wife had been looking for since Wii Fit came out. It's certainly more compelling than Nintendo's balance board offering and being able to check out your proper form is a great addition.

What about me? Amazingly enough, Ubisoft's title Child of Eden really resonated with what I feel could be a completely awesome and engaging experience. Couple that with the potential for Konami's Metal Gear Solid Rising's swordplay and you've got something I'm pretty excited about. I'm also fairly certain the empty DDR spot in my soul could be filled by Harmonix's Dance Central.

I certainly have concerns though. First and foremost is the obvious lag visible in just about every application that is shown live. When you move your arms, the interface just isn't updated immediately. Microsoft has never claimed, to my knowledge, that it's 1:1 precision but when you're dealing with precision based titles like Dance Central, not being able to keep proper time with music is pretty shitty.

Second, Voice recognition has never worked as well as people claim it does. Microsoft also developed their Sync system for cars, and while I haven't had the pleasure of playing with that first hand, reviews regarding the voice recognition in that application have been fairly negative.

Lastly is the "hover activation" to interact with menu items. Using your hand as a mouse cursor is OK but not exactly inventive. When you place this cursor over menu items, you hold it there for about a second while a clock wipe animates around the cursor. After watching that animation and holding your hand in place, then the item will activate. I wonder what specifically led to this particular decision on the interface. Why not allow users to push their hand forward a bit, like they were pushing a giant button instead of having to pause? This "hover activation" infuriates me everytime I see it.

Proof is in the pudding and I won't exactly know if this stuff is as great as Microsoft is touting it to be. While not being at E3 to try it out first hand, I'll have to wait for the retail or review units to be sent out. It's tough to be optimistic when you've been jaded for so long on motion controls, but Microsoft's offering seems to be at least something interesting as opposed to Sony's simple Wii copycat solution.

Time will certainly tell, but I'll leave my glass half full for the time being.
Posted in General Modeps
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  1. Old Comment
    You still think its worth it for 150 bucks?
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 09:30 AM by prence prence is offline
  2. Old Comment
    Originally Posted by prence View Comment
    You still think its worth it for 150 bucks?
    Price hasn't been confirmed, but $150 isn't a bad deal considering what Sony's charging for their motion devices. Kinect has everything you need to have two players at once, while you need to shell out close to $200 for two players on Move.
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 09:49 AM by modeps modeps is offline
  3. Old Comment
    I personally am more impressed with it now, than I was in the past.

    Previously, I had no desire - at all - for Natal, but after seeing some of the videos & the stuff coming out for it (including the Star Wars game my friend is working on), I am more on the fence (perhaps even leaning over slightly).

    We'll see how things play out.
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 10:26 AM by ilRadd ilRadd is offline
  4. Old Comment
    Evil Avatar's Avatar
    After seeing their demos I am more convinced than ever that both the technology was a bad idea from the ground up and that it is destined to fail with consumers and developers.

    When your technology is limited to jumping, leaning and waving your arms the type of games you can make with that technology are so limited that what we have seen up to date is all we will ever see from Kinect.

    At least Move is an attempt to replicate the success of the Wii on a 1 to 1 basis.
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 11:44 AM by Evil Avatar Evil Avatar is offline
  5. Old Comment
    Posted 06-17-2010 at 08:21 PM by modeps modeps is offline

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