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Kinect

Kinect photo
Kinect

Has Microsoft killed Kinect?


Kinda. Maybe. Possibly?
Jun 16
// Vikki Blake
Talking of backwards compatibility... did you notice what wasn't on that list of playable titles? Kinect games. There are no Kinect games. No Kinectimals, no Kinect Sport, no Dance Central. It seems that Xbox's all-singing, a...
Slice Zombies photo
Slice Zombies

It's just like Fruit Ninja, but with zombies


Sold on it? No? Didn't think so
May 08
// Brett Makedonski
This all rather smacks of ingenuity. A new game just released on Xbox One, and it looks an awful lot like another popular title. Trade some produce for the undead and throw in some coins, and it seems as if you have a border...

Swery: D4 on PC is '100 percent bona fide D4'

May 07 // Brett Makedonski
The reason that Swery doesn't feel that the Kinect-to-mouse transition is a concession of sorts is because control method isn't what's at the core of D4. Swery elaborated "D4 is a game that doesn't derive its entertainment value merely from the fact that you can control it. My design has always been focused around the 'sensory replication' element. All input devices have their own special characteristics, and I feel that I've created separate control schemes that are all designed specifically for the Kinect, controller, and now the mouse." This "sensory replication" Swery speaks of isn't some marketable-sounding term that he tacked on to describe control schemes; it's something he spends a lot of time thinking about and crafting experiences around. In fact, further hypothesizing by Swery is the reason the PC port is even happening. He explained how D4 on PC came to be by saying "I started working on the PC version at the end of last year, through to GDC this year. At that time, I had made no plans about releasing it. It was just an experiment to help prove the contents of my GDC speech. To sum up [my speech]: 'Even without Kinect, the theory of symbolization and sensory replication through minute observations is still possible, and pieces that replicate sensations in this manner can enhance the overall empathy that people experience.' In order to prove this, I started making a sample version of the game that could be played using only the mouse. I revealed it to people at GDC and PAX East, and since people responded more positively than I had expected, I decided to develop an official release." That official release won't come as easy as one might think. This is Access Games' first time working on a PC title. (The poorly-received PC port of Deadly Premonition was controlled by another studio, and Swery says that Access wasn't able to exert control over the process because it didn't own the rights to the game.) Because of Access' inexperience developing for PC, Swery describes the process as including "a lot of unexpected surprises and problems." He went into detail by saying "Like I talked about earlier, we had to figure out how to create sensory replication with the mouse. Since we couldn't use Kinect, we needed to figure out how to make the PC version a game that anyone could easily enjoy with the mouse. Our game designers, programmers, and UI designers really had to rack their brains about this. Next, we had to think about adding user options and confirming minimum system requirements and recommended specifications that didn't exist in the console version. Since we created an original shader for D4 using our own code, it was hard to make it backwards compatible simply through changing settings in Unreal Engine, so we had to adjust the code and add new parts to it. Since we've only worked on console games so far, this was a brand new experience for us." Above all else, Swery's says he's dedicated to not letting the PC version of D4 go the way of Deadly Premonition. "The team that worked on the Xbox One version of D4 is in charge, and I've also been taking part in the adjustments. We're really serious about this, and intend to treat the D4 IP with the utmost care." One thing that he wasn't too serious about was commenting on his feelings about Microsoft announcing one year ago that it'd release a version of Xbox One without Kinect. After all, Swery had likely undertook this project with the understanding that Kinect would be something that's in every living room that an Xbox One is in. All of a sudden, that wasn't the case. Swery took the high (and humorous) road by simply chiming in "#ThanksObama." Temporary comedic relief aside, Swery seems very serious about D4 and its future. When asked about reading fan theories (a pastime that's dominated the Destructoid office at times), Swery said that he refrains out of respect for the fans. He clarified by saying "D4 is of the mystery genre. With this genre, the fun comes from 'enjoying' all the mysteries up to the end. I think it's natural for people to closely watch the developments, hypothesize, and then think up their own opinions and theories. That's what's so great and important about the mystery genre. With that in mind, I think I have no right to take part in those sorts of discussions." For all the transparency and openness behind the whole process of getting D4 to PC, Swery turned mysterious again when the topic on everyone's mind came up: Is a second part to D4 ever getting made? "I still can't talk about what'll be coming next. All I can say is that I'm working my hardest!," he said. Figures. But, maybe with the help of a PC audience pushing for more D4, we'll get the resolution we need. Or, maybe we'll get more fights with a cat lady. Both are welcome with open arms.
Swery interview photo
Kinect didn't make the game
To say that developer Hidetaka Suehiro -- or, Swery65 as most everyone knows him -- has a knack for creating unique and strange videogame experiences would be an understatement. He has a loyal cult following, as anyone that l...


Extended value photo
Extended value

Microsoft discontinues Kinect for Windows


'We recently extended Kinectís value'
Apr 03
// Steven Hansen
Until today, you could buy a PC compatible, standalone Kinect v2 (the Xbox One one) for use with your PC or tablet. Microsoft just announced it will no longer be producing the Kinect for Windows sensor. If you still want to u...
Game News Haikus photo
Game News Haikus

Game News Haikus: Battlefield Hardline, Banjo-Kazooie, Final Fantasy XV, and more


Zen distilled stories
Mar 23
// Darren Nakamura
Last week we took a break from the usual poetic news recaps to highlight our favorite games from PAX East, but now we are back in the swing of things. You can check out all of the past episodes on the Game News Haikus YouTub...

CCP's found the best use for Xbox One's Kinect so far

Mar 20 // Brett Makedonski
The Atlanta studio put together three demos, and used Rift DK2 and Microsoft's Kinect for all of them. While it's a suitable use of the VR peripheral, it's the integration of Kinect that pushes everything to the next level. Taking the controller out of your hands and replacing it with actual movement goes a long way toward achieving the ever-sought-after "immersion." I dare say that these three demos are the best use of Microsoft's Xbox One Kinect yet. Speaking with Atlanta's executive producer Morgan Godat, he shed some light on the developer's decision to make use of the Kinect. "We said 'What comes next?' Our assumption was that the Xbox controller was kind of the first generation of VR like you're seeing with Valkyrie. But, what might come after that?" he said. The result was what Godat described as a "Frankenstein setup." The team started with a PC, Oculus Rift, PlayStation Move controllers, and a Kinect. It just threw everything together to see what worked and what didn't. As Godat put it "Some of the hardware has fallen off, but Kinect has made the long haul. It's really impressive." It's the piece that, for now, is crucial in taking that next step in VR development. When standing in front of the Kinect with an Oculus strapped to your head, it's apparent how important that proverbial (and, in this case, literal) next step really is. Hands-down, the most impressive and enjoyable game was a player-versus-player contest named Disc Arena. The only way to paint a mental image of the aesthetic is to call it "overtly Tron." Standing across from another person in the futuristic corridor, you're tasked with flicking a disc toward your opponent. If you hit them, you get a point. The challenge comes from the fact that you're both "equipped" with a shield that can be held up with the left hand. Blocking will break the disc; swiping at the disc with the shield reflect it back. At first, it's easy to get caught up in the simple exchange of flick a disc, block a disc. It's boring, simple, and basic. But, then a disc goes astray and you learn that the walls can be used to bounce the disc and disorient your opponent. Suddenly you have to watch all directions for incoming projectiles, throw your shield everywhere, and still find time to shoot off your own discs. When you score a point, it feels like an actual accomplishment. It's just great. (And, I won six points to five, by the way.) Ship Spinner was the most experimental of the three titles. There wasn't an objective, but rather exploration was the focus. With a detailed spaceship hovering in front of you, you were asked to swipe it around to change the orientation. From there, leaning into the ship completely changed the view and offered insight as to what's actually happening aboard. All the rooms were detailed in their own special way. At one point I triggered lounge music. A colleague of mine found a dead guy. I raised the ship as high as I could, and explored the underbelly and furnace of the ship. There wasn't really any point, but that's what made it great. The last of Atlanta's demos, called The Workshop, let me grab fire and throw it. Putting elements on a literal pedestal, I just picked up fire or electricity and lobbed it about as I felt fit. Then, a stack of boxes appeared and I kicked them as far as I could. It was neat, but nothing on the level of Disc Arena or Ship Spinner. The Shanghai studio went in a very different direction and ended up developing an untethered VR experience. Using GearVR, it created an on-rails shooter named Project Nemesis. Originally codenamed Invaders, it's simple to grasp where it draws inspiration from. It's essentially a VR conceptualization of Space Invaders which requires tapping on the side of the headset to dispose of waves of ships circling in patterns. Admittedly, there's a good chance that none of these demos will ever see the light of day as some sort of consumer release. That's fine with CCP, though; that was never the intent. As Godat emphasized, the point of making these one-off experiences was to get creative and see what the developers could do with virtual reality. It's all a part of CCP's ultimate goal of "finding a future vision within the EVE universe with a laser focus on VR."
CCP does VR A-OK photo
CCP's VR Labs
It’s no secret that virtual reality is quickly making its mark on the videogame industry. If that weren't evident before, GDC 2015 kicked the door wide open. That's why, with numerous developers turning their attention ...

Review: Fruit Ninja Kinect 2

Mar 16 // Brett Makedonski
Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 (Xbox One)Developer: Hibernum CréationsPublisher: Halfbrick StudiosReleased: March 18, 2015MSRP: $14.99 For the few who don't know, Fruit Ninja relies on the suspension of disbelief that you are a ninja (apologies to the actual ninjas in the audience), and that fruit is your mortal enemy. As fruit is tossed up on the screen, slashing, slicing, dicing, chopping, and cleaving motions dispel the pesky produce. Efficiency is key, and eliminating melons, berries, and citrus in numbers of three or higher is more rewarding in every sense of the word. Again, it's a simple premise. Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 warmly welcomes back arcade, classic, and zen modes, all of which remain (almost) untouched in their varying degrees of danger and urgency. However, there's also an attempt to add depth with four new modes, a bolstered multiplayer system, and campaign objectives. They're all fine improvements -- small tweaks on a formula that really can't be tweaked all that much. Festival is where seasoned Fruit Ninja players will find the most jarring changes. These four games each place their own significant caveat on gameplay. Two of them require avoiding incoming shurikens and staying out of a moving spotlight while still slicing fruit. Another throws seeds into the mix which, when not disposed of, turn into bamboo that needs chopping down. And, in maybe the biggest twist yet, one game trades in faux katanas for barroom darts. [embed]289110:57801:0[/embed] All that mostly ends up serving as a distraction -- a palate cleanser when the three mainstay modes temporarily overstay their welcome. They'll also have a share of campaign objectives that are unique to them, as Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 has a level progression system that sees the player from whatever unremarkable title rank one holds, through Fruit Ninja at rank 30. In the past, the only real reason to keep at Fruit Ninja was for leaderboard dominance. While that urge is still present, the stripped-down campaign does a lot to encourage continued play, even if there's nothing notably unique about it. Honestly, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2's most alluring prospect is as a party game. Fortunately, the multiplayer has evolved significantly since the past iteration. Now, four-person play is supported (although only two at a time, with swift trade-offs), and there are mini-games galore to ensure that everything's more varied than "chop more fruit than your friends." Predictably, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2's biggest weakness comes from the implementation of the Xbox One's Kinect. It's not a perfect motion peripheral, and that can become all too evident when laser-like accuracy is necessary. But, to their credit, the developers did the best they could minimizing the severity of the issue. One of Fruit Ninja Kinect's greatest strengths (and it's true of this game, too) is that it maps the player's shadow to the background. It seems somewhat insignificant, but this gives the player an omnipresent frame of reference, something that other Kinect titles couldn't offer. Most importantly, it mitigates the imprecision of the Kinect by projecting a constant and reliable method to altering body movements that'd achieve desirable results. And, brilliantly enough, this all exists in the player's subconscious. Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is subject to the same technical downfalls in theory, but it handles them a bit better in execution. That's to be expected; it's using improved hardware, after all. There aren't many instances of Kinect just flat-out refusing to read your movements. The issues are more nuanced than that. Sometimes it'll put players on the wrong side in multiplayer and refuse to fix the problem. Other times, it won't accept the bowing command to pause the game. Most of these are niggling complications that can be worked around once you know how Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 consistently functions. Still, it's frustrating until that point's reached. Ultimately, Fruit Ninja Kinect 2 is a game that improves upon its predecessor in almost every conceivable way. Anything less would be unacceptable given that this feels somewhat more like a remaster of sorts than a true sequel. There aren't any major alterations, as the Fruit Ninja concept can't be shaken up too dramatically. But hey, it turns out that frantically slicing fruit still makes for a nice little distraction, regardless of whether it's on a tablet, a phone, or a television.
Fruit Ninja review photo
Banana, split
Any way you slice it, Fruit Ninja is one of the most popular mobile games of all time. It's built around such an unassuming foundation that it lends itself perfectly to those lulls in life when you don't really want to think ...

Rock Band 4 photo
Rock Band 4

Kinect interference won't be an issue in Rock Band 4


That's certainly reassuring
Mar 09
// Brett Makedonski
Harmonix wants the Rock Band 4 experience to be a social one -- a group of people together in a room using music as the driving force toward enjoyment. However, Microsoft has a once "integral" peripheral for the Xbox One...
Gearbox x Harmonix photo
Gearbox x Harmonix

Borderlands characters are now in Dance Central Spotlight


From Inside Gearbox panel
Mar 08
// Darren Nakamura
Gearbox and Harmonix have worked together in the past with a dance section in one of last year's trailers for Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel. At the PAX East Inside Gearbox panel, Gearbox and Harmonix announced a new p...
Kinect photo
Kinect

Microsoft's Kinect for Windows sensor will be gone in 2015


That Kinect you like isn't coming back in style
Jan 01
// Chris Carter
Microsoft has announced that they will be ending sales for the original Kinect for Windows sensor in 2015. Since the "v2" edition (Xbox One) is available, it makes sense to phase out the original. They've reminded developers ...
Kinect photo
Kinect

This game looks like one of the best uses of Kinect or PS Eye I've seen yet


Bonus: You get to take selfies!
Nov 19
// Brett Makedonski
Console camera peripherals are often neat in theory, but fall flat in practice. Turns out that very few people actually want to use the damned things to try to control their games. But, what if they were only used to control...
ScreamRide photo
ScreamRide

Roller coaster crashing game ScreamRide will be budget priced


$29.99 on Xbox 360, $39.99 on Xbox One
Nov 13
// Jordan Devore
Frontier Developments' ScreamRide is a game about building and crashing roller coasters and while I'd prefer to play something like that on PC (or just scratch that itch in RollerCoaster Tycoon where I can also charge people ...
D4 sale photo
D4 sale

D4 is on sale, so everyone should buy it immediately


Deez discounts do discontinue
Nov 04
// Brett Makedonski
Hey, you! Yeah, the person that owns an Xbox One and is staring confusedly at the guy yelling at them over the Internet! I'm talkin' to you! D4's on sale for Xbox Live Gold members, so you should probably go pick that up righ...
National Cat Day photo
National Cat Day

Literally amazing! I let a stray cat into my friend's house and then put it in the tub with a Kinect


Introducing Freddy Purrcury
Oct 29
// Brett Makedonski
It's National Kitties Are F*cking Adorable and Awesome Day. The best day of the year, in my opinion. To celebrate, I let a stray cat into my friend's house and he beelined to the shower. That's how cats roll (when they feel ...
ScreamRide photo
ScreamRide

You're actually supposed to crash roller coasters in ScreamRide


With pleasure
Sep 29
// Jordan Devore
ScreamRide is an Xbox 360 and Xbox One game due out this spring that should appeal to those of us RollerCoaster Tycoon players who regularly have "accidents" happen at our amusement parks. Now, it's more action than simulati...
D4 photo
D4

Behold, D4's chilling grand finale... or something. Whatever


Xbox, go home
Sep 25
// Max Scoville
Sometimes playing video games is a fun experience and everyone enjoys themselves. Other times, someone winds up screaming at the TV. That's life. However, I can't remember the last time I found myself screaming "Eat the f*cki...
D4 photo
Damn! Dang! Darn! Uhh... Dildos!
I think the lesson Bill and I learned playing D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die is that we need to calibrate the Kinect, and make sure it can see us properly. Beyond that, I'm still unclear what this game is about, and it's vaguely u...

D4 photo
Look D4 you leap
Okay, so Chris Carter absolutely loved D4: Dark Dreams Don't Die, so Bill and I figured we'd check it out... and uh. Wow. Goodness gracious. That certainly is some sort of video game. I think. Honestly, if I didn't have this whole experience on video, I might think there was a gas leak in my house making us go all stupid and insane.

Gears of War photo
Gears of War

It's a good thing Gears of War: Tactics was canceled


Oh, Kinect
Sep 11
// Jordan Devore
A few years back, it was repeatedly rumored that Gears of War would get a spinoff game built around Kinect. The project never came to fruition and that's seemingly for the best, if this alpha footage of Gears of War: Tactics ...
Harmonix photo
Harmonix

Check out Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved at PAX Prime


Dance the night away
Aug 28
// Brittany Vincent
Harmonix is headed to PAX Prime in Seattle this weekend, and bringing with them Disney Fantasia: Music Evolved, as well as swag and some brand new songs that you can check out if you happen to be in attendance. The event's on...
Kinect photo
Kinect

Standalone Xbox One Kinects go on sale in October for $150


Packaged with a copy of Dance Central Spotlight
Aug 27
// Brett Makedonski
Microsoft moved a lot more Xbox Ones when it made the prudent business decision to offer a SKU sans Kinect for $100 cheaper. But, what about those that have found themselves saddled with Kinect regret, those that long to come...
Rareware photo
Rareware

Xbox boss on Rare in a post-Kinect Sports world


Maybe the studio is finally working on its next Perfect Dark or Banjo Kazooie
Aug 17
// Kyle MacGregor
Rare's time in the sun may be a distant memory, but Xbox boss Phil Spencer still feels the developer has bright days ahead. Speaking with CVG, Spencer said the British studio "should, can and will be" an important part of Mic...
Xbox Fitness photo
Xbox Fitness

Feel the burn of P90X on Xbox One with Xbox Fitness


There will be sweat
Jul 29
// Jordan Devore
P90X has joined Xbox Fitness for Xbox One this week with a 30-day program priced at $59.99. The program features P90X creator Tony Horton and five exclusive workouts. A downloadable calendar and nutrition plan are also on th...
TMNT photo
TMNT

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Kinect, and Pizza Hut together at last


The Bay turtles would be down for this, wouldn't they?
Jul 15
// Jordan Devore
Dunno about you, but when I think of Kinect, I do occasionally think about Pizza Hut. And when I think about the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, yeah, pizza (of the non-Pizza Hut variety) often comes to mind. These three things...
Xbox One photo
Xbox One

There's going to be a Fruit Ninja Kinect 2


Sure, why not?
Jul 11
// Jordan Devore
A ratings board listing has outed the existence of Fruit Ninja Kinect 2. You cool with that? Fruit Ninja was one of the rare titles for Xbox 360 that made decent use of the motion-sensing device, so it makes sense that the ne...
$200 Windows Kinect v2 photo
$200 Windows Kinect v2

You can buy PC compatible, standalone Kinect v2 for $200


Releasing next week
Jul 06
// Steven Hansen
As the Kinect is wrest free from the Xbox One, it will be available for standalone purchase directly from Microsoft.  This is meant to serve as a development tool, not something you should buy for your Xbox One -- that's...
Microsoft photo
Microsoft

Microsoft's Phil Spencer on Kinect: 'consumers love the device, they'll buy it'


We'll see I guess
Jun 24
// Chris Carter
As much as people make fun of Kinect, it sold a lot of units on the Xbox 360 as an add-on. On the Xbox One -- they didn't have a choice -- they had to buy it. But as of a few weeks ago Microsoft had a change of heart, and dec...
Kinect photo
Kinect

Microsoft executive: Kinectless Xbox One SKU is the best thing for Kinect


It's all about more options
Jun 10
// Brett Makedonski
Approximately a month ago, Microsoft revealed that it was releasing a new Xbox One SKU -- a package that was $400 and didn't include a Kinect. A lot of people interpreted this as the beginning of the end for Kinect, a sign th...

Swery65's D4 is all about finding D, dodging weirdos

Jun 10 // Steven Hansen
[embed]276379:54404:0[/embed] D4 (Dark Dreams Don't Die) plays like an adventure game with motion controls. It's a lot like the recent The Walking Dead, except without free movement. You can reach out towards footprint icons on screen with an open hand and effectively "grab" them (close your hand) to move spots. You can also swipe away left or right at the screen to rotate perspective. You can at times move your head and torso to adjust the camera as well, like while you're looking in the mirror. I was started in protagonist David Young's home. You have a stamina meter in the top left corner and interacting with things, like flushing toilets, uses up some of the gauge. In a pretty lengthy examination of his abode, it didn't seem near to running low, so I'm not sure if the cap will become strenuous at all. You can also put both your hands to your head to activate an internal monologue which acts as a sort of hint system and will direct David to something he needs to interact with to start pushing things along. In this case, it was a file on his wife's murder. He can't remember all the details around it, only that his wife told him to search for "D." 4D also references time, and the trauma has given David a limited time-hop ability that activates under certain conditions. All of that is the sort of set up. The rest? The rest is Swery. He has said that his main inspiration for his games are his own life and experiences. Later in the demo I met Amanda. The heterochromatic, bunny-eared blonde was frantically trying to (and successfully does) break into the apartment. The game goes into a combat scenario as she bursts in and you do various swipes and movements to try and corral her, which was surprisingly trying for me only because I made the ill-advised decision to try and spend the day before E3 playing pick-up basketball. After you catch all the dishware thrown at you and the "fight" winds down, I realize Amanda has had a mouse in her mouth all this time. She "just started living with us one day," David's internal monologue explains. "Sometimes she helps with the groceries." The text under her name reads "Freeloader/Grocery Shopper?" Once you get over the weird barrier of remembering how the Kinect and motion controls work, D4 is actually surprisingly polished. In what I played, the motion controls also felt a bit more interesting for the otherwise mundane actions the game wants you to be a participant in. It gives it a little more energy than, say, the simpler Walking Dead interaction mechanics. For all the flying coffee mugs, there are also prompts to draw a line with a pen or grab a remote to turn on the TV. If D4 is going to live in this minutia and be more about the story, I think I'd be fine with playing with the Kinect. But if not, controller support is there now, too.
Hands-on D4 photo
Unfortunately, weirdos abound when you're looking for D...
Swery65 brought us Deadly Premonition, so you know D4 is going to be weird. In fact, Swery told me that he drafted six or seven different stories to work on next and in his partnership with Microsoft, went with the "most biza...

Ubisoft photo
Ubisoft

'Vaporize aliens with your abs' in Ubisoft's Shape Up for Xbox One


An attempt to make workouts fun
Jun 09
// Jordan Devore
Ubisoft is the latest company to make use of the Kinect for its fitness game but rather than strive for realism, Shape Up tries to be wacky in the hope that you'll work out harder if you're having fun. Squat into outer space...

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