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Community Discussion: Blog by Brian Szabelski | Short Thoughts on Kinect: It'll be middle of the roadDestructoid
Short Thoughts on Kinect: It'll be middle of the road - Destructoid






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Oh, hi there. Didnít see you enter. Anyways, welcome to my humble little blog. For those of you not familiar with who I am, the nameís Brian. Iím 24 years old and hail from Findlay, Ohio. I work at the local newspaper here as a copy editor, putting my four long years of college to actual use. Kind of. I think.

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Kinect is out, and the reviews seem to be mixed. Some people love it, other people think it's garbage, and even more think it's meh. But the question is, in this world where everyone has an opinion, who's right?

The answer well, probably no one, but the people thinking it'll be ok but nothing magical will likely be closest to the truth. In part, that's for two main

Biggest reason why it'll do The technology.

Even more so than the Wii. While the Wii took down the button-mashing brick wall between gamers and non-gamers, Kinect aims to do that even more with the "you are the controller" approach. Sure, it doesn't work perfectly, but from what I've seen so far, it has a lot of promise. More promise than Move and the Wii remote combined. Kinect is intuitive to anyone who knows how to move their limbs.

I know, it seems weird to suggest that no controller is better than even a small controller, but there are plenty of people who still struggle a bit with a Wii remote or Move. They still require you to be able to follow button commands on-screen, but unlike a reg Kinect is out, and the reviews seem to be mixed. Some people love it, other people think it's garbage, and even more think it's meh. But the question is, in this world where everyone has an opinion, who's right? The answer is: well, probably no one, but the people thinking it'll be ok but nothing magical will likely be closest to the truth. In part, that's for two main reasons: Biggest reason why it'll do well: The technology. Even more so than the Wii. While the Wii took down the button-mashing brick wall between gamers and non-gamers, Kinect aims to do that even more with the "you are the controller" approach. Sure, it doesn't work perfectly, but from what I've seen so far, it has a lot of promise. More promise than Move and the Wii remote combined. Kinect is intuitive to anyone who knows how to move their limbs. I know, it seems weird to suggest that no controller is better than even a small controller, but there are plenty of people who still struggle a bit with a Wii remote or Move. They still require you to be able to follow button commands on-screen, but unlike a regular controller, they also require motion control movements to go along with them from time-to-time. It was easy for me to handle, but my mom, for example, still struggles at times with the Wii even though she's had plenty of practice and isn't too bad at it. But remove the controller and replace it with simple gestures for basic games, and you could easily bring many, many more people into the game. It's actually why I think Dance Central is going to be the driving force behind Kinect for quite some time: just about everyone can do a little bit of dancing and can do the game's basic moves (except some with disabilities, but this is another story for another post), and jumping in on the action should be as simple as watching what other people do and miming it. And most of all, unless you have ceiling fans, you don't have to worry about accidentally destroying your TV with the Kinect. Biggest reason why it won't do well: The 360's core genres don't work with Kinect. Fighting games, sports titles, racing games and first-person shooters. They are the genres which have helped push the 360 to those disgruntled with the offerings of other consoles. They are the genres that control-wise cannot work well with Kinect, if at all, cutting out a massive part of their userbase. And a peripheral that might work for only 40% of the 360's current base isn't going to help. Why? * Fighting and sports games suffer from the same problem: they could work, but they'd be too labor-intensive or not immersive enough. Sure, it's be fun as hell to throw hadoukens and shoryukens, but having to do that in arcade mode on Street Fighter? For 8 matches minimum? Or playing Madden but having to run the entire game when you have the ball to move, even if it's in place? That'd be a workout and a half everytime you played. Or you could tone down the movements needed, but it would be a waste of Kinect's immersive capabilities. * Racing games could work, but if you're trying to relate to a core audience of racers (myself included), holding your hands at 10 and 2 and pretending to drive is not going to cut it. There'd be absolutely no feedback on the wheel or pedals, which essentially kills the chance of having a Forza or Project Gotham Racing game built around Kinect. * Not only does pretending to hold a gun in a FPS title look awkward, but without the dual input set-up, it makes being able to look to your left or right impossible. Essentially, that limits Kinect to rail-based shooters, shutting out the biggest genre the Xbox 360 has and keeping all those Modern Warfare and Halo fans controller-bound for the conceivable future. With those major genres pretty much out of the question in their current forms, any real hopes of trying to draw the core gamer to the Kinect are going to have to rely on the Kinect-controller combo being shoehorned into well-known franchises at first. And basically, that makes Kinect a pretty damn expensive EyeToy for the millions of core gamers on the 360 at the moment. They'd probably rather spend that money on stuff like Call of Duty: Black Ops and Super Meat Boy. Psst ... hey Microsoft, get Rez Kinect out there soon. All things considered, the Kinect will do well, probably enough to justify working on the next Kinect for release in 5 or 6 years. It'll be around for a long time to come: just don't expect it to sell millions once Microsoft's $500 million in-your-face advertising campaign wraps up.



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