I still like my couch and controller...
It’s easy to see the technology behind Kinect is revolutionary. Full body tracking, voice control, facial recognition all wrapped up into a nice looking piece of hardware is impressive, if not a bit expensive at $150. The implementation though of the software leaves a lot to be desired. While games like Dance Central did a great job of making you feel in control, some others like Joy Ride simply made me feel disconnected from the experience. The lack of something physical to interact with does become apparent when you are trying to steer a virtual car or grab at objects that simply don’t exist. Swinging an invisible racket just doesn’t feel right without something tactile in your hands like what is provided with the Wii or Move.
As a cynical core gamer I can’t help but wonder if some of that 500 million dollar marketing budget for Kinect and all those R&D dollars could have been used for saving some of the studios Microsoft have cut like Ensemble and FASA.
Right now I just can’t see any sort of game play experiences that are worthwhile for Kinect outside the type that map your body to a body on the screen. Ubisoft’s Yourshape Fitness Evolved comes to mind as another example of a perfect game for the system - but we’ve yet to see any kind of core games on the platform. Microsoft promises those are coming and we got a glimpse of them at TGS, so we’ll continue to keep our fingers crossed.
The Kinect is going to do just fine though - it’s going to sell well, kids and families are going to enjoy it, and there’s going to be plenty of games to support it
- currently there’s over 40 announced titles. While the current lineup of games aren’t perfect, and mostly fall under the categories of exercise, dance, or mini games - they are all fun in small doses. People paid $250 for the same type of experience with the Wii and now they can have it for $150 on their Xbox 360.
Score: 2.5 out of 5