Kinect sure has had a lasting impression on a good deal of us, ever since its introduction into the gaming world as ‘Project Natal’. The technology that Microsoft has put behind this revolutionary motion controller is absolutely astounding. It is the only device I’ve seen that picks up input without any handheld peripherals such as the Move controller or the Wii Remote. However, there are a few concerns about Kinect that probably should be shared before people get too hyped up about it. Microsoft has a little paving to do before this thing is ready to hit the road. Here are five concerns about the Kinect that, hopefully, Microsoft can fix up before it finally makes its debut. Continue reading for more info and five concerns expressed about the Kinect.
1. Voice Recognition
In more than a few demos, Kinect didn’t always understand what people were saying, and these were folks without accents and in rooms without a lot of echo or noise. Kinect has a setting for audio that monitors the amount of ambient noise and tries to filter it out. It’s impossible to get a for sure answer until we actually get to test it out ourselves. Accents are a bigger concern. Maybe Microsoft can enlist some help from Ubisoft; EndWar used voice commands and was quite a success with it.
2. Catching Your Movements
Some Kinect games are spot-on with the tracking. Child of Eden (Ubisoft) has a good 1:1 tie on your movements and the actions on screen. Dance Central does a good job of catching your dance moves. But then there are games like Kinect Adventures, which has delays between your movements and the avatar’s action. There aer several more months of development time and Microsoft will definitely need them to perfect this device.
3. Sorry, No Sitting Here
According to the developers who gave the demos, Kinect will only work when you are standing. Sorry Wii fanboys out there, looks like you aren’t playing tennis on the couch anymore. This also includes menu navigation. All the cool options to grab a slider and advance through frames of a movie you are watching only work when you are on your feet. I really hope they change this one up a bit, I’d hate to be enjoying a good movie night with some friends just to get up and pause every time we need an intermission. Kinect, so it’s been said, has problems handling your skeletal frame when you’re sitting down (it sounds reasonable). However, the voice commands still do work, but every game demo and simple menu navigation shown so far has been done with people standing.
4. Games for Gamers
There are some good Kinect games being shown at E3, but with the exception of Ubisoft’s Child of Eden and the Star Wars game, they are all geared towards folks who have never used an Xbox 360 controller. We’ll use Nintendo’s term for it—‘bridge’ games. This makes sense, because Microsoft’s main goal with the Kinect is to open up gaming to a broader demographic and introduce new people into gaming. However, Microsoft could take some initiative like Sony did with Killzone 3, and make Gears of War 3 Kinect-compatible.
5. Kinect on Non-Kinect Game
The final concern applies to what happens six months after Kinect is released. If successful, publishers will want in. The easiest way to do this would be to add some cheap Kinect feature to a game just to get a “Compatible with Kinect” sticker on the box. Sony looked like it was having a grand ol’ time making pre-existing games Move compatible via downloadable game updates, and they actually looked pretty successful. But Kinect is still a bit iffy.
Kinect has a lot of potential, but it also has a number of pitfalls that must be avoided. Hopefully Microsoft is up to the task. We want Kinect to succeed. This thing has been long-awaited, and I would like to say that it ranks up there with the Move considering you have absolutely nothing in your hands.