E3 ‘10: Kinect Impressions, Impresses

kinect shotI’ve written about the Playstaion Move previously – and positively! – but I hadn’t really seen enough of the Natal née Wave néeKinect to form an opinion about it. That all changed today after viewing Microsoft’s press conference from E3.

Yes, there are all the Wii clone titles, and we’re going to see all that on Sony’s platform as well, but what impressed me about Kinect is how integrated it is into the existing Xbox structure. It allows you to control the console via voice and motion. The Sports Center guys did a demo of ESPN’s new service which will bring 3500 sports events per year free to Xbox Live Gold subscribers. It was possible to use voice commands through Kinect to control instant replays an motion to vote on which team you want to win.

The potential for such a system is pretty impressive. I’m not particuarly a sports fan, but using voice commands to control DVD playback without having to fumble for a remote in the dark would be nifty! If I were a sports fan, being able to root, root, root for the home team would be a killer app. I could see, in a squad bases shooter making your team-mates duck simultaneously by shouting “Grenade!” or the like, or addressing squad mates by name to change their behavior pattern.

This goes beyond the “waggle” tacked on to Wii games. The Move succeeds by being a high def version of the Wii form of gaming, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But, it falls short of the interactivity that Microsoft is attempting. It will be very interesting to see where the tech ends up going.

Jonah Falcon is a blogger for TMRzoo and GameStooge.com and covers all gaming consoles and platforms including Sony Playstation 3, Microsoft XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii, Sony PSP and computer games designed for Mac OS, Microsoft Windows and Linux operating systems. Jonah provides his readers with reviews, previews and up to date gaming industry news and rumors.

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