Since the Nintendo Wii unexpectedly dominated the video games market with controllers relying on motion, many other video game companies have denounced the button-laden traditions of the market and quickly followed suit. So what’s the best way to compete with a motion sensitive controller? Eliminate controllers altogether, of course.
If you haven’t seen it already, then please welcome Xbox’s first step into the motion controlled future – the Kinect. Spelled with a K coz it’s kool, the Kinect says sayonara to controllers, and in fine style. What happens is, when the user first turns on the system they are asked to stand in front of their television set. A little camera placed on top of the user’s telly takes a few seconds to scan the body from head to toe. What’s cool and quirky is that while the system’s doing this, the user’s body is on the screen and framed in a science fiction-esque full body scan motif. A bar travels up and down the body with the word scanning next to it. Put simply, it looks like what an airport security scanner might be like in 10 years or so…
And voila! Your entire body is now the controller. In a very creative manner, Kinect harnesses the potential of this new system and creates games that can incorporate the actions of the body into the game play. So for example if you’re on a water barge in the game ‘Kinect Adventures’ and you need to swipe away monkeys on the attack, simply swipe your arm in their direction and consider the pesty creatures gone.
What’s really awesome is there’s a Star Wars Kinect title coming that lets players wield lightsabres! And when you point your palm at an enemy? Expect to see them fly back with a force push.
For those of us less geek-inclined there are heaps of other titles including Kinectimals for the kiddies, Kinect Sports for ball lovers (he he), and Kinect Joy Ride for the lovers of fast-paced action and thrills.
We can definitely see the appeal of Kinect as it offers a super-easy reason for both young and old to get into gaming. No longer will they have to remember “No No, X is jump, Y is shoot!”.
Kinect for Xbox 360 Sensor RRP $199 (includes ‘Kinect Adventures’ game).
Xbox 360 4GB and Kinect bundle RRP $449 (includes ‘Kinect Adventures’ game).
For more information visit www.xbox.com.