Saturday, November 06, 2010

Thoughts on Kinect Naysaying

There seems to be an unhealthy share of naysayers for the Kinect. My observation is that these gamers are subconsciously convinced that the controller is going to be forcefully pulled from their cold dead hands.

Unlike the Wii Remote and the Move, it isn’t likely that Kinect will be forcefully transplanted in existing games. Halo and Call of Duty aren’t going to toss the controller any time soon; those games are intended for low-lag button-responses. Those games continue to sell well, so publishers will hang on. Nowhere has it been implied the new-tech can’t be used in tandem with controllers. So why are controller-advocates so threatened?

Like the intent of the Wii and unlike the me-too of the Move, Kinect is trying to give us something different. It’s a supplement to an existing rig not a replacement.

“But it’s just more motion controls.”

Is voice recognition, full body control, hands-free menu navigation, and facial recognition comparable to the near-derogatory term “waggle control”? Careful, that rhetorical question is a spitter.

Because of the interesting new tech and a well-funded marketing department, Microsoft is poised to succeed. Obviously, they realized they needed something different to set themselves apart. Look at the excitement around the 3DS for an example. We should be glad that MS didn’t listen to the tantrum throwers like Sony keeps making the mistake of doing this generation. Any more “me too” products will be steps backwards at this point.

On a side-note Microsoft, how about figuring this out for your MP3 player and mobile OS?