So most of you probably either watched the Microsoft press conference, or have at least read about it by now, and know it was all about Kinect. There was plenty of good and bad there, but the overriding thing I noticed was that the Kinect is just not delivering in this new age of motion-controlled games.
Kinect was a pretty exciting achievement when it came out, because we thought it was going to take motion gaming to the next level, but it’s starting to look more like a toy than a gaming device. The slew of on-rails games seems, to me at least, as a huge step backwards for gaming.
The Kinect is a rather amazing device because it scans your whole body for use in the game, so why are we forced to play on-rails? This is a mechanic in games that has largely failed outside of the arcades. (Did you like Resident Evil: The Darkside Chronicles? Yeah, me neither.) It seems like the Kinect should be able to factor in free-roaming games with a mechanic such as running in place and turning, but so far we haven’t seen anything like this.
To me, it feels like the Kinect is simply not living up to its abilities, and that’s incredibly disappointing for a peripheral like this. Games like Fighters Uncaged and the upcoming Fable: The Journey (refer to our soon to be released VGR show to hear how I feel about that. I don’t want to get into it here.) are doing a great job of demonstrating that game developers just aren’t trying hard enough anymore. Between the endless stream of rehashed game concepts (How many FPS games do we really need?) and terrible casual games, I’m quickly losing faith in the industry that produces my favorite hobby.
The industry is producing more and more advancements in technology, but we keep getting stuck with the same thing we’ve already been doing for years. Hopefully, with the Kinect becoming the primary focus for the Xbox 360, we will soon start to see a change in this, and they will start utilizing its abilities to the extent that this kind of technology deserves, but I’m not going to hold my breath.
Still, it’s only the first day of E3, and there’s a lot more we’ll be hearing about soon, so things might start looking up. It’s just too bad that the event has gotten off to such a boring start.
Minecraft on Kinect, though. That’s pretty awesome.