22nd May 2011 - Microsoft launched its highly anticipated Kinect add-on for the Xbox 360 late last year. With technology devices such as the Motorola Xoom and more advanced slingbox models increasing the expectations of your average technology fan, has Kinect lived up to the hype or will it be consigned to the history books as an expensive flop?
Kinect is the first ever ‘controller free’ gaming device. Players interact with the console through movements and sounds picked up by the Kinect device which sits neatly on or under your television.
Much like Nintendo made the decision to bundle Wii Sports with the Wii as a kind of tutorial for the new technology, Microsoft has bundled Kinect Adventures with Kinect. Playing Kinect Adventures really gives you a sense of what this technology is capable of. Your onscreen avatar mirrors your actions perfectly although the rather limited amount of mini games will leave you longing for more.
Unfortunately the quantity of games currently available for Kinect leaves a lot to be desired. Developers still seem to be getting to grips with what the technology can and can’t do. The games available are very much aimed at the ‘casual’ gaming market. Titles such as Carnival Games and Dance Central are tailor made for this kind of control method and can provide a lot of entertainment for parties and groups due to their ‘pick up and play’ nature.
The Kinect add-on including Kinect Adventures currently retails at around £130 (AU$198), with games retailing around £40 (AU$68-$88). Considering an Xbox 360 console is required in order to use the Kinect, this would lead to a possibly prohibitive entry price for non Xbox 360 owners.
It’s hard to imagine any hardcore gamers abandoning their trusty controllers for the Kinect although with more dedicated support from developers such as EA, Activision and Rockstar the Kinect could really take over as the dominant video gaming control method.
Article by UK Guest Writer Alex Corcoran