Monday, 19 September 2011

Opinion: Kinect Has Failed Gamers

In less than two months Kinect will have reached it's 1st birthday. Then why is it that there's practically nothing to show for it, except for bucketloads of sales and a load of disappointed gamers that is.

Kinect, then known as Project Natal caused some serious commotion when it was unveiled at E3 2009. It wowed audiences with promises of deep conversations with virtual teenage boys in Milo and Kate, proper, good, racing and fighting games and a load of other amazing features - 90% of which we still don't properly have on Kinect! Just check out the announcement trailer below! Looking back, I was a fool to think that Kinect could have done all this. But during the excitement of E3 it's easy to be gullible!

Flashing forward to E3 2010 where at a Pre-E3 conference Natal is renamed Kinect and we are introduced to a bunch of horribly casual games (Kinectimals, Kinect Sports, Dance Central, Kinect Joy Ride etc.) and for some, the previous years promises begin to look weak and unfulfilled. But some supporters stayed and many small kids and mums flocked over in interest.

But it was the launch line-up in November 2010 where the truth about what Kinect would be, became clear - the majority of games being sports/fitness based (Zumba Fitness, The Biggest Loser, Your Shape etc.) and the rest being mediocre titles that started gathering dust pretty quickly. It was a couple of months after that £130 investment that my dream of owning the Natal from two years ago finally broke.

Now you can't say Microsoft haven't tried. A quick look at their E3 2011 conference that was dominated by Kinect and Kinect integration in games proves that. But it's not enough. Saying stuff in Mass Effect 3, looking at guns and cars in different ways in Ghost Recon and Forza 4 - it's all gimmicks! Not to mention the recently made Kinect Fun Labs, that should probably be renamed Kinect Gimmicky Pointless Overpriced Apps Labs.

Kinect has so much potential and while you do get odd moments of genius every now and then, (Child of Eden, The Gunstringer), mostly the potential is put to waste. We still have some hope left of some imaginative Kinect games in the form of Steel Battalion, Project Draco, Ryse and Kinect Star Wars, but if those games end up disappointing then sadly yes, Kinect will have failed gamers, and instead will have become every four year old's dream gaming platform.

Will Ryse be able to save Kinect?
I can't speak for everyone so if you dislike my opinion then please comment, or do you agree with


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