Did you ever see Project K?...(Yup)...But did you ever see it *dramatic pause*...on WEED?!
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
Modders across the world are using Kinect to dream up the future of user interface input! The extent of Kinect's application extends much further than just video games. Microsoft seems to know this, but looks to have been caught off guard by the persistence of the hacker/modder community.
MS has addressed the trend with a show of force by releasing the following statement: "We will work closely with law enforcement and product safety groups to keep Kinect tamper-resistant." The statement is a futile attempt to control an inevitability. It would be in the company's best interest to support the hacker/modder community. Update: Microsoft has wisely backed away from their original statement.
The majority of the hacks being reported revolve around Kinect to PC/MAC input scenarios. Ironically, there has not been much modification performed to the initial video game purpose of the device. Is it because of the closed nature of the console? Or, is it felt Kinect's future in games is largely held in the hands of software developers? I side with the latter.
However, I believe software developers will quickly reach the limits of Kinect. This will be exceptionally swift without a hardware-based controller to marry Kinect and core games. Its this perceived fact that I am betting my prototype controllers' foundation on. Without the core gamer being drawn to Kinect with the option of standard controls, the device could flop.
The hacks we are seeing are proof of the limitless applications of Kinect. The issue that the CPU receiving the input is an open PC, and not a closed video game console should be of no concern. I hope Microsoft takes notice and allows Kinect to live outside of the boundaries originally set.
Posted by CB at 10:21 AM
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
For the most part, the user experience has been positive. The ability to control your Xbox dashboard with gestures is trending as a welcome experience. However, the voice controls are something that needs more tweaking, according to first adopters. These users are asking for a uniform experience for voice and gesture based controls.
A good example would be the voice controls in the Netflix app. They are non-existent. Users are comparing the excellent voice controls in the ESPN app to that of Netflix and wondering why the controls are not present in the latter. The gesture controls should be uniformed as well. It has been stated that some menus in the dashboard still require you pick up the 360 controller to input selections. (Source)
Software-wise, the Kinect has left a great deal to be desired. The overall tone of the launch software is Wii-like. We can only hope Kinect can deliver much deeper experiences than the current crop of software. Such experiences will require the current xbox controller. There is already buzz around software that will take advantage of both Kinect and controller. (And buzz of a new hardware controller type!)
Overall, the launch of Kinect looks positive. It is yet to be seen whether the sensor will truly be Xbox 360's mid life cycle boost. But, as an avid Xbox core gamer, I hope it becomes just that.
Posted by CB at 6:25 AM