Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Kinect Launch a Success!!

It is being widely reported that Microsoft's launch of Xbox Kinect is a monumental success! The sensor is sold out at many retail locations and looks to not be slowing down!

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.

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