Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Proof is in The Hacks

Everyday, I open my Google Reader app and find a new post about someone hacking the Xbox Kinect. The post titles read 'FPS are Possible with Kinect', 'Max Payne on Kinect Hack', 'Call of Duty FPS on Kinect Hack', etc etc.

I don't kow if many of you have noticed, but there is one commonality all the gaming-based Kinect hacks share. I specify gaming-based because, currently, there are two factions hacking Kinect. 1-Those who hack Kinect with gaming in mind. 2-Those who hack Kinect to build the very first holodeck! Whatever the motivation, each undertaking has merit.

The Kinect gaming hack commonality is the use of a physical hardware controller with the sensor. The hacker has to use some form of input for character movement, environment interaction, etc. A Wiimote is the preferred form of input. So this leads us to the following burning question: Is the hacked marriage between Kinect and a physical controller a complete coincidence? I don't think so.

I charge that this "coincidence" is the way core gamers want to experience Kinect - with a physical controller present. Not to mention, its the only way we can experience all of our favorite game genres with Kinect's cool features AND the motion-only software titles. (like Sesame Street Kinect!)

Will Microsoft (or anyone) acknowledge this commonality? I have! And the result of that acknowledgement is Project K. A hardware-based controller designed specifically for Xbox Kinect.

Just this morning, I ran across a twitter post detailing a noticeable decline in Xbox hardware sales. Hear me when I say this about Kinect hardware, specifically: IT'S ONLY THE BEGINNING.

Until Microsoft can lasso the core gamer base (Who stabilize hardware sales) with a familiar control scheme for Kinect, sales will continue to slide.

Agree or disagree? Why does Kinect need a hardware based controller? The proof is in the hacks!