Is everything better with Kinect in the future?
After watching Microsoft’s E3 press conference about the future of the Kinect’s functionality, I was forced to ask myself if everything is truly “better with Kinect.” I’ve been thinking about it and my answer is… kinda. I suppose it really boils down to what you consider to be ‘better.’
Right now I have the whole Mass Effect 3 Kinect functionality ingrained in my head. I feel like how the Kinect worked for ME3 reflects its future use for most applications. In short, the Kinect was highly responsive and added a layer to gameplay that didn’t exist on any other platform. Through speech activity, Commander Shepard could use abilities, have squad mates use abilities, switch weapons, open doors, interact with items, and even pick conversation options.
The thing is that while some of the in combat mechanisms were useful, the out of combat stuff was niche. In almost every situation by pressing one button on the controller was simpler and faster than saying a command into the Kinect. I liked having the option but I felt it was unnecessary. Having more options are always better but I wonder how many people will actually use them?
Sports games seem to be getting a full dose of Kinect functionality. Being able to call an audible, swear at referees, and draw up your own plays are pretty awesome features. These functions will add that layer to gaming where you can actually feel like you’re involved in the sport instead of just sitting there and playing the game.
For the athlete at heart or the athlete in training, the Nike Plus Kinect Training using the full gambit of Kinect functionality in your living room. Gamers will be able to work out with other gamers across Xbox Live, set goals, and show off their progress. The fitness genre continues to bloom every year with new Kinect functions.
With that said though, I’m curious to see how many people use all these options. While I am skeptical, I am also hopeful. I think the concept of the Kinect is great and I would personally love the opportunity to use it more. It seems Microsoft is offering those opportunities and I want to see if those offerings are taken. Will I swear at ref because I can – absolutely. Will I do it continuously after the first few times – probably not. The overarching fear is if the Kinect will become gimmicky.