Kinecting You to the Future
At their E3 press conference today, Microsoft went all out with the Kinect announcements. We already mentioned how you are going to be able to use your Kinect with the 360 Dashboard, but a good number of blockbuster titles are going to have Kinect support. EA Sports announced that four of their upcoming titles--Tiger Woods PGA Tour, Madden, Fifa, and one unknown--will be compatible with the Kinect. Looks like Kinect Sports is going to have a legitimate rival. The game Ryse puts the player in Rome. It is a first-person action game (by the looks of the footage showed) that will allow the player to carry out actions like slashing with a sword or headbutting an enemy by swiping your arm or thrusting your head, respectively. It seems responsive and intense.
Some of the 360's biggest games will also be playable with the Kinect. Microsoft showed off some Ghost Recon Future Soldier gameplay. Players can be a "gunsmith" and create over 20,000 weapon/attachment combinations to suit whatever situation they might find themselves in. They then demonstrated how the shooter will play using the Kinect. The game requires the player to maintain a certain stance and use some interesting movements to reload and zoom in, but it's going to be a big hit. Nothing has ever been attempted like this, so it's good to see Ghost Recon Future Soldier pushing boundaries.
Microsoft announced that all future Tom Clancy games will use the Kinect. Mass Effect 3 will also use the Kinect--mostly voice commands--to choose dialogue and to direct your team. If you tell Miranda to move forward, she will move forward. Fable: The Journey had a gameplay demo, showing how the player can cast spells and drive a horse-drawn carriage with the use of the Kinect.
Microsoft is also targeting a younger audience. Kinect Star Wars lets you engage in lightsaber fights, drive pod racers, and have dogfights in space with its journey into the world of controller-less gaming.
Disney has a Kinect game on the way: Disney Land Adventures. All of Disney Land was recreated for the player to be able to navigate around. Kids can go on adventures with their favorite Disney characters--such as flying with Peter Pan--and take part in an array of mini-games. The level of detail that went into recreating the park looks astonishing.
Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster was also announced, and in the gameplay demo, players were playing as Elmo and Cookie Monster in mini-games and having to do some goofy, kid-friendly actions. All three of these titles--Kinect Star Wars, Disney Land Adventures, and Sesame Street--look like they're going to be sure-hits among the younger gaming populace.
Microsoft also talked about Kinect Fun Labs, which launched today. It allows you to become your avatar with "people capturing." Using the Kinect camera, the game recognizes some of your finer features and clothing, creating a near identical avatar that you can play as in games. Fun Labs also allows 3D art, finger tracking, object capture (bringing your favorite things into the game), and custom content creation.