news\ Jan 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm

Xbox 360 could benefit from tablet controller, says analyst


Fresh off of the idea that the next-gen Xbox console could use a tablet-like controller, video game analyst Michael Pachter has voiced his support for the integration of third-party tablets as controllers.

In a feature on IndustryGamers, Pachter said the Xbox 360 and Kinect could benefit from the use of a tablet like the iPad.

"If the Xbox 360 could use the iPad or Samsung Galaxy tablets as controllers, it would make Kinect more interesting," Pachter said.

His bit wasn't exactly focused soley on the Xbox 360, or even next-gen Xbox, using a tablet controller, but rather Microsoft should be more open to integrating third party systems.

"They continue to try to support all things Microsoft, sometimes to the exclusion of everything else. We see support for Windows 7 (and 8) phones, and over-dependence upon the Kinect camera interface as a gaming controller, rather than upon integration of a physical controller (maybe even Nintendo’s tablet interface)," Pachter explained.

Whether or not Microsoft heeds Pachter's warnings remains to be seen, but given the support Microsoft has thrown behind the Kinect, I doubt they are looking into tablet-controllers.  If anything, it looks like they will attempt to remove the controller completely.

Microsoft's goal for a more Kinect-centric gaming and entertainment experience has already been made clear by their most recent Dashboard update.  New features allowed the new, and improved Xbox Dashboard to be controlled by voice commands and gestures.  In addition, Microsoft has already required developers to make sure users can navigate with gestures or voice with any new content.

Pachter concluded: "Much respect for the guys at Microsoft, but they would benefit from being more open to interoperability with third party devices."

I don't disagree that Microsoft needs to look beyond themselves for third-party support, but I don't think a tablet controller is a move we're going to see Microsoft make.  I think Pachter is failing to realize the concept behind the Kinect - hands free gaming and navigation.  Putting a tablet in the mix would not only complicate things but move further away from Microsoft's goal with the Kinect.

Although the games for the Kinect may not be up to par with some of today's blockbusters just yet, voice and gesture commands have made navigating the Xbox a much easier experience.

While I'd be fascinated to see what Microsoft could come up with if the Xbox were to use a tablet, I personally don't see a use for it.

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