Microsoft Xbox Kinect – Hottest Gaming Product of 2010
Microsoft’s Xbox’s Kinect released in November 2010 will see Microsoft attempting to bring more people on board to its Xbox hub. Kinect is the newest motion-gaming product (after Nintendo Wii and Sony’s PlayStation-3). The product lets you control your games, movies, and music, with just hand gestures, body movements and voice commands. This product aims to lure hardcore gamers to put down a controller and orchestrate action on screen themselves. It is a game system that can recognize your body movements, your voice commands, and even your face; without a traditional video game controller.
Look and Feel
Kinect contains a single sensor bar that contains two depth sensors, and a standard RGB camera. Depth is a very important feature of Kinect, and the cameras track both your movement from side-to-side, as well as front-to-back and up and down. An infrared emitter floods the play space with invisible light. A CMOS sensor looks at how the light is reflected back and passes that data to the console to determine the depth of the scene. Additionally, it reflects the movement in 3D space. This makes the entire range of movements potentially game controls.
The Kinect also features a built-in microphone that allows voice-activated commands, and the vocal feature does pop up in games now and again. Voice recognition is a new form of technological interaction that promises to make its place in the gamer’s living room.
Games on Kinect, as of now, include casual games, fitness games, and party games. Some of the Kinect launch titles include Kinect Adventures (that come with the system), Kinect Sports, Joyride, MTV’s Dance Central, and Ubisoft’s Your Shape. There are close to 17 buyable, games available for Kinect.
After the popularity of broadband, the next-generation gaming console has become a window that also accommodates movies, TV shows and music. Kinect now promises to add more features or assets including video chat capability between you and other Kinect-wielding Xbox users that are Xbox Live Gold members.
Issues with Kinect
One issue with Microsoft’s Kinect is that there is sometimes a delay problem. This is more evident while playing games like boxing, and hurdle jumping. For instance, in boxing the user may have to throw a punch and wait for the effect, before throwing another one. The hurdle jumps have to be more planned too because of the delay is response.
Another issue is that Kinect requires that a player must be at least 7 feet away from the sensor. If the game is played by more than one player, both the players must be 9 feet away from the sensor. This can be an issue with people who do not have that kind of space.
In a nutshell
Kinect sets the imagination on fire with its ease of use in some respects like playing soccer by kicking your feet, as opposed to pressing a button or swinging your arm. This is definitely a feature that has taken gaming to the next level. However, the technology at large and the Kinect in particular have a lot of untapped potential. There is however hope that Microsoft will definitely explore them in its future versions.