The Expanse has been canceled. You bastards...


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What "Kinect Only" May Mean to You

Okay, so voice recognition has been made a notable issue recently what with Bioware announcing voice support for Mass Effect 3 through the Xbox Kinect. This has raised some vocal concern among the PS3 and PC communities as well as an almost expected amount of taunting from the Xbox 360 camp since this specifically gives their valued system something no other will be able to do.

Now along comes this Joystiq article:

which announces that Sega's new title Binary Domain will also feature voice recognition. That its squad based futuristic shooter will in fact heavily rely on the function. With many comments, including my own, reading the title and comprehending this as the multiplatform title being "Kinect-only." With much, much, fanboy gloating.

My own specific reaction concern that a publisher would be so openly bias as to sabotage their own product on a competing gaming platform, I - eventually - clicked on the article which turned out to be all of two small paragraphs. Discovered the statement "We plan on supporting Kinect," which was in response during a voice command demo of the game which played on a dev kit PS3 with a headset.

Let me repeat that: a dev kit PS3 with a headset.

Maybe there was some English to Japanese translation issue, that the game was being shown on a PS3, it voice feature being tested, is plainly stated. Maybe this could change, something on a contractual/compensation level, but until such happens it can be taken as fact that voice recognition is a utilizable feature on the PS3, the 360 and most certainly the PC of which current consoles are a closer if limited imitation.

Yes, as a mainly console gamer I bow to the superior PC gamer master race. Get over yourselves we all have bigger problems.

Ignoring the simple implication that Bioware is simply choosing not to support voice commands over other platforms – and really lets face facts, all its doing for ME3 is overlapping the game’s menu ring and other established prior controller based commands – there’s the more serious worry that in both cases that “Kinect-only” means just that for 360 owners. That Binary Domain, future games like it, will require the motion controller and its microphone to be played at its best. Will give reason to those with no interested in Kinect to get one. Even though a simpler and non-expensive software application could do the job just as well.

To sum things up: this is something we as gamers need to get to the bottom of and clear up. Could just be something that’s getting confused in the frenzy of uncovering and exploiting a new/old feature, or just plain exploitation. You want to stand fast and stay behind fanboy lines, go for it. The cost is going to be different for all of us.

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SilentNegotiator2540d ago

To me, it means backpedaling for series like Fable, ridiculous exclusive content like voice control that simply SHOULDN'T be exclusive to it, watching LucasArts use up resources on an on-rail Star Wars game (that ends up coming down to waggle-type gameplay), and watching in horror as doing the jig to move around (instead of pushing a control stick) gets called "innovative"

2539d ago
Hicken2540d ago

It's the type of thing fanboys love to hear, but they'll never want to hear the rest of it: that the exact same thing is possible on another system, but the developer simply CHOSE not to do so. It doesn't make their system superior- and in this case, it's costing a good deal extra for the feature. Damn shame.

2540d ago Replies(2)
darthv722540d ago

you just cant have it both ways. Even if the ability is there, reasons behind decision are their choice. We can speculate all we want but it just comes down to you pick the one you want.

PS3 version of Batman AA had the joker levels and yet I bought the 360 version. My reason was actually based on getting the lego batman free with the purchase of the 360 one. I also bought dante inferno on the 360 because there wasnt a good hack/slash game like GoW on the 360 and I already had GoW3 on PS3. I like the game in spite of there being a better version on PS3.

Complaining over something the other guy got is no different than gloating about something you have the other person doesnt. It doesnt make either behavior right. You have to be able to stand by your own purchase decision in spite of everything else.

"Kinect only" is no different than only on ps3 or only on 360. We know that is a lie but you have to give them something they can at least call their own once in a while.

Godmars2902540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )

Thing is this isn't about DLC or graphics, this is about *YOU* having to buy a $150 add-on to use a feature you can already use thanks to the headset packed with most every other 360. At least I think they still include headsets.

I mean its one thing to make Kinect only games, and another to tie a feature to it for a regular game when they could otherwise not bother.

Seriously I feel like I'm trying to warn a neighbor who's being robbed or taken advantage of, but because we're on bad terms they aren't listening to me.

[email protected]:
It can and does do the same thing with a headset. That's the whole point - SO CAN THE XBOX!

darthv722540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )

take your example of buying a $150 item to use with a feature in the game and apply that to 3d.

Sony has been applying 3d to their games recently. So why should I go buy a $600+ tv to be able to enjoy something that should be available as an option to non 3dtv owners by way of a simple pair of red/blue glasses?

Does that prevent me from enjoying their games? No.

Do i wish i had a 3dtv...HELL YEAH!

Do you NEED kinect to play mass effect 3? No

Does having a kinect add to the game with voice commands? Yes.

Like I said man. Complaining doesnt change the fact that there are reasons for the way these companies do things. If you want voice, go get a kinect. If you just want to play the game, buy the game for whatever platform you prefer. I think YOU win either way.

to elaborate...3d adds to the game as far as the feeling of immersion. You can still play without it but it isnt the same. Using kinect to talk to the game adds to the feeling of interactivity. You can still play the game without it.

As far as headsets go, perhaps there is something more to how the kinect picks up on the person talking as opposed to the basic nature of a headset. All in all you probably wont miss out on the true nature of the game if you played the old fashioned way.

rob60212540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )

"As far as headsets go, perhaps there is something more to how the kinect picks up on the person talking as opposed to the basic nature of a headset."

I see this as needless speculation based on what MS's marketing wing lead you to believe. I'd like to see some facts before we can jump to that conclusion. Right now the facts we have state otherwise.

As far as I see it there's very little difference between this and a headset - they use an array of mics in Kinect (like PSeye) which are there to try cancel out unnecessary noises - which isn't a problem for a headset when the headset mic is near where it needs to be anyway.

If it's MS's software that is supposedly superior - it should work with a microphone as well. Microsoft is simply holding their software hostage till you buy a $150 peripheral - Until someone proves other wise based on what we know about voice recognition technology. They have a right to do this, but like charging for xbox live they chose to make it exclusive to Kinect for obvious reasons.

Also this doesn't compare to 3D, because 3D isn't something we can do already with any standard TV.
From what we know this move is very anti-consumer.

darthv722540d ago

sure it does. You may not want to equate it but it does. A standard tv can be used to simulate a 3d effect by way of the basic anaglyph (red/blue) picture.

To say bioware could make voice for the ps3 then sony can make 3d games for non 3dtv's and supply paper glasses with their games. It may not be the BEST way to view but it is an option for those that dont have a real 3dtv.

So now we can apply that same thought to ME3. Bioware could code the game to work with headsets but it would not be the BEST way the game performs as compared to kinect. So now the pressure is on them to develop the right kind of voice recog software code that works for the least common denominator.

Why do that when there is hardware that will do that for them. Same reason as why sony doesnt make there 3d games for everyone. Why bother with dumbing down the tech when the idea is to upsell it.

Godmars2902540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )

The difference between Sony using games to sell 3D TVs and MS possibly using voice commands to sell Kinect is that its not Kinect's key feature. Sony would have to be trying to sell 3D TVs based on the sound quality of certain movies which aren't in 3D while completely ignoring any other type of TV for your example to actually be similar.

What I'm trying to say is that its ridiculous for MS and Bioware to try and sell ME3 or Kinect based on a vocal command option while not only circumventing an already available option, but then excluding it to a specific system. That Sega will likely embarrass and show them up by making it available on the PS3 regardless.

Hell, a further report shows that I was premature in posting this blog since another article says that headset voice command options will indeed be on both versions of Binary Domain. Which still has me wondering why Sega would mention Kinect at all - aside that Bioware made it news.

Completely pointless news which likely wont keep them from excluding VC from the PS3 and the Xbox directly for ME3. With the gaming community made all the poorer and gullible for it.

And honestly, arguing the sound superiority, quality and responsiveness of a headset versus a mic from a few feet away? I a room that could have other people in it? Really?

I'll be buying a 3D TV when and if ever I feel like watching a few movies and playing a few games in 3D. If you and others want Kinect just so you can talk up alien chicks, maneuver a squad, its your money after all.

Just hope your mom, sister or wife doesn't walk into the room while you're doing...whatever...

Rainstorm812540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )


But who says Kinect is the best way to use voice commands?

Seeing as though this has been in games for sometime now..hey you pikachu, seaman, socom, rainbow six and endwar..... KINECT being the best way is just PR talk...its a way to get kinect on the box of ME3... but it definitely could and should have a headset option even if only for 360.

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TheCampfireSong2540d ago

Can't the ps3 do the same thing with the Ps eye? There is a mic built in.

rob60212540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )

From what we know about the microphone technology, yes.

@reply to your second comment:
Voice recognition never impressed anyone when it was done in the past in squad based shooters.

On PS3 they would have to use different software - we still have yet to see if MS's voice control software is as magical as they advertise - right now it's only been limited to a small amount of commands. Covering the whole English language might turn up different results.

TheCampfireSong2540d ago (Edited 2540d ago )

So devs can implement the same thing they're doing with Kinect. Which kinda defeats the purpose of having the "better with kinect" sign.

That is if devs are even doing it with playstation. (which i doubt they are)

coryok2540d ago

i thought i read that kinect is using the same company that sony uses for voice recognition.

it'll probably be the same between platforms

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