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.