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The Problem With Microsoft's New Way To Play Video Games

When Xbox 360's controller-free Kinect add-on hits stores later this week it has the potential to redefine gaming in ways even the Nintendo Wii hasn't yet done. It could just as easily fall flat on its face.

While Nintendo's motion-sensing Wii changed the way we use controllers, Microsoft's Kinect completely removes the need to hold a controller for its Xbox 360 games. But with that potential comes some very big problems, according to experts on digital media and user interface.

"Removing the physical controller takes away a major piece of context from the experience," said Noah Wardrip-Fruin, an Assistant Professor of Computer Science at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where he co-directs the Expressive Intelligence Studio, one of the world's largest technical research groups focused on games.

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sku7790tz3277d ago

kotaku.. you embarass yourselves once again. learn your gaming history.

eyetoy has done this type of gaming before. kinect does not have the potential to redefine gaming.

GamingGamer3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

half a billion dollars marketing budget

and millions of xbox fanboys who are happy with MS abandoning hardcore...

btw, i am not one of them. my xbox needs hardcore gaming.

AAACE53276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

I can't help but think that Kinect is the missing piece for the often delayed Peter Jackson projects that were announced a few years ago.

Edit: Eyetoy picked up on movements! if you stopped moving, Eyetoy didn't respond. Kinect tracks you the entire time. Also, if Eyetoy was capable of all the stuff you guys say, why didn't Sony capitolize on it earlier? Why are MS able to do this much and Sony wasn't or refused to with Eyetoy? Why are they just now finding a use for Eyetoy now with Move? There should have been tons of games for Eyetoy by now!

@Sku and Gaming Gamer... So I guess you 2 are the new designated fanboys huh?

Sku... Nintendo gave new life to gaming when gaming was about to die with the NES. Sony steppen in and took gaming in a new direction with the Ps1. MS made online console gaming popular when everyone else thought there was no future in it.

These 3 companies all came in and did something to change the way we play. Why in the hell do you think they will stop!

Gaming gamer... When Ps3 came out and didn't have a lot of good games, was Sony abandoning it's hardcore gamer? No, because all you guys defended them to death saying the games were coming!

Half a billion dollars is a small fee considering it already got exposure on Oprah and Ellen. I just started seeing commercials for it today. And that half a billion will be spent through the entire holiday season. Don't get confused and think that will be spent on a weeks worth of commercials.

Do the math, Kinect cost $149. If MS does indeed sell 5 million by years end... I believe it is well worth the effort. Not to mention some consoles will be sold in there as well as some games.

I wonder how much Kevin Butler's salary went up with them having him do the commercials? No way he does that sh*t for free! None of these guys love their job like that! Peter Moore showed up with fake Halo and GTA tattoos while at MS, then went to work for EA.

yippiechicken3276d ago

I don't understand this big debate on whether Kinect is just like the eyetoy. Didn't Sony (and Nintendo) say they "passed on this tech" a while back? It seems to me Sony would have said something like "We already have that tech" if Kinect was just like the eyetoy.

If people are saying that Kinect games will be no different than eyetoy games, that remains to be seen. I find it a little hard to believe myself.

LoydX-mas3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

Really?
Does Eyetoy have skeletal tracking software? Does Eyetoy have voice recognition? Does Eyetoy track full body 3D motion(without hand held controls)?

NO, no and no.

Stop trying to compare a video camera with what Kinect can do.

Thecraft19893276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

Its not about what it can do its about what its doing at the moment and all that has come gone on the eye toy people would not compare it to video camera if it did more.

ComboBreaker3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

Of course EyeToy can't do all those.

However, the result with Kinect is still the same as with EyeToy.

People still get the same experience from Kinect as from EyeToy. All those technologies in Kinect didn't really make any noticable difference in the experience.

To dance in Kinect, shake your body and wave your hand around.
To dance in EyeToy, shake your body and wave your hand around.

To jump in Kinect Adventure, jump.
To jump in EyeToy, jump.

Do scroll through the menu in Kinect, gesture with your hand.
To scroll through the menu in EyeToy, gesture with your hand.

To tickle a tiger in Kinect, tickle it with your fingers.
To tickle an EyePet in EyeToy, tickle it with your fingers.

Basically, no difference in experience between Kinect and EyeToy. Kinect is revolutionary in theory. In reality, it's the same as EyeToy.

Nihilism3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

"Does Eyetoy have skeletal tracking software"

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL

Kinect can't even track you unless you are in an 8x8 metre room fully lit with stage lighting and fluorescent clothing, skeletal tracking software my ass. You need to realise that most marketing dot points are just that, writing on the side of a cardboard box with no basis in reality.

This applies to Move as well, hows RUSE going guys?

"Move, bringing RTS to a unparalleled levels of realism and control"

No.

@ComboBreaker

"I don't see the Wii being able to augument you and your living right into the game"

Oh $#!+, just when I thought Loyd ( spelled Lloyd btw ) had bought waaaaaaaaaay to much into the marketing machine, you go and outdo him.

"Augmented Reality"

LOLOLOLOLOLOL

Another dot point, keep reading that list guys, even a broken clock is right twice a day, maybe you'll find one that when interpreted in some abstract sense will come up with an answer that slightly resembles something real.

ComboBreaker3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

Dude, you're wrong. Dead wrong.

With EyePet, the camera took a live feed of you and your living room, display it on the screen, and then augmented the EyePet onto your living room, on the screen. Now, stop being so lazy and go check out a video of it on YouTube.

And I guess you haven't seen The Eye of Judgment too. If that's not the definition of Augmented Reality, then the world will end in 2012.

And NO, the Wiimote and Nunchucks can NOT do augmented reality, something Move is capable of doing. So YES, Move IS different from the Wiimote.

Sarobi3276d ago

Kinect is nothing more then a webcam, stop trying to enforce cancer with games

visualb3276d ago

you're part of dumb and dumber right? question is...are you dumb? or dumber? =P

because, yes, Kinect IS an improvement over an EYEToy clearly...

however, its still, in essence, a CAMERA, which means, like the eyetoy, its limited to CAMERA-GAMES (shitty in general)

try to counter argue that...somehow?! =P

strickers3276d ago

PSEye can do voice recognition.Kinect does not have FULL body.Fingers are part of my body and it tracks hands as one point of articulation.The inputs so far are very similar to Eyetoy on PS2.Touching circles to confirm,smashing boxes on screen.Execution is not the issue BUT it is not a NEW IDEA,is it?

avengers19783276d ago

Does all that stuff you mentioned, skeletal tracking, voice recognition, 3d body tracking, actually work on Kinect. Time will tell.
There is only a limited number of possiblites for controlling Kinect despite what most think everygame will just play the same once people relieze that it's going to have pre-programed moves that need to be done to actually do something.
IE uncaged fighting game shows your fighter doing a hand stand and kicking someone in the face but you don't actually do that to do the move it's an entirely different motion.
In kinectsports you don't actually have to jump off the ground to jump hurtles just make the motion like of the wiifit pad.
point is it's not revolutionary when there are already motion based games, Nintendo started that revolution(even though eyetoy was out before that, powerglove was out before eyetoy)Sony and MS are just joining it.

+ Show (5) more repliesLast reply 3276d ago
DelbertGrady3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

"eyetoy has done this type of gaming before. kinect does not have the potential to redefine gaming."

One could say that Wii has done Move type gaming before but then people would defend it and say that Move does it better. Wouldn't it be fair to say the same about Kinect?

killzowner3276d ago

the eyetoy was less laggy/glitchy than kinect though :/ If that werent the case then you could rightfully say that too, yes.

Nicaragua3276d ago

It would be fair to say that but then again most people would agree that the whole premise of eyetoy is pretty crap in the first place.

So kinect improves upon a crap idea but the result is still crap.

ComboBreaker3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

"One could say that Wii has done Move type gaming before but then people would defend it and say that Move does it better."

No. The Move is actually different from the Wii. I don't see the Wii being able to augument you and your living room right into the game, like in EyePet.

Rainstorm813276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

It is the same.......

Kinect = 2010 upgraded version of the eyetoy.

Move = 2010 upgraded version of the Wii.

Upgrade = More features than the previous version.

Yes Kinect does more than the eye toyand Move does more than the Wii, but both motion controls roots are grounded in both technologies (eyetoy/Wii respectively)

lh_swe3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

I haven't gotten the Move and I am not planning on getting Kinect for one simple reason; I need to see more than one game worth owning for the tech to be worth it...So in effect the Move could have been to most amazingly accurate peice of tech in the world and I still wouldn't have gotten it if it didn't have the games...same goes for Kinect.

So until I start seeing some awesome games I am not the least bit interested in Kinect or Move and Kotaku shouldn't be either...then again they don't seem like the brightest bunch so...

avengers19783276d ago

I would be more upset that the kinect games look like eyetoy games, Then it controlling the same way.

+ Show (3) more repliesLast reply 3276d ago
doG_beLIEfs3276d ago

PSeye has skeletal tracking software, PSeye has voice recognition (singstar)...so 2 out of 3.

PSeye also has better sound quality and 4 microphones and 2wice the framerate at the same resolution.

Most importantly....the PSeye used WITH Move makes it the most accurate, complete tracking system in 3d or 2d....better than Wii and better than Kinect.

BTW....it is not the hardware that makes kinect or pseye....it is the SOFTWARE.

Can kinect track hands? No
Can kinect track as accurately as Move? No
Can kinect do hardcore games? No
Can kinect track at 60fps? No
Can kinect cost $40? No
Can kinect keep up with really fast movement? No
Can kinect do 1to1? No

I can play this silly game too. If you like kinect...fine...just stop acting like it is the second coming of zombie bloody jebus.....because it is not.

shazui1233276d ago

All true :) but technically not even the most accurate and least laggy motion device of the three (wii, kinect and move) the move, can do exact 1:1. However it comes a damn sight closer than the other 2 motion controls

sayonara893276d ago

hahaha, perfect :D someone should post video from ET Kinetic

distorted_reality3276d ago

Speaking from a non-fanboy pov, I initially was much more interested in Kinect because it's an attempt at something different, and it's a step in the right direction for home entertainment in general, not just games.

Move struck me as a pure gaming device, a fairly unoriginal one at that, but it will probably be more successful simply because it knows what's it's good at and is marketed towards that. But i'm really not interested in it at all.

IMO Microsoft aimed too high and too wide with Kinect, and I think in the long run it could really hurt sales.

Tbh it's a shame, because if it was marketed correctly and the software was easily moddable by the community, I would be getting a Kinect/360 bundle for sure (only have PC's and PS3/2 in the house).

Just on the PSEye - they're great little cameras if used with the right software. I've got one hooked up to my PC running reactivision, and is a great camera for the price.

killzowner3276d ago

I completely agree :) it's a shame it was such a letdown because if it was true 1:1 and accurate body tracking that didn't have the affliections the kinect has presently (precise lighting conditions, clothing and large distance required) it could have been a great device. Even then I doubt it would've been suited to hardcore games (FPS games, RTS games and RPG games) but could have made a fun peripheral. However personally I'd get distracted from the fun when everything on screen happened a second after I moved all the time and it 'glitched' and tracked my limbs in ridiculous positions all over the place (a la avatar's shoe, an issue which still hasn't been completely fixed :/)

distorted_reality3276d ago

What's even stupider about what Microsoft is doing is that they're obviously only doing it to compete with what Sony are doing. From what i've seen, the Kinect software seems to be months away from where it should be to make a bigger impact.

If they had of simply said "Ok Sony, you win this round", and gone back into their offices and gotten Kinect to where it really should be, included it as a major feature for their next console, they would stand to make an absolute shitload of money and could quite conceivably of won the next gen war before it started.

As a gamer it's fairly sad to see this useless pissing contest between the two big players, as we would be way better off if they had of actually taken the time to perfect something new rather than repackage something that's already on the market with a couple of upgrades or release a half finished interface that really should be so much more.

gamingdroid3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

@distorted_reality:
MS has been pretty firm about a 2010 release since they announced Project Natal at last years E3. Sony said initially Spring 2010, but ended up pushing it to September.

If anything, MS is doing Kinect to compete with Nintendo not Sony. In fact, at last years E3 we got a very amateurish presentation by Sony on PS Move. It surely did not look close to being ready at all...

So when MS announced Kinect, Sony hadn't actually shown the product until the very next day. It looks more and more to me Sony released PS Move to compete with MS and try and beat them to the punch.

@killzowner
Technology tends to come out as soon as it is possible then get improved with later iterations. If you wait until it is "supposedly good enough" it might never happen simply because the definition of "good enough" is very subjective. For what it is it might be "good enough" for the types of games it is presenting. If it is a success, there will be money to re-invest in research to improve the next iteration.

CountDracula3276d ago ShowReplies(1)
Obama3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

The biggest problem is that it doesn't have buttons and definitely won't work with fps and rpg and many other hardcore genre. Just take a look at the recent kinect fps video.

http://www.youtube.com/watc...

To those who disagreed show me wrong. You can't.

Actually MOVE works very well with fps based on the opinions of those who have tried it.

distorted_reality3276d ago (Edited 3276d ago )

Tbh I don't think the Move will work that well with FPS's either. I've seen the videos and it just doesn't look as user friendly as a mouse and a keyboard for me. It may do a little better with RPG's but I still think it will have usability issues.

edit - I know, i've looked into it a bit. Just not my cup of tea I guess.

edit2 - killzowner, for me, it would have to be a step up from what I use to game, that being mainly a keyboard and mouse and a dual action. And I think it would be the same for most gamers, i.e not just better than Wii or Kinect but better than any other game controller they may use on their respective systems. For me, from what i've seen, Move doesn't do that. That may change when I get my hands on one, but until then, no amount of reading will change my mind.

killzowner3276d ago

It works much better than the motion control competition (kinect, wii) and that's all it needs to do. Here are a couple links that might make you change your mind :) http://n4g.com/news/620091/...
http://dualshockers.com/201...

ClownBelt3276d ago

@distorted_reality

It's all about preference. Personally, I don't like playing games using mouse and keyboard. It's all about the controllers for me. Your concern is valid, so no worries...

Lirky3276d ago

kojima looking to make a very great saga using kinect. I know he would struggle to do this, but microsoft will use kojima for a secret project : it better not be metal gear anything or metal gear franchise will crumble in quality and memorable moments.

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