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.