Man, do I hate being right all the time. It seems Microsoft’s relentless media blitz paid off in huge dividends with an excitement from the mainstream not seen since the days of the Wii’s release. The Big M’s (Yeah, I said it) entry into motion-gaming, Kinect, has now surpassed over 2.5 million units sold since its release on November 4th.
I’m not surprised as Microsoft had previously stated they were treating Kinect like a console launch and they certainly put their money where their mouth was. Regardless, the reaction from people who I didn’t know were aware of video games was staggering and it seems that we’ve entered a new paradigm in gaming. Whether or not it will sustain itself remains to be seen. Did any of you buy a Kinect? What do you think of Microsoft’s rousing success?
As you’ll hear in our podcast that releases tonight/tomorrow, we have some pretty harsh words for the XBox Kinect. I was never too amped about the thing to begin with, but Monday’s press conference raised some concerns about the technology and the kinds of games that are going to be associated with it.
While I’ve been telling myself that I don’t want to judge it too harshly before it’s even available for regular mortals like you and I to try out for ourselves, it’s hard to watch things like Kinectimals and remain optimistic about the whole thing. People that have tried it out at E3 so far seem to be mostly positive, however, IGN posted a well thought article titled 5 Concerns about Kinect, which totally hit on some things that I had been thinking about since the press conference bomb.
As I said, they raise some good points, and the most disconcerting one is the assertion that some Kinect developers are saying that you can’t play Kinect while sitting on a couch. This has always been one of the big barriers for me and motion control. I’m not a lazy guy by any means, but when I sit down to play games, I like having a controller and hanging out on my couch. It seems that Kinect has problems recognizing a skeletal frame when it is sitting down. In fact, the IGN article actually said this earlier, but was later edited. According to VG247, a Microsoft rep says that this experience differs depending on the game. Once again, it’s far too early to tell this, but it’s definitely food for thought as the launch window rapidly approaches.
So what do you guys think? Fair or foul if you can only play Kinect while standing?
Update: IGN released a kind of retraction later, though the quote here is slightly different from the one given to VG247. Regardless, Kinect still didn’t work well with folks sitting down at E3, and signs point to this perhaps being a future issue with certain games, so this topic stands.
Innovating in video games is a double-edged sword, one capable of killing your enemies, but also likely to swing back and take your own head off. When publishers try something new, sometimes it pays off (Portal, WarioWare, LittleBigPlanet) and other times it bites them on the ass and stems the flow of creativity (Mirror’s Edge, GTA: Chinatown Wars).
But even in these…wait for it…dire economic times, the Big 3 are still trying to innovate and find new ways to entertain and get some of that cash money everybody’s always clamoring about. Nintendo, Microsoft and Sony have all brought great ideas to the forefront this generation and with Move, Natal, 3-D gaming and whatever the hell that Wii Vitality Sensor is, they continue to forge new ground.
Continue reading How the Big 3 are Still Pushing Games Forward
So it seems that everybody’s favorite features here are the ones where we all get to share a little more about our gaming preferences. Personally, I’m a big fan of the discussions that happen in these threads, and it’s one of my favorite parts about writing and participating here- seeing what you dudes think and being able to bounce stuff back and forth.
As such, we’ve come up with a new questionnaire of sorts: More Likely. Here, I ask all of us to put on our best fortune telling caps, and divine the future like some kind of Gamestradamus. We will make our predictions and only time will tell who the real winners are in this game. The way this works is simple: just answer which of these things you think is more likely. Feel free to go into as little or as much detail as to the reasons for your answer.
So without further ceremony, allow me to get the ball rolling…
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: More Likely?
Yikes. We haven’t done one of our fabled “Would You Rather” features since before the Fall, back around when Halo ODST came out. Now it is 2010, and we are wiser, stronger, faster and more future. What new insights have we gleamed?
In Would You Rather, I simply ask a series of questions, and you follow up with your answers. Give as much or as little explanation as you want for your choices, but we all know that we like to see the reasoning behind the madness.
Don’t let your answers suck, though. Your soul will be ousted and revealed for the excrement that lives inside of it. Poo!
Continue reading GamerSushi Asks: Would You Rather?
Motion control. Everybody’s doing it, I’m told. For months, some of us have bemoaned the coming tidal wave of motion control and what it could mean for the gaming industry and games as a whole. On the positive, it could bring more casual folk into gaming and on the negative, it could just dumb down games as we know it.
GamesRadar has written a particularly convincing argument against motion control after their time with the PS3 and 360’s new motion hardware at E3. They pretty much assert that the demos at E3 have proven that motion control can’t work for hardcore gaming, and this is why the Wii is so full of minigame collections. When you think about it, even the hardcore games on the Wii just use the motion controls as kind of a bonus, while relying on traditional movement with the nunchuck and buttons. Typically, the only way to really eliminate the pain of movement with motion control is to stick the game on rails (a la Wii Sports). Here’s a tidbit from the article about our traditional analog sticks and face buttons:
As much as Molyneux and Iwata might bemoan the evils of the button fascia and dual analogue set-up, both elements evolved into the cultural landscape of gaming for a reason. They seriously bloody work for controlling modern games.
So what do you guys think? Can motion control work for hardcore games? Or will they inhibit the movement we’ve come to enjoy from our normal controllers?