With the first day of E3 in the rear view mirror, we learned a lot about the future of gaming. We witnessed new franchises. We watched reboots of old franchises reimagined and remastered. We were fed tons of great visuals and stunning graphics as well as teased with short, punctual trailers of great games to come from some of the world’s best developers. But the one thing that stuck out this E3 is, without question, the Xbox Kinect.
Recently, I wrote an article entitled “Dear Kinect, I Am Sick of Dancing” that can still be viewed at Gaming Irresponsibly (shameless plug). In the article I ranted about how I wanted the Kinect to do amazing things, how I wanted the peripheral to accomplish the extraordinary and show hardcore gamers that the Kinect is for real. With this year’s E3, Microsoft, Xbox 360 and Kinect showed me just that.
During the Microsoft Press Conference, a slew of Kinect titles were revealed, and not just for the casual dancer. Games being developed for the Xbox Kinect are coming from every different direction. Kinect Disneyland Adventures recreates the entire theme park for children and their families. Star Wars Kinect and Ghost Recon: Future Soldier show hardcore gamers that they too can invest in Motion Technology. There are new installments of Kinect Sports and Dance Central for those casual fans and Electronic Arts is releasing four titles that will be Kinect compatible for sports fans out there, including Madden NFL and FIFA.
Yes, this was the official coming out party for the Xbox Kinect. Ubisoft announced Kinect titles for the future, including a statement that every Tom Clancy game will feature Kinect technology, and with a first look at the “gunsmith” feature in Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, that will be a very good thing. The rapid movements of your arms as you destroy and reassemble firearms reminds me of Tony Stark playing with his holographic models in Iron Man and that, my fellow gamers, is just a glimpse of the future. Fable: The Journey showed the capability of the Kinect Sensor when it comes to hardcore gaming. Using your flailing arms to summon a spear from nothing, only to chuck it towards a goblin in a bell is something truly amazing.
Then there was the introduction of Kinect Fun Labs. Kinect Fun Labs uses a wacked out Christopher Lloyd to demonstrate the new little creations and gadgets to show off the spectacular technology that is the Kinect. Small “mini games” and “tools” allow users to make themselves into bobbleheads or draw three dimensional, sparkling lines onto your television screen. Although I personally didn’t really enjoy the Kinect Fun Labs presentation, the fact that it went live the moment it was over showed me that Microsoft was fully invested in its product.
Xbox Live TV showed me that by using my Kinect’s voice recognition system, I can have complete control of my TV at all times and with as little effort as possible. Xbox Bing is sure to be a hit with YouTube coming to the Xbox this fall and the amount of music, movies and television shows that will be added will dramatically increase the content on Xbox Live. Speaking of the voice recognition system, Mass Effect 3 will utilize this technology, allowing you to scream at the TV and actually get results.
All in all, I am pleased to see the Kinect doing the things I had hoped it would by catering to hardcore fans. Even though I won’t be fighting alongside Master Chief or Marcus Fenix anytime soon, I am excited about the titles that Microsoft has lined up this year for the Xbox Kinect.
What about our readers? Did you feel like the Kinect stole the show? Or were you blown away by something else entirely? Let us here at Gaming Irresponsibly know by commenting below.