Every company loves money- this is the essence of both man and capitalism. Still, Microsoft seems to lust for dollars and coins more than any other corporation. Look no further than Xbox Live- the ‘pay to play’ online service utilized by the Xbox 360. While Nintendo and Sony offer free online play on the Wii and PS3, the Xbox 360 squeezes its gamers for all their worth. Now, with the way things are looking, Kinect is to be the next tool for squeezing 360 fans.
Kinect, Microsoft’s sad attempt to chase the casual dollar, hasn’t exactly released to critical acclaim. Most early adopters are complaining of unresponsive software, overpriced hardware, and unappealing control schemes. The other biggest complaint you’ll find around the forums? The 2 player only limit. The fact of the matter is, a Kinect camera can only recognize two players at once. However, it’s looking like Microsoft might be working out a solution to this issue. The only problem is that your wallet will be hurting afterward.
Word is spreading that an eventual update will be released to allow two Kinect camera to be used at once to achieve a semi-functional 4-player game mechanic. By investing in two of the $150 Kinect cameras, you’ll be able to do what you can already do on the Nintendo Wii- play with up to three friends in a large, very empty room. Which brings us to the first issue with this future implementation. Estimations are as high as a 17X17 empty room required for uninterrupted 4-player gameplay. The other issue gamers face is a lack of support as it is unlikely many game developers will be willing to include the shoddy 4 player mechanic.
While it is possible that Microsoft will find another way to implement 4-player Kinect, it is unlikely. In order to achieve a holiday release and compete with Move’s launch, the camera’s development was rushed and wanted features dropped. A far more annoying solution might be to release an entirely new model of the Kinect camera at a higher price point. While making the original model nearly useless, Microsoft plans to remain tight-lipped on any potential revisions and hardware updates. MS intends to use the launch Kinects to gauge consumer interest in order to determine whether or not a hardware revision is viable.
It is a shame that Kinect’s potential is so rapidly declining as gamers discover how disappointing the interface really is. While the Kinect camera could make use of a number of interesting applications through PC use, Microsoft seems determined to pawn it off on 360 gamers. Then again, 360 gamers have no problem lining Microsoft’s pockets to indulge their love of gritty, beefy shooters.
Official Xbox Monthly