There have been some breakthrough moments in video gaming history in the past, in the last decade the biggest breakthrough was the Nintendo Wii, which completely changed the way that people looked at and played video games. All of a sudden games were not just for the hardcore crowd, the Wii opened up the world of video games to all ages and both sexes in a way that had not been seen before. Will the Kinect take it to the next level?
Microsoft and Sony both could not believe just how successful Nintendo were with their Wii console and quickly drew up plans to join the world of motion controlled games. Here recently Sony launched the Playstation Move which is very similar to the Nintendo Wii. It involves having a controller that you use to interact with the visuals on the screen. What if you could play video games without the need for a controller? Kinect can do that. What if you could be completely free from having to hold a device in your hand? Kinect can do that too. What if you were the controller? Your arms, your legs, hands, feet, your voice, imagine if you just had to be you to play a video game, how awesome would that be? Well imagine no more because in just a couple of weeks (November 4th) the Micosoft Kinect will be launched and once again, it will completely revolutionize the way the world plays video games! It will immerse you into video games in a way that has never been seen before because with Kinect, YOU are the controller.
Every aspect of every game or program that you use on your XBOX 360 and Kinect will be controlled with just your body and your voice. It is hard to imagine isn’t it? I know I could not believe it when I first heard about Kinect (codename Natal) about a year ago. I could not believe that technology had advanced that much in such a short time, well it has and the Kinect has proven this.
The Kinect device itself is a series of cameras and microphones that sits above or below your tv set, much like the Wii Senor bar. Once you position the Kinect you are ready to go! It will calculate just about everything imaginable about your playing environment so that you can get the best experience possible. The Kinect will work with both old and new Xbox 360 consoles, so there is no need to worry about upgrading your current Xbox. If you have an older style xbox 360 the Kinect will just need to be plugged into an outlet for power. If you have a new Xbox 360 the Kinect will draw it’s power from the console. Either way you are covered.
With Kinect you can control the Xbox 360 system with both hand gestures and voice commands directed at the unit. Want to browse through content on the Xbox, just move your hand in a sweeping motion in front of Kinect and you can move through content on the screen. Not in the mood to move too much as you relax on the couch after a hard day’s work? Don’t worry say a command such as “Xbox, play DVD” and the Kinect will hear you and will start playing the movie. This really is the stuff of science fiction!
What will the games be like? Well there are a number of launch day titles that will be available when you buy your Kinect. It will come with Kinect Adventures, which is a series of mini games that really show off how the Kinect works. The other titles are:
Kinect Joy Ride
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved
EA Sports Active 2
Deca Sports Freedom
Sonic Free Riders
The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout
Game Party: In Motion
The game I am most interested in is Your Shape: Fitness Evolved. In the same way that the Nintendo Wii Fit revolutionized the way we work out in the privacy of our homes, Your Shape: Fitness Evolved is going to re write this segment of video games all over again. Working out and staying healthy should be top of everyone’s list of things to do. Wii Fit started to make working out fun, but it still had limitations due to the fact that it required hardware and that did hinder your workout. With the Kinect and Your Shape:Fitness Evolved all you need is you! It will put the fun back into exercising.
With Your Shape:Fitness Evolved for the Kinect, you can expect to get a proper work out. Your Shape:Fitness Evolved for Kinect is more than just another game, it will truly help you lose weight and get in shape in the privacy of your home! It will give you access to personal Trainers within the game that will help you stay on track and meet your goals, you can create your own workouts or use the ones already in the game, it is completely customizable so that you can make it the best experience possible, and the best part, all you need is you. While your working out though you can of course earn those all important achievements, (I am a achievement freak). It will be the game to get and it will help you lose weight, really playing any game that involves you moving around will be a benefit to anyone, especially if they are not working out at all, you will be able to lose weight and have fun at the same time while using Kinect.
Of Course, Your Shape is just one of many games that will be released, all games will enable the user to be fully immersed in the action as you use your entire body to move and play the games. All of the games will be fun for all ages in your family.
I am excited for the launch of the Kinect. It is another step forward in the world of video games and how we interact with digital entertainment! I really hope that it gets the backing that it deserves!