Uncle Chunt

Xbox One’s Kinect: What I want from it.

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Peter Molyneux has recently reared his head out of the woodwork stating he finds the Xbox One’s Kinect “a joke”. Mind you this is coming from the man that brought us the Fable games and made so many promises for each game that either didn’t happen or he failed to come through with. We all wanted to believe him each time though. He seems to think he and his son find Kinect difficult to use and doesn’t respond at all like “it doesn’t work”. Also being in the UK they don’t use a lot of the media features America can utilize.

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“Peter, never make a girl a promise you can’t keep.” – Cortana

Now I’m no developer but I totally have to disagree with this man. As a developer he should be able to understand and realise what uses can be found in Kinect and how to apply this tool. I personally wish more games added extra Kinect functions now that I have one. I have had a overly pleasant experience with Kinect and it does in fact work. My voice commands have high strike rate, my gestures are always received and it’s personally an exciting next gen experience that other consoles are lacking.

Right now you’re probably waving the “HE’S AN XBOT FANBOI!” flag, I can see it in the distance. You’d be right though, Xbox is my preferred gaming experience 3 generations in a row. I had a PS3, a Wii, PSP, PS2, Gamecube as well but Xbox has always been my mainstay.

Now that is out of the way, all Sony Play-tards and Nintedites are free to leave this article as you’re flame is not welcome here. Should you wish to induce in constructive conversing, by all means stay.

I have the greatest hopes for my Kinect experience with future game releases. I want to play an Elder Scrolls game where Kinect can scan a 3D render of my face or entire head into the game character model rather than muck around with sliders. The same goes for Mass Effect where you can truly become Shepard, voice commands and all where they kind of dabbled with the latter in Mass Effect 3. These already heavily immersive experiences ¬†could take it to the next level by allowing you to figuratively put yourself into the game like never before. If executed right imagine watching cut-scenes where it is actually you playing out the battle or being involved with the supporting cast. Add to that lending your voice to scripted prompts in conversations, it’s like really playing a Role-Playing Game.

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Kinect Sports Rivals is exploring this ability where Kinect will in fact scan your face and render it in a stylised version of yourself suited to the games art style. I am also keen to experience how this version using the new Kinect improves over the 360 model. I’ve heard good things about Kinect Sports Rivals so hopefully the 6 month delay was used wisely.

Even in the Tomb Raider: Definitive Edition they added little feature like moving off the side in your couch would pan the camera slightly while Lara is climbing a ladder or structure or a voice command to bring up the map. I love that stuff. My first experience with voice commands in a game was Ryse: Son of Rome where I would shout “Fire Volley!” and my army would let it rain fiery arrows upon the hides of the enemy.

Seriously, Kinect can sense the temperature of your skin, monitor your heart beat, read your basic skeletal structure, read your face in fine detail, see in the dark just to name a few abilities. It’s one sensitive piece of tech. Imagine what it could do when truly harnessed. To me I find that exciting. Granted that most of us like to sit down on their favourite couch and play their games, as do I, which is why I’m focused more on the voice commands and facial recognition/scanning functions more than full body movement. That is what I’m really hoping we see more of in future game releases and experiences on Xbox One. Hopefully come E3 2014 they’ll surprise us with something we’ve yet to see.

– Chunt

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