All Things Tarun

  • 05:44:46 pm on June 14, 2010 | 0
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    Today at E3, Microsoft officially demoed and announced specs and details about its upcoming product, Kinect, for the XBox360.

    The device is a USB addon to the system that will support a whole new type of gaming where no controllers are necessary (but still, Ma, hands!) What’s neat is that apparently the Kinect will detect a human presence using a depth camera and an RGB camera and will recognize up to four people at once. You can use your whole body to make some more complex movements and gestures to interact with the device (think Minority Report for your music/video collection).

    I think this is definitely the buddings of the future of entertainment and new gaming. It is a parallel to the “3D with no glasses” idea that people are searching for  — why have controllers and why not immerse yourself in the experience? The problem is (as many editors have pointed out) that some people prefer tactile feedback. They want to feel the vibration when hitting a rock while playing the raft game or have a wheel to actually steer. So, some basically seem to want a Wii type of experience but also have just “better” control and games. The Wii was definitely aimed for kids. The Kinect add-on is more like a family and hardcore gamer experience. Examples of this bridging of the gap include the spectrum of games the device will include – from a dance revolution game to an upcoming Star Wars action game. It’s useful to have a wider clientele and definitely worth it to move to the controller-less experience, but the real future of gaming will most likely involve more immersion than that.

    I recently watched the James Cameron D8 video (link, ~1 hour) and he talked about how 3D needs to be done right but also that the technology can’t just be a giant TV that is too expensive. The glasses are part of the experience too. He believed that glasses are something that people will wear but only if they are perceived to be essential to the experience. Right now people are hoping that 3D doesn’t need glasses (and scientists are working on it now as well), but Cameron sees glasses as the direction viewing entertainment is headed. He invisions people wearing the TV on their eyes (like the goggles you see in SkyMall). Personally I believe that to be quite false – I would hate to put that much strain on my eyes (see Virtual Boy).

    So, fusing these two concepts – Gaming and 3D entertainment – I suspect that Kinect will be a big holiday seller for families but only a taste of what we should see in the future. By the way – 3D TV is an incredibly stupid market and internet-enabled TVs will likely be the real future.


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