he game is on between Microsoft and Nintendo's popular Wii. Microsoft officially unveiled "Kinect," its new motion-based controller system for Xbox 360, at the Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles Monday. Previously known as "Project Natal," Kinect uses three cameras and voice recognition software, enabling users to play games using their own bodies as controls. The system puts Microsoft in direct competition with the Wii and Sony's newly-revealed "Move" controller for Playstation. While Microsoft hopes Kinect, which hits stores in November, will launch a gaming revolution, critics remain skeptical. Is Kinect a leap forward, or is the hype undeserved? (Watch a Microsoft Kinect demo)
There's nothing groundbreaking about Kinect: "To be honest," says Sam Kennedy in 1Up, this thing is a "complete joke." Kinect is essentially a "glorified EyeToy" — a motion-based controller launched by Sony in 2003 — "and Microsoft is spending ridiculous amounts of money trying to convince people" it's something more. Sure, "Kinect could be a massive success" — but it could also be "one of the biggest blunders ever."
"Microsoft Cirque du Soleil Kinect event reaction"
Don't count out Microsoft yet: "Success and failure of Kinect will come down to the games," says Adrian Kingsley-Hughes in ZDNet. Microsoft needs to follow in Nintendo's footsteps, and give people who don't own a game console a reason to buy. The only way to do that is to make quality games. Remember, "folks were skeptical" of the Wii when it was first announced, and now it's "a runaway success."
"Kinect success or failure down to the games"
Kinect has its charm: Gaming with Kinect is definitely "enjoyable," says Rory Cellan-Jones in BBC. There's something cool about "throwing away the control and just flinging yourself at the game." But I'm "not quite convinced that Microsoft's technology would deliver for hard-core gamers," who are more concerned about precision and control than finding a new way to experience the game.
"Will gamers want to Kinect or Move?"
- How does chocolate milk stack up as a sports drink?
- How did Love Actually become so controversial? A theory
- Diagnosing the Home Alone burglars' injuries: A professional weighs in
- Cul-de-sacs are killing America
- This is the twistiest tongue twister ever, says science
- Was the sign-language interpreter at the Mandela memorial faking it?
- Which professions have the most psychopaths?
- The 10 worst-reviewed movies of 2013
- How the Great Recession has changed the way we shop — even during the holidays
- 7 enduring lessons from It's a Wonderful Life
Subscribe to the Week