Opinions on the Kinect are often a mixed bag. Many loathe the idea of motion controls in gaming because of the forced application of the mechanics. It is not hard to see where that stigma comes from – with the majority of Kinect-centric games are glorified tech-demos and implementation in more “hardcore” experiences tend to slow down gameplay and complicate actions.
Nevertheless, Microsoft is hoping to drastically change opinions with the introduction of the Kinect 2.0 on Xbox One. The reportedly much improved sensor is now more adept at tracking movements, reading player’s facial expressions, and head movement. That fidelity could result in more subtle implementation in games – and it seems Battlefield 4 is already trying to take advantage.
Polygon reports that at an Xbox One event, EA demonstrated how the Kinect 2.0 actually improved the options available to gamers while playing. With the precision of the new sensor, the demonstration showcased how a player could voluntarily peak and lean around corners. While there is no video to show this off, if implemented well, this minor movement could, in theory, drastically improve a gamer’s play and strategy.
It was also restated that the game, unsurprisingly, supports voice commands using the new sensor. With better voice recognition technology, this should stop gamers from having to repeatedly shout orders at a game to get a result. The voice commands include calling a ride, hailing a medic, saying thanks, requesting ammo, and subsequently canceling ammo requests.
While many have already made up their minds about motion controls and Kinect, it is important to remember that the technology is still in its infancy and has a ton of room to grow. On the other hand, the effectiveness of its application for Battlefield 4 won’t be fully known until players actually get their hands on the tech. The fact that the Kinect is now a mandatory purchase for the Xbox One does improve the chances of developers creating more meaningful content using motion control and voice commands. Especially for exclusive titles, developers will be able to design their games knowing the Kinect is available to every player, instead of just tacking on voice commands in case only a handful posses the the sensor.
That is all assuming that Microsoft and developers find interesting and useful ways of using the technology. If they can though, there is plenty of potential to create more input options for players – giving them more actions than a controller can handle at one time. That could be a powerful tool for developers.
Battlefield 4 will be available on the Xbox One for the console’s launch on Novemeber 22, 2013.