With last night's release of the Kinect, people now have more reason than ever to jump and dance in their living rooms. For those of us who are not quite convinced or easily influenced by Oprah or Ellen, we are taking a wait and see approach with the Kinect. Will Kinect games ever offer anything other than waving your arms during minigames or dancing to Lady Gaga songs? Will their ever be a game like Halo that implements the Kinect in some way but still uses the controller? If you have been on the fence about purchasing a Kinect and have asked yourself those questions, you may be getting an answer soon.
Speaking with GameIndustry.biz, Kinect developer Alex Kipman mentioned that "hybrid" games using both the Kinect and a controller are in development at Microsoft:
"We love controller-free games, we love Kinect experiences and we'll continue to grow our set of those as well. What we haven't really talked about, but exist, are hybrid games. Games that are using the controller, which we know and love, and pieces, if not all, of the Kinect experiences to again make those experiences more immersive, more fun and more emotionally connected."
Kipman did not elaborate on what these "hybrid" games would be. Could it be something like using the Kinect to throw a grenade in Halo by making a throwing motion with your arm? Or manipulating an object in a Resident Evil-type puzzle? Kipman says that how these games use the sensor will be something original:
"This is where I look at the world, and I know it's easier to look at the world and talk about 'or,' but I look at the world and I talk about 'and'. It's about how we take all of these things and fuse all of them together to create unique experiences...It doesn't always mean using the same colors, the same paintbrushes -- the stories you tell are about using the appropriate combinations of all of the colors and brushes to create something meaningful."
With the Kinect just arriving in people's hands, it will be a month or two before the newness of it wears off and the launch games get old. What has yet to be seen is if there will be anything to keep people interested, or if it will turn out like the Move which never has anyone playing the demo station at my local Best Buy. If Microsoft wants to keep up the hype that they have generated they are going to need to make games for the main audience of their console, hardcore gamers. Hopefully, we will see these hybrid games sooner rather than later.
So readers, who went out and picked up a Kinect last night or today? Will games for the casual crowd keep you satisfied or do you want something more?