The next big step in gaming is upon us my friends: motion control. The Xbox 360's entry into this fray is of course Kinect, the full body motion capturing peripheral that connects to your Xbox 360. However, most of the promotional material for Kinect shows gamers using it while standing, and some gamers worried that they'd have to leave the couch in order to use the new add-on. Now, according to some that tested out Kinect at Gamescom, reclining gamers can breath easy.
Joystiq was able to test the Kinect menu and movie controls' ability to recognize gestures and commands. They found that it correctly identified a person sitting in a chair, sitting on the floor, and reclining back in a chair while facing the Kinect camera. They were even able to simulate a person sitting behind a coffee table and Kinect handled it with ease.
The only test that Kinect didn't recognize was a person reclining with the Kinect camera at their side. Microsoft representatives said that this feature would work by launch. Microsoft also said that Kinect was running an improved software version to the one that was demoed at E3 earlier this year, and they plan to make even more software improvements before the peripheral launches later this year.
Kinect interests me more for the menu and "app" controls than for gaming. The games that were showcased at E3 seemed more like collections of mini-games under a single game title (i'm looking at you Kinect Adventures and Kinect Sports) than full fledged games. I got enough of that with the Wii and Wii Sports. I want to be waving my hands in the air changing movies and searching through music like Tom Cruise in Minority Report, so this comes as welcome news. It will be interesting to see how much more precise Microsoft can get Kinect before its launch and if any of the software will be worth the price of the add-on.
What do you think? Are you going to be dropping $150 for Kinect when it releases for the Xbox 360 on November 4th?