For those who want to try out Kinect for Xbox360, The Microsoft Store will feature Kinect demos for gamers. Unfortunately, there are only four Microsoft Store locations in America: Scottsdale, AZ, Mission Viejo, CA, San Diego, CA, Lone Tree, CO.
I'm jealous of those who are actually close to these locations and will get a chance to experience controller-free gaming and entertainment. I don't know how much the demo units will cost Microsoft to place in stores, but I hope a demo makes its way to GameStop stores across the country. I can see the crowded lines now. The announcement of Kinect demos also brings into question when will we hear about PlayStation Move demos from Sony.
There have been reports about the possible lack of interest in Kinect among "hardcore" gamers. It will be interesting to see the feedback Microsoft receives from these demos in their stores. The rumored price for Kinect stands at $150 (though it is still subject to change), which is $50 higher than the price point for PlayStation Move. So, the demos will need to be flawless to inspire confidence and gain our trust to justify the price. Since Kinect is the most ambitious and expensive motion control option, live hands-on time with the Kinect interface will be a very valuable tool in deciding whether it is worth your money.
If families, now offered the Xbox Live Family Plan, buy into Kinect, it would steal the Nintendo Wii's thunder and possibly make the 360 the best "casual" and "hardcore" gaming option. The games announced for Kinect are similar to those that came with the Wii. However, Microsoft offers Xbox Live, a superior online experience, and a superior library of "hardcore" games. PlayStation is making a similar play with Move, albeit with a motion control option more similar to the Wii's, with Move's motion controller and navigation controller. Instead of households being either Xbox/Wii or PS3/Wii, which has contributed to the Wii's success as a complementary console for many, there would be one console catering to all.
What will the demo feature? I suspect it will feature the made-for-Kinect games like Kinectimals, Kinect Sports, and Kinect Adventures. I would love to walk into a GameStop and see a Dance Central demo (That is the only Kinect game that has really gotten my interest). It would behoove Microsoft to show off how Kinect would enhance titles that can be played with a controller as well. It would give the gaming community a better idea of how this technology will open up the control we would have over all compatible Xbox 360 games. Also, the demo could feature the spoken commands feature used to communicate with the console.
In development for years as "Project Natal", Kinect is claiming to the birth of the next generation of home entertainment. The proof is in the demo. I hope I get to try some of it before having to make that important decision on whether to invest or stay the course.
What do you think the reaction will be from gamers who get their first hands-on with Kinect for Xbox360?