In the world of motion control there are two competitions occurring. On the one side are two consoles that are attempting to secure their portion of the precise peripheral movement markety by way of game experience and tech. On the other side is Microsoft’s Kinect, which is trying to bring a new form of gaming to the masses by freeing them from the bonds of having to hold a peripheral.
Until recently, one of the major flaws that was keeping Kinect from being friendly to all gamers was its inability to recognize players who are seated, but it looks like Microsoft has been hard at work and now the software better detects seated players.
Originally, when trying to detect the various parts of your body, the Kinect software would set the bottom of your spine as the “base node," and from there the remaining limbs would be located and their movement would determine in-game actions. Now, a new improvement to the software that was implemented a few months ago uses the bottom of the player’s neck as the base node. Meaning, those players who are seated will not have to worry about the Kinect camera struggling to pinpoint the bottom of your spine amidst a mass of chair and body.
Whenever any developer was asked about Kinect’s ability to recognize seated players, they constantly assured worried gamers that those issues would be worked out before launch and we never doubted that eventually the tech would support a wider range of playing positions. Restricting your market is extremely counterproductive to the entire mainstream goal of motion controls in the first place.
Currently, Microsoft is leaving the decision in the hands of the developers as to whether they want to support seated play positions or not. I imagine there will be a few that might choose to forgo supporting seated players to streamline their development process but I would also expect those games to fall into the "shovelware" category. Either way, Kinect is coming very soon and it’s good to see Microsoft get a few of the kinks out.
Do you think that all Kinect gamers should support a seated play position or do you leave it up to the developers’ discretion to make that decision? Would you play a game that forced you to stand for the time?
Kinect launches November 4th for the Xbox 360.