Up until now, Microsoft’s Kinect technology has largely been about using various launch titles to show off the capabilities of the peripheral. While many suspected it would be some time before Kinect gets any more in depth consideration, it appears CES might have an indication as to what that interaction might be. One behind-the-scenes CES visitor snapped a shot of a Microsoft presentation slide and, though it only possesses a name, its gaming implications could be very huge.
Tentatively titled Avatar Kinect, this new experience/game/HUB world will allow players, via Kinect, to interact with each other’s Xbox Live Avatars. Avatar Kinect might not be an altogether new concept, as both Nintendo and Sony have been offering something similar for some time now, but being able to interact through gestures with a virtual representation is something very exciting.
If this tech does what it is rumored to do then Avatar Kinect could open up a world of possibilities. Perhaps simple “tech demos” could be playable between friends over the Xbox Live service. Imagine if something like Wii Sports wasn’t a disc based game, but an experience loaded from the console itself.
With the cancellation of 1 vs. 100 and the announcement of similar weekly content, Microsoft has an opportunity to change the landscape of online interaction. Say, for example, there was a daily poker game on Xbox Live and each player could use their avatar to participate. By using the virtual space around them, they could fold, deal, bet, or any number of actions all by way of the Kinect camera. It is a very simple concept, but it can help generate Xbox Live subscriptions and Kinect purchases — a double win for Microsoft.
It won’t be until CES that Microsoft officially unveils Avatar Kinect and lets the gaming world in on its possibilities, but if Microsoft is smart they already have some big plans for it. Everyone likes interacting with their friends, but most people would rather not do it in person.
What do you hope that Avatar Kinect is? Do you see it as a place like the Mii Channel or Home for avatars to interact or would it be much more interesting as a space for avatar gaming?