Project Natal renamed to KINECT – Photos/Info/Updated!


E3 seems to have kicked off in full swing with the first major announcement coming from the Microsoft tent. That’s right folks, Project Natal is out – Kinect is in. Pronounced “connect” this is Microsoft once again having a stab at the game I like to call, “how many times can we rip off Nintendo today?”

So far they have done quite well. Introduce shitty Microsoft Mii’s avatars (and in doing so removing the awesome dashboard blades?) Check! Let new IP’s take to a back burner while you fool around with motion gaming? Check! Finally – give your product a clever name, maybe with it utilizing a new and ‘hip’ spelling – throwing out a previously cool name in for something completely foolish. …there we have it Microsoft! Nintendo Revolution> Nintendo Wii. Project Natal>Kinect. I know which one I would rather say I am sitting down ‘nd playing tonight.

“That my friends is something we wont know until November… (although my guess would be it gets pretty fucking annoying, very fucking quickly!)”

Then again, would I really want to? Out of the games announced as launch titles only one sounds remotley interesting, discussed below, and E3 2010 is going to be make or break for a lot of people. Then again saying that, Microsoft seem to think a little differently. Aaron Greenberg, Director of Project Management at Xbox, speaking today at E3 thinks the awareness for this product isn’t actually as high as us hardcore gamers seem to think,

“What’s interesting is that despite everything we’ve done for Natal — and people are very excited about it — the actual awareness around the name is not as high as you would think.”

In a way this surprises me, why would the company pool all their resources into a product that clearly the masses do not care about. The more that gets released, especially the gameplay footage and people playing Kinect this week is going to do two things:

1) Turn off hardcore gamers and anyone who still doesn’t see the point of motion gaming. Clearly Microsoft are making no strides in getting Natal to work with real games, like Sony with Move, so this hardware quite simply isn’t for us.

2) It might turn some casual audience heads, but realistically I think now people have had motion gaming introduced to them at a casual level with the WII they will stick with familiarity – which is why I think despite Microsoft’s best efforts, MOVE is going to capture peoples hearts (and money) this winter.

Speaking to USA today Kudo Tsunoda, Xbox director, had this to say: “For lots of people, that controller is a barrier, We set out to make a new control paradigm where anybody can get in and play, without having to read the instructions or learn a complicated set of controls.”

In my eyes not having any controls is a barrier. Once you take away controls, you take away the linking object. People can touch a Move remote or a Wiimote and they know what to do, the swing it! With natal Kinect they are going to have to pause the game, read the in game instructions and they play it a few times to grasp the way the game handles – which looks as unwieldy as the Eye Toy did 6 or 7 years ago!

“It looks as unwieldy as the Eye Toy did 6 or 7 years ago!”

Let’s be honest with each here for a moment shall we, did we expect anything more? Sure the movies and dashboard integration with Kinect sounds interesting, but once you walk past the machine a few times in the morning and it keeps auto turning itself on or when you are trying to select a movie in Netflix and someone walks past the camera to go to the kitchen to get a drink – sending the thing haywire, well…just how quickly is Minority Report style interactivity with the console going to wear thin? That my friends is something we wont know until November… (although my guess would be it gets pretty fucking annoying, very fucking quickly!)

-Cheers for reading, what do you think of Kinect now some photos/footage and more info is out? Leave some comments!

-Josh/Origami Kid

UPDATE: Kinect is out in November. No price confirmed yet but if it is any higher then £100 then it is a spectacular waste of money and is going to fail harder then the last camera Microsoft introduced. Yea that’s right Microsoft you bastards, I bought your last camera – Tottemball? Oh what’s that, yes I do fucking remember that, one of the worst games to ever grace my Xbox 360. You tried to do Eye Toy 3 years ago and it failed 2 or 3 games in… so excuse me while I am still a wii (ha! see what i did there) bit skeptical…

Comments
2 Responses to “Project Natal renamed to KINECT – Photos/Info/Updated!”
  1. Eskimo says:

    Hey

    Another good article, but i disagree with you on a few points.

    One being why put resoures into a technology that the masses dont care about, the masses do care about this technology as you can see by the wii, casual gamers make up the most of the market, and casual gamers LOVE the wii’s technology thats mostly why it has sold so well, and obviously both sony and microsoft have reconized this and now want a peice of the casual market cake, but casual gamers dont keep up with technology as much as enthusiasts do so they will not know about new technologies coming out or prehaps even game consoles there fore being less aware like Aaron Greenberg said. so your question should have been why put resources into a project that consumers are not aware of.

    Secondly I dont think hard core gamers care much for motion gamer the same as you, but I feel trying to target them like sony is doing, is the wrong move ( ha see what I did there I can do it too), instead I feel that mircosoft has the better plan targeting more casual gamers, and about using the minority report interativity, yes, with hardcore gamers I feel it will run thin, but for casual gamers (people who dont know know much about technology,people who use their games consoles for more then just games and possible wives, daughters) they will feel like they are living in the future and be over amazed showing their mates getting freinds round and the motion continues, so I think for them the interactivity will go along way. It may get annoying like you said about people getting drinks but im sure they will think of somthing.

    Thirdly about the controller being a barrier, I agree with the xbox representative, as you have to remember that Kinect is more aimed at the casual gamers, give a controller to your mum, dad or sister and they stare at it as if youve just handed them a bag of steaming dog poo then set it on fire in front of them ( they stare at you, then at the controller then back at you with confusion and disgust as to say WTF!!!!!11 is this) but hand it to someone that plays alot of games and they will know exactly where the buttons are and KNOW how to hold the controller. so not having a controller lets casual gamers join in without the confusion of where the buttons are or even how to hold the controller allow them to have a better experience. Now for hardcore gamers who are familar with controllers, not having a controller will feel awkard like they are missing an arm or leg prehaps both. so I think for this you where mainly thinking about hard core gamers.

    but I do agree with you on the name Kinect, they probably said “lets ask the most hip person in the office for a new coolio word” but came across William Shatner and said he’ll do.

    Good post mate
    Have you changed your background ?

    • origamikid says:

      Hey dude, Do you prefer the white or black background? I can’t decide! Do you like the E3 banner tim made me though?

      Addressing the first point: Owners of the Wii love the IDEA of the casual gaming technology. Nintendo really shot themselves in the foot with the Wii, because the machine finds itself in the odd position where people have bought the machine and only ever had Wii sports, the Wii has the worst attachment percentage rate out of the 3 consoles in terms of accessories/games/etc. People buy the Wii, play with it a few times and then it goes under the TV or in the cupboard for one of the rare occasions of, “oh but what if people come over and they want to play it?” type deal is what the machine is reduced to.

      Look at the small amount of 1st or 2nd party games that actually come out on the Wii, it is next to none because nobody buys the games. Even then customers are having more then enough fun for the few times they use it with Wii sports and Wii Sports resort which come free, the customers are interested in the idea of it but when it comes to the physical product – like that exercise bike, Pilate’s ball, painting brushes and that acoustic guitar – they all go into the back of the cupboard, they are there as a “just in case” but in reality the fad wears off just after you feel like the purchase was well spent.

      Especially as Kinect is supposedly going to cost between £100-150 if rumours are anything to go by, you can buy a pre-owned Wii, an extra control and game for that price!

      As said again on the second point, that will only last once or twice. People would use the motion controls to manipulate the dashboard once or twice and when friends come over a few times to show off- but after that they will revert to using the control or the DVD remote which is faster, more efficient and allows you more control over your DVD/TV/SKY experience. Again it is a fad that people will get bored of very very quickly. If you capture the hardcore market then people will continue to buy it. Sony Move will give Sony the opportunity to have wii games directly ported over. On top of that if Hardcore market enjoy games like Socom 4 and Little big Planet 2 with the motion controls then they will continue to buy more games for it… as apposed to the Kinect where people will get bored quickly and people will just either trade it in or forget about it – The games on show for Kinect …well they aren’t really games. A serious of small mini-games, they need to pull something out of the bag otherwise this is going to crash and burn before it leaves the gate.

      I think 3rd point has been answered. These games have no replay value, substance or anything like that. Market research and the almost halt of the Wii consoles selling in the USA has shown people get bored far too quickly with the Wii because they don’t like the idea of buying games. Casual gamers will play the racing or xbox 360 kinect sports once or twice – but they will quickly realise they could just be playing a better version of it on a machine that supports much better things.

      Cheers for reading man! appreciate it!
      -Josh

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