Kinect – A New Way to Play Video Games


I remember as I grew up, I was surrounded by new technology such as Atari or the Color Computer. Games such as Donkey Kong, Zaxxon and Pitfall were all the rage. The consoles became faster, the graphics became more realistic and the games were out of this world, but we were still tied to the console with a stick and some buttons.

Along game the Nintendo Wii. Revolutionary in a way because it got way from being just a sit down console, but rather an interactive console. Holding a wireless joystick in your hand, you could now golf, or with a special board, do yoga and even exercise. It caused a stir in the market but not one took it seriously, but the big boys were watching.

PlayStation will be announcing their interactive gaming controller called MOVE which is based, in principle at least with the Wii. You will have a wireless handheld controller that can track your every move and translate that to a lightsaber, a tennis racket, skiing, and all sorts of other games. This controller combines advanced motion controllers, a dynamic colour changing sphere, vibration feedback and easy to use buttons, but you still have to hold on to it, just like the Wii.

To take gaming beyond this point would require us to completely eliminate the controller all together. Imagine playing a Kung-Fu game without having to hold onto a controller. Imagine having an exercise routine playing on TV and it will tell you whether you’re not going fast enough, to bend your knees more or even if you lost some inches around your waist line. Take this even one step more and be able to talk to it, order movies online, record TV shows and even recognize you and ask how you are doing when you walk into the room. It sounds a bit fun, but scary, but this is what the new Kinect device is for Xbox 360.

Kinect was original leaked under a different name called Natal and it promised the world a new experience. After a few years of tweaking, Kinect appears to have all the wrinkles ironed out. Unlike Sony’s Eyetoy that didn’t even get off the ground, Kinect uses multiple cameras to track you in three dimensions. It also doesn’t work like a typical webcam. It uses infrared light to spotlight the room and this is what allows it to see in a variety of lighting conditions. With some powerful software, it will lock on and track 48 points of your body in real time for up to two players. It also is equipped with a microphone so you can talk to your Xbox. The camera hub is also motorized and has facial recognition so it can track you as you walk around the room. Don’t get creeped out yet.

Other interactive benefits include “VideoKinect” so you can talk with people on other Xbox machines, Windows Live Messenger. To make things cooler, you can watch the same movie together. Buying movies is a snap. You just tell it you want to watch a Netflix movie and then you just pick which one by reaching into the air and picking the movie you want, just like you are taking it off the shelf.

This will sadly be the end for upgrades for the Xbox360. They can only do so much and this technology will push the limits of what the Xbox360. With this said, the Xbox 720 that is being design will do this and much, much more. What else can there be?

Source by Chris Slavik

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