The problem with Kinect…

With the upcoming Xbox One release this fall, Kinect 2.0 has been getting a lot of attention, both good and bad.  Although I’m impressed with the technology (lower latency and higher resolution), I still have yet to see a proper use of it as a game controller:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/08/20/kinect-sports-rivals-proves-kinect-20-actually-works

This is quite an impressive video, right up to the part where the IGN editor has to steer the jet ski with his hands.  The problem is that developers are still looking at the Kinect as a controller replacement – it isn’t.  Nobody wants to stand with their arms outstretched for 5-10 minutes at a time.  Exercise is good, yes – but unnecessary fatigue just for the sake of using this neat, new technology isn’t.  Traditional game controllers are perfectly suitable for steering a watercraft or car without needlessly tiring the player out after a few minutes.

What game developers should be doing is looking at what can’t be done well with current game pads and joysticks.  Sports games like baseball are a no brainer, because the variation in each swing would make for a much more dynamic and immersive experience.  Kinect can very easily calculate all of these complex variables such as position, speed, and angle – that’s what it is designed to do!  How about an axe swinging simulation to chop down a tree?  Or a fencing game?  Wielding weapons and manipulating tools could be great fun with the Kinect.  As soon as developers stop trying to use it to replace every aspect of traditional gameplay, and start coming up with some new, outside-the-box ideas, the sooner players will start seeing motion control as anything more than a gimmick.

EDIT:  Now this is exactly the kind of thing I’ve been waiting for Kinect to try to pull off:  The Fighter Within

Minecraft announced for PS4, PS3, Vita!

The Playstation crowd is finally being let in from the cold!  Great to hear that the Minecraft world is being expanded to other consoles, giving everyone a chance to experience this wonderful game:

http://www.ign.com/articles/2013/08/20/gamescom-minecraft-coming-to-ps4

Tho many consider it a ‘toy’ rather than a game, it is definitely some of the best fun I have ever had as a gamer.  So much so that I built a companion app specifically aimed at Xbox 360 Minecraft players, such as myself:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/mc-constructor-for-minecraft/id649503499?mt=8

Can’t wait to see what improvements the next gen consoles like Xbox One and Playstation 4 will bring!

Welcome, New Users!

Hello!  I’m seeing a number of new users signing up in the past few days – which is great considering I haven’t even written anything yet!  Great to see, and I promise I will begin to put some content up very soon.

In between my software development sessions, I’ve been playing a lot of Don’t Starve on my Mac.  (brutally tough and unforgiving game!)  I’m also very much looking forward to the TU12 update for Minecraft 360, which is supposedly going into MS certification testing any day now…

Many thanks to everyone sending in their builds from MC Constructor!  It’s wonderful to see all the diverse creativity, and I’ll be putting the majority of them up on the website for direct downloading into the next release of the iOS App.