Microsoft Kinect: First Encounter

I recently was allowed to play with the Kinect sensor at a technical conference. I will go over a quick summary of comments:

The Good
  • I was able to play it without any instructions, and so was my wife, who is the most non-gamer person I know.
  • I saw some kids playing with it, as well as mature adults, flawless
  • Lag? I personally experience little to no lag, I was quite impressed, I was expecting more lag.
  • Disabled people: I saw a kid missing one arm playing without any trouble, I would like to see the Move or Wii-mote do that!
  • Sitting down: I did not try it with a chair perse, but I saw people with very limited movement ranges, have no trouble finding their way to the finish line. 
  • No slowdowns or lock downs during action, which was excellent.
The Bad
  • Big people, especially two big people playing at the same time makes for a similar experience of playing Twister. You bump with eachother, or might even slap the other one.
  • Staying within the range is sometimes hard, especially when the battle gets heated!
  • Standing behind another player makes for weird character movements!
  • Some movements might appear innacurate, especially for working with the menus

Overall: The experience was amazing, I would definitely like to try some games out (and will do so on Nov. 4th)! I expect some game genres to benefit much more than others. I can see dance, fitness, action, adventure and RPG's as the big winners. Fighting might be challenging, you would need somewhat of a physical condition that can take the punishment. I can foresee using the Kinect as an "augmented reality" sort of device, where the use of another device in conjunction with body movements can certainly be very interesting and fun. I can definitly see how Wii can move around and use other sensors to augment the player's experience, the same as the Move. I haven't tried the Move yet, and it would be an interesting trial. I can honestly see people making their own gear to play Kinect games, since it would be cool to make your own physical item, to enhance the experience, not that the experience is on a whole new level as it is. As developers continue to learn how to leverage Kinect (and I hope they eventually open this up for XNA Community Content), and combine this with the Live experience I can definitely see the lines between fact and fiction blur... Now I need the 3D glasses that go with the Kinect in order to get the job done!

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