BitSnark

A place of scribblings located in the darkest corner of the internet. Yup.

Microsoft E3 2010 ‘All Ages’ Natal Event: Project Natal Is Called ‘Kinect’, First Games Shown

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After Sunday night’s grandiose ‘technology-free’ unveiling of their motion control device, a few tidbits have managed to slip through regarding the device formerly known as Project Natal.

First up is the name. Microsoft have now confirmed that the name of the device is now the Microsoft ‘Kinect’. A funky little play on words for sure, but i’m not entirely sure how well it will resonate with consumers given the fact that we’ve been used to saying ‘Natal’ for the last twelve months.

In regards to games, snippets and brief montages were shown, with the games themselves currently being predictably skewed toward the casual end of the market.

The following games were shown, many with titles and specifics to be detailed at Microsoft’s E3 presser tonight:

Kinetcimals – Let’s you play and train with twenty different types of cat. Wow, can you feeeeeel the innovation already! I can’t.

Kinect Sports – This sporting collection of games has boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, football and table tennis. Really, no Golf? If you’re going to take ‘inspiration’ from something, at least do it right. Wii Golf in the Wii Sports collection was one of the first early flag-bearers of what the Wii could do and solidifed how enjoyable motion controls could be. Still, Kinect Football might be able to pull it off in a similar fashion, but the omission of a golf game is noticeable.

Kinect Adventures – Comprising of the river rafting and obstcale course mini-games that were leaked prior to the unveiling, I am quite surprised that they didn’t elect to combine this with Kinect Sports.

Dance Central – A dancing game from MTV. The difference being this time, that instead of merely waggling the Wiimote in mock emulation of real dancing, you get to flail your entire body about like a goldfish out of water.

Joy Ride – After being shown at E3 2009 as a free-to-play downloadable title which allowed you to use your own avatars, Joy Ride re-emerges this year with motion controls and a price tag. Thumbs down.

Star Wars Game – Aha! Something remotely interesting. Ever since day one with the Wii, gamers have been chomping at the bit to swing/waggle a virtual lightsaber in their living room and duel with the likes of Darth Vader and co. Well, the new Kinect Star Wars game promises that you can do this and more; allowing gamers to use force powers such as force lighting, push, grab and so forth.

Right first thing right off the bat; this line-up, if you can call it that is disappointing.

*Really* disappointing. Mired in clones and copies of existing Wii software, it reeks of bandwagon jumping in the most cynical way possible.

We must however realise the setting for the unveiling last night. It was designed with families in mind; those same families who in all likelihood already own a Wii and are looking to see what technological advancements Kinect can bring to the table. Therefore it makes sense that familiar games and gaming concepts are regurgitated for them.

This was not a presentation for the hardcore gamers out there. It wasn’t a presentation for you or I and one can only hope/pray/beg, that Microsoft have a substantial amount of decent software put back for their E3 media briefing tonight.

Because based on what has been seen so far, if they don’t, Kinect will sink and deservedly so.

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Written by bitsnark

June 14, 2010 at 7:08 am

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