Microsoft has just introduced Kinect with the help of Cirque du Soleil in Los Angeles at E3. Formerly known s Project Natal, Kinect is a technology based on a camera that can capture color and depth information. It is capable of tracking movement of the whole body, which is not the case for arch-rivals Sony and Nintendo where it is the motion of sensors that is tracked. Despite being quite impressive, tonight’s demonstration was aimed at convincing the world of the Kinect concept: “the human is the ultimate controller evolution”.
The concept has clearly been well communicated and well received by the audience. The demos were convincing and many aspects of how Kinect could be used have been shown tonight. For the first time, we’ve seen something that looks like commercial games. In sports games, players have to run to win. The dance game demo looked like Dance Dance Revolution but 10X better. And the most memorable game demo is the Star Wars game where the player controls a Jedi, including a light saber duel with Vader himself. A thunderous applause followed that one.
Of course, in a completely controlled demo environment, and with a budget that must have been one of the highest –ever- for E3, it’s no surprise that the impact was significant. However, we can’t give you a clear picture before we will try it for ourselves in the next few days. That will be the real test.
That said, it is clear that when it comes to motion sensing communications, Microsoft is much better positioned than Nintendo and Sony: the concept of using the body rather than a sensor resonates much better with most people because it seems to make more sense, and the possibilities are indeed superior. Now, we have to see if the implementation can live up to the legend.