Let's be honest for a moment. The Wii didn't become successful because of its motion controls--it became successful because of its controls and Wii Sports.
If games make the platform, then the launch titles for Microsoft's Kinect are even more important than the technology itself. Will they be worth the Kinect's likely $150 investment? At its E3 press conference, Microsoft announced that 15 titles would be available at launch and proceeded to briefly demonstrate a handful. Here's the rundown, and our knee-jerk response to each.
Kinectimals: Hereafter to also be remembered as "Skittles: the game" by those who saw the keynote, the demo consisted largely of a little girl playing with a tiger named Skittles. This is Microsoft's virtual pet game: 40 animals, 30 "unique activities," and a lush landscape that looked a little bit like Viva Pinata, but more realistic. Virtual hand motions can pet the animal and interact. This seems to make more sense as a download than as a more expensive disc-based game.
Kinect Sports: A shameless mimic of Wii Sports, Microsoft's will feature soccer, bowling, track and field, ping-pong, boxing and volleyball. The 200-meter hurdle event seemed impressive, but only required running in place. How will other sports work without a controller?
Kinect Joyride:: Last year's free racing game became this year's Kinect kart racer. Virtual car controls seem like a challenge to do well, but the rest feels like Microsoft's version of Mod Nation Racers.
Kinect Adventures:The demo featured two players cooperatively steering a raft down arcade-like rapids, standing, leaning and jumping to collect coins. That seemed amusing, but who knows what the rest of the game consists of? … Read more