Microsoft held short instructional sessions during E3 this year to walk them through some of the new capabilities of the Xbox One
. They showed off some of what cloud computing could provide as well as a deeper dive into some of the new TV features but what interested me most was showing off how the new Kinect sensor could be used to supplement a traditional Xbox One controller.
Let's be honest, the Kinect doesn't have the best reputation within the core gaming community as the first sensor wasn't a great core gaming device. From sensor lag to strict the lighting and room size requirements, the Kinect never found a place within the core community. While it did well in the exercise and children's genres it never gained any real momentum with core gamers.
The new Kinect sensor is a significant upgrade in almost every way and Micorosoft had some of their engineers research some new ways that designers could use the new Kinect controller with some core gamers. Here's a run down of what they came up with:
- Raise their controller to raise a shield up
- Touch the side of their head to toggle between different vision modes (like night/thermal vision)
- Lean left or right to dodge incoming fire
- Point on screen to direct fire from a secondary weapon
Keep in mind that these were tech demos in a controlled room but what I saw was fairly responsive and might not be too difficult to implement but even if they did work in a real environment I'm not sure any of these will gain any traction with core gamers. Most gamers I know are loathe to take their hands off their controller and have enough movement ticks when they play that might be misinterpreted by the Kinect unit.
That said I do think that the touching your head thing could be a cool and somewhat immersive use of the Kinect device. We'll see if anyone takes these tech demos and embeds them into a game and if they do, hopefully they'll allow folks to disable them or Microsoft will see yet another wave of angry folks on social media.