By sarahsdad 0 Comments
It may be obvious, considering this is a blog, but just to save myself all the caveating latter: anything here that I don't cite is my opinion, so when I say Microsoft must be doing or thinking xyz, it's only speculation.
That said, Kinect is for me. And by me, I mean that since I'm the one in the family who buys any game-related things, Kinect is for me, to buy for my family.
I haven't always had video games around the house, but I've almost always had at least reasonably easy access to them.
When I was very young, one of my dad's friends had an Atari, and when we'd visit for cookouts or whatever, I would get to play some of the games that they had. I remember they had Pitfall, and one of the two player air combat games.
Somewhere around the time I got to be 8 or 9, dad brought home an Intellivision. I honestly can't say how many hours we spent playing Astrosmash, Space Hawk, the downhill skiing game, Atlantis (I loved that game. The pop out effect with the saucer was so cool), and probably a couple others I don't remember.
After that died, or maybe a little bit before, I got to be good friends with a kid at school who had an NES. He and I spent, again, more time than I can remember with Mario, Castlevania (those f'ing Medusa heads), Contra, and Metal Gear. My grandmother of all people bought one as well at some point, and got to be a particular wiz at Tetris and Dr. Mario. I'm not sure if it was just the sheer amount of free time she had, or some innate ability, but she would regularly beat any high score I had for Tetris, and would bury me in Dr. Mario.
I was mostly away from home video games during Jr. High and High School. There was an arcade a short ride from school, and a slightly longer ride from home, so I had a fair amount of time on the weekends, if I wanted it, to play games. I didn't really get back around to home games until 92~93 when I went away to college for a year. Even then, it was an old NES with a very well used copy of Blades of Steel that took most of our time. We had floor-wide ranked matches with spectators on a regular basis. I think I only made it past the first round once, but it was a lot of fun. Unfortunately I spent way too much time skating, and not enough time studying to last more than a year there.
I moved back to Massachusetts, and enrolled in the state college here. Some time in 1994, I heard about a big electronics sale, and figured I'd go out and buy myself a console again. Given the choice, I ended up buying an Atari Jaguar. After all, it had 64 bits, when the Playstation only had 32. How could you go wrong with 32 more bits? It only took a few months to realize exactly how wrong you could go.
Around 1996 I met a guy, and his then girlfriend (now wife, and mother to their two boys) who were much more into gaming than anyone I had met before. They had both Nintendo and Playstation at the time, and I still very vividly remember the first Resident Evil. Coming around the corner and seeing that guy hunched over a dead body, and the HOLEY SHIT moment when he turned around and was not 'a guy'. Over time, I played or watched various games on that Playstation, the N64, and the PS2. Good times.
Over time we've drifted a bit. I moved a little ways North, they moved a little ways South. We all got married, had kids, etc. My wife wasn't particularly into video games, and since it had been several years since I had owned a real console myself when we got married in 2001, I didn't really miss it much. I picked up a PSP in 2005 to help pass the time on the 90-minutes-each-way train ride I had to and from work every day.
Some time in '07, a friend of mine from work inherited a PS2 from a room-mate of his that left (town, and most of his stuff behind) somewhat suddenly. Since he already had one, he passed the spare on to me. I only found out latter that I had been this close to getting a new PS2 for my five year anniversary at work. My boss told me latter that he'd called my wife with the suggestion, and she'd told him something along the lines of Not in a million years. So, whether by luck or not, I had a PS2. I played a few games here and there, but with limited time, increasingly dated graphics, and fewer and fewer releases, it wasn't really a thing. So it was that as a just before Christmas gift to myself, I traded in the PS2, and picked up my first (and knock on wood, so far my only) Xbox 360.
So how does all this mean that Natal/Kinect is for me?
I've read an awful lot on forums about how Kinect is pointless because anyone who would be interested has already bought a Wii. To me, Kinect works because it's the stealth agent. I've already bought an Xbox, and it's only taken my family a couple of years to go from not touching it, to being mildly interested in the games I play on it. That said, I don't see any way that I could convince myself, or my wife that we should get another one. But a peripheral? Sure. We've got those. The drums and guitar don't come out too often, but they're always there, next to the TV. Peripherals. Add-ons. Mostly Harmless. That's how Kinect will work its way in, as a peripheral for a house with one xbox360 game system, used primarily by the fiance/husband/dad. My wife and daughter both love them some animals, so in our house, the game that makes it happen will probably be Kinectimals.