Interesting article about the rise and fall of Kinect

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rorie

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#1 rorie  Staff

Over here at Polygon: https://www.polygon.com/2020/1/14/21064608/microsoft-kinect-history-rise-and-fall

“Would Kinect be more successful than it’s been if Battlefield and Call of Duty took great advantage of it? You know, maybe,” Irving says. “But that’s also IP that is incredibly well-refined for the gamepad and for the controller. The intersection of Call of Duty players and people who are good with the Xbox gamepad is incredibly high. Right? And so there are other scenarios that we imagined, shooters and other types of games, other genres of games, that [lent] themselves to older audiences, taking advantage of Kinect with speech recognition and head tracking and things like that. But I don’t feel bad that there weren’t more of those games that took advantage of it, because those games were already great with the controller.”

I don't think I ever played a single Kinect game? Maybe I did a demo or something back in the Front Street offices? I didn't get an XBONE at launch so by the time I got mine in house they had already removed the Kinect from the package. But it's an interesting piece of gaming history nonetheless.

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Only_Versace

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To understand the Kinect, we have to understand in what time era it was released.

Snowden & NSA, it just diden't go well with the customours.

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monkeyking1969

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Any input device is only as good as its repeatability at catching input. The input reliability needs to live in the fractional nines past 99.9%. If an input method screws up once every 100 inputs or more people notice.

One day there will be body tracking recognition that lives within those 9s that are past 99.999%, that makes something reliable without question.

That the issue Sony had with its wands and cameras. Its was neat, it worked mostly, but it was not so good as to be useful with twitchy/precise games - it was not ready for being a pack-in control device. That why Kinetic was a poor idea for "packing in" to every console. It was never going to be useful for 50% of games let alone 100% that would make a pack-in make sense. I respects MS for the idea. However, they were charging for it within the cost of Xbox One, a $499 device! They were not being thoughtful about the buyer who was never going to get much out of it. If the Xbox One had cost $399, thus making the Kinect "free"...well that might have been different.

PS4 was $399, Xbox One w/ Kinect was $499; there is no way not to view Kinect as a $99 add-on that few would get use out of.

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wardcleaver

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I bought a Kinect for the 360. At that time, my kids were young, and we enjoyed playing things like Kinect Adventures together. Yes, sometime it wouldn't read inputs, but overall I thought it was fine.

That was about it though, save for trying the head-tracking feature for Forza 4 (which was spotty, at best). Not enough games took advantage of it, or of the games that did (Dance Central?), I did not have any interest in playing. As MonkeyKing1969 mentioned above, the X Box One/Kinect bundle might have been more attractive if it was priced the same as the Kinect-less PS4.

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Alias

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It's interesting with how they tried to use the physical space in which you use it as a social space similar to the Wii used the same area. They went for the inviting and intuitive mimetic input and tried to take it a step further by being entirely controller free but in practice it was just too inaccurate.

It's interesting to think about at what point a lack of controller input becomes an issue. Consider Wii Sports bowling and Kinect bowling and the precision of controls and input. From a design standpoint the few buttons of input the Wii had made a massive difference. Not that you couldn't design something that works will with the Kinect's controllerless input though I fear the majority of games for it never really did figure out how you should do that.

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Nodima

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I might've played a round of Just Dance in a friend's basement as a stoned novelty once.

My only experience with Playstation Move was the one time I convinced a group of friends to play Johan Sebastian Joust with regular Dualshock 4s, so we had a little bit of fun for a round or two but it was a little cumbersome that way and everyone just wanted to get back to Super Pole Riders, the actual best game in the Sportsfriends package.

A couple friends owned Wiis, and I played some Tennis, but that was that for that system as well.

Great article, but it mostly made me think back on how huge the motion control movement was for games during my college years and how it completely passed me by.

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the_devoid

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To understand the Kinect, we have to understand in what time era it was released.

Snowden & NSA, it just diden't go well with the

customours.

That's just completely incorrect. The Kinect came out years before the Snowden revelation. Plus, the fact that consumers are willing to put "home assistants" and "smart" cameras in their house (devices that are far more invasive of a persons privacy) shows that this clearly was not the reason for it's failure.

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nutter

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@wardcleaver: Yeah, I got a Kinect out of curiosity and because I knew the kids would dig it.

Happy Action Theater, Kinect Party, and especially The Gunstringer (and The Wavy Tube Man Chronicles) were all massive hits. Kinectimals, Just Dance, Kinect Adventures, and others were all also well received.

My son spent and insane amount of time importing his toys into Googly Eyes, from Kinect Labs.

I won’t pretend it was awesome, but it had its moments and was perfect for a father of young children.

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Only_Versace

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@the_devoid: I knew Trump was going to run for president as far back as 2013.

Yh, I know what I'm talking about.

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ShaggE

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It's such a shame, really. The tech was very cool (even in the gimped form it eventually shipped as, compared to the videos), but the games and general usefulness just weren't there. It's actually more of an appealing buy now as an abandoned peripheral that you can grab for a couple bucks at a pawn shop than it ever was in its lifetime. I eventually want to get one just to fuck around with, myself.

Like the Moves eventually did, I wonder if it could have seen a second (well, third) chance as a VR peripheral.

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ThePanzini

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I very much doubt Kinetic 2.0 would have done any better with FIFA, COD and Battlefield integration it would have been gimmicky at best, and would probably have felt tacked on like it did the last generation.

If MS wanted Kinect 2.0 to succeed they should have had dedicated software to make that case. The fact is Kinect 2.0 launched with almost zero first party software. The extra $100 was justified with Xbox Fitness and a Kinect Rivals game nearly a year after launch.

I doubt any early adopter was happy spending an extra $100 so they can shout grenade instead of pushing a button in the latest COD, incidentally putting a mic in the controller would have done the job anyway.