With the success of the Wii and the introduction of the new PlayStation Move, it was finally time for Microsoft to enter the motion gaming business. Microsoft leapt in with both feet with the recent introduction of Kinect.
An add-on to the Xbox 360, Kinect uses a series of cameras to track your body’s every movement. Instead of waving a controller around, you actually use your body to control the game. This gives developers the ability to create immersive games—you feel like you are really present in the game's environment.
Forza Kinect provides an impressive demo of Kinect’s capabilities. When selecting a car, you walk around it to survey its styling and features. As you bend down, the camera adjusts so you are looking under the car. To open the door, you grab the handle and pull, just like you would on a real car. When finally in the game, you virtually drive the car by holding and moving an imaginary steering wheel.
The game's body-tracking functionality is also used in Kinect Sports, which includes soccer, volleyball, track & field, bowling, table tennis and boxing. In the T&F game, instead of pressing forward on a stick to run, you jog in place, properly timing your jumps to get over the hurdles.
This new technology seems promising, but you also have to own an XBox 360. Other concerns are movement detection accuracy, always having to stand when playing and the fact that only two users can play at once. Still, the game may be a great way to connect and bond with your team.
Look for Kinect to be available in stores in time for the 2010 holiday season.