Enough negative Xbox One news, at least for a few hours. I’ll admit that Microsoft isn’t doing a great job communicating their new console, but there’s still a lot of grunt under that hood. And believe it or not, the most surprising feature of the console may come from the hardware side that most gamers don’t want: The Kinect.
In a demo session with Microsoft’s Jeff Henshaw that I attended, the more subtle uses of the Kinect were shown off. Henshaw started playing a standard FPS demo, and spoke about how the game being used, had standard controls for combat.
But using the Kinect, Henshaw added more moves to his repertoire. An idea Henshaw says, that came about from a desire to provide more for gamers, without having them raise their hands from the controller.
"When I play a traditional first-person shooter most of the time my hands stay on the controller," Henshaw said.
Games in the past generation can’t always rely on A: A sensor always being there, and B: The sensor isn’t subtle enough to detect something like a lean while you’re playing.
By leveraging subtle gestures and combining them with hardcore controls the Kinect becomes meaningful even for hardcore gamers.
To demonstrate this, Henshaw showed us how raising the controller to his chest brought up a shield, or how tapping his head quickly switched the view from normal to X-Ray. Adding to that, Henshaw also used voice commands and a quick solo hand gesture to paint targets and call down missile attacks.
Personally, I like the idea behind the Kinect and games with a more hardcore lean. I like that it’s subtle, and not necessary to the gameplay. I recognise the fact that I move around when I play games. I lean when I steer a car, I get agitated when I get blasted.
Of course, the biggest hurdle here is getting developers to use this technology accurately. As I said, I like subtle. I don’t like forced gimmicks. Here’s hoping that we don’t see these advancements coming, because that’s how you do next-gen.