Life After E3: What We Still Think About Kinect + Move

With the upcoming launches of Microsoft Kinect and PlayStation Move respectively, the world has been a wash in impressions, opinions, as well as predictions. We here at DualShockers have often expressed our ever-changing opinions on the devices, and thought it might be a good service to the reader to let it be known which of those opinions and impressions have lasted the trial by fire that was E3 2010. If this reads more like a conversational piece than a pre-approved blurb, that’s because it is. As in the previous Life After E3 segment we enjoy bringing you an uncensored back and forth between the writing staff. Find out if we think these new gaming peripherals will sink, can swim, or even have arms and legs in the first place after the break.

Chad Awkerman:

“I do think Nintendo blew both Sony and Microsoft out of the water this year. Although, I think they both made me a believer with Move and Kinect respectively. So, they weren’t a total failure… just mostly.”

Yaris Gutierrez:

“Agreed. The Move was amazing. Kinect was cool, in the sense from what they showed for interactivity with XBL. However, Kinectimals wasn’t one of MS’s highlights. And I’m still a firm believer that some of that was pre-recorded.”

Jon Ireson:

“In my opinion Kinect is very terrible.  I believe that this will be mostly bought by parents for their kids around 10 years old and under, or any kid that doesn’t have a PS3 yet (they still have kids like that out there?).  Other than that I will say that every game they showed for Kinect looks like it has very low production value, and speaking as some one who was there with Joel and Al at the Natal event: yes the Natal “event” was all pre-recorded and the greater half of the Microsoft Press Conference seemed either pre-recorded or lagging as well.  I got to touch hands on with Move and it’s much more responsive than it looked at the Sony Press conference, and get this, it actually has games that you don’t feel like a fool playing!”

Chad Awkerman:

“Don’t assume. Even if the Kinect footage for the press briefing was pre-recorded, plenty of journalists played with it and said good things about it, so the games are there and they work. Don’t go and become a fanboy, Jon. Just because the games don’t appeal to you doesn’t make the thing a bad device. It all depends on your demographic.”

Jon Ireson:

“You’re right Chad. Perhaps “terrible” was a poor choice of wording. A more accurate reading of my thoughts would be that they have not tapped Kinect’s potential yet in my opinion. And PS Move looks like it has more potential, plus they are tapping it more.”

Yaris Gutierrez:

“Well, realistically, the Move has more potential in the sense that Sony is aiming at a broader audience (hardcore and casual). Other than that, it’s very much so the Wii controller, hypothetically. Kinect is good at what it’s aimed to do: create a much richer Xbox Live experience, and target the casual crowd that Nintendo has practically conquered at this point. We can’t call it a failure yet because, although it might be a lot like the PS Eye in some ways, Microsoft will provide continued support. What we saw at E3 is only a taste of what’s to come, personally.

Look at what you can do with Forza – it is revolutionary in its own way. Remember, because the Move is somewhat “like” the Wii, it is much simpler to kind of implement it onto games. It is still a controller. The Kinect, however, responds to body movements, which makes it much more difficult to implement in game applications. That’s why, as you’ve noticed, the PS Eye wasn’t so popular among developers. Kinect might just change all that since it will, without a doubt, become much more mainstream.”

Andrew Vanden Bossche:

“I wanted to throw in my 2¢ here. One thing to keep in mind is that when you’re talking about the future of a system, the way a company advertises and markets their product is–I think–more important than the technology behind the product itself. The difference between Wii, Move  and Kinect won’t be decided as much by how advanced the technology is but by how their creators decide to sell them. This matters for the financial success of the companies in question, but it will also affect how developers will use the tech and to what end.

As a gamer, Playstation Move looks great. There’s no question the PS3 is superior in tech, but it doesn’t have the brand association, price or library of casual titles. Will casual gamers want to buy the PS3 instead of the Wii? While hardcore gamers care about the quality of their tech, the casual audience won’t even understand it, so the superior tech may not help them get casuals.  Obviously, Sony isn’t stupid, so I’ve been wondering–based on how all their ads for Move seem targeted at the hardcore–if Sony is even trying to appeal to casuals or if they’re using Move to entice more hardcore people (in contrast to what Microsoft is doing). You guys saw the thickest of the marketing frenzy though, so you can tell me if you think this speculation is accurate.

Obviously, Microsoft’s poorly spelled motion controller suffers from the very same problems as Move and more. Of course selling Kinect (fuck you microsoft for making me write that stupid name, no your pun is not clever) won’t have much to do with the quality of the tech. As Nintendo proved, motion control didn’t have to be perfect to sell. When Wii Motion Plus came out in open acknowledgement of those deficiencies, Nintendo was already so buried in cash they could barely swim through it to announce how sorry they were.

I’ve also heard speculation that Microsoft isn’t exactly going for casuals with Kinect, at least not in the same way as the Wii. The basic idea of it is that Microsoft isn’t so much trying to appeal to casuals as it is trying to make the 360 the family’s home entertainment center. The Kinect is there to replace the remote control so that non-gamer family members will feel more like using it for stuff like online movie rentals and other home entertainment stuff, instead of being there to entice Nintendo’s kids and grandparents to do a 360 (though I’m sure they’re hoping for some of that too).

The TL;DR of it is that Sony and Microsoft seem to have totally different ideas of what to do with motion control. I think Sony is trying to get more hardcore gamers along with the casuals with Move, while Kinect is to get other people in a 360 house to use it for casual games and movies. Obviously, the price points will be huge in determining how successful either of these approaches are.”

Joel Taveras:

“After E3, What we all agreed on in the podcast and E3 Predictions is exactly where I still stand. Kinect is more for the casual, Move is for the casual as well but will have support for AAA titles. With that said, I’ll be picking it up with Socom 4 on day one.”

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Jon Ireson

Jon is a gamer above all else. He plays all types of games. You can find him mostly in War games. He is very passionate and a hard worker and it shows through his writing. Favorite Games: Warhawk, Soldier of Fortune 2: Double Helix, Final Fantasy 6

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