The joystick. For many years since the dawn of gaming in arcades the joystick had been the primary mode of input for most if not all gaming. Even devolving into game pads and such during the NES and Sega Genesis days it was still really a mode of inputting things in a analog source.
This year that's all going to change.
At this years E3, Microsoft showed off it's newest add-on to the Xbox 360.
And it will revolutionize gaming as we know it.
Kinect (Previously known as Project Natal) will be shipping this November 4th and will have 15 titles at launch that will take advantage of this new hardware.
What is Kinect? Simply put it is a camera that attaches to your Xbox 360 which captures your body movements. This is not like the Wii which is out there now where you're holding a wii-mote. Instead you hold out your hands and the camera reads your body movements and translates them into the game!
One of the titles coming out for the Kinect is Forza Kinect and think about this for a minute.
Your sitting behind the wheel of a lamborghini murcielago waiting for the light to go green as to start the race. Your hands are in mid air at 10 and 2 as if gripping an imaginary wheel as the green light flashes you accelerate using another hand to shift. Even better? You can crane your head left or right and the game will pick that up so you can look into the corners! Talk about a complete driving experience!
The titles that are available at launch are:
- Kinectimals: Did you want to have a pet lion or tiger when you were a kid but couldn't afford it? Look no further than Kinectimals! With a few breeds to choose from you can have your very own pet that will come when you call it, play with it, do tricks and run through an obstacle course together!
- Kinect Adventures: Want to go on a river rafting trip? Or how about on a wild mine cart ride? This and more is available thru Kinect Adventures as you dodge, jump and pose your way to victory! Try to get the best score and you can get a gold medallion! The game even takes pictures of you while you play and plays it back at the end of the event!
- Kinect Joy Ride: A cartoonish racing game in the same spirit as another certain kart game. Drive, Drift and Boost your way to be the first across the finish line! When you jump in the game you can also do wild tricks in the air!
- Kinect Sports: Love sports? Then this is the game for you! With Kinect Sports you'll be able to try your hand at one of the six games: Boxing, Soccer, Track and Field, Volleyball, Bowling and Table Tennis. You'll use your entire body to get into the game as you kick, punch and jump your way to victory.
- Zumba Fitness: Love to get into shape? Then this is game for you! With various work out routines you'll be dancing and working through various routines while getting into shape! This game will have over 30 different tracks for you to workout to so you can listen to great music and shed those pounds with ease.
- Your Shape Fitness Evolved for the Kinect: Want to get into shape? Want to have fun doing it? Look no further than this title for the Kinect! One of the best things about this title is that the workouts are tailored to not only your goals but your exercise level. This will be a perfect way for gamers to get into shape in the next few months!
- Dance Central: Are you great at Guitar Hero? Awesome at Rock Band? That's all well and good but can you get up and dance? Dance Central will test your abilities as a dancer as you boogie your way to the top as you will rock out with a mixture of hip-hop, rock and roll and other types of music. Gwen Stefani's “Keep on Dancin'” was in the teaser trailer and it is being developed by Harmonix so you know it'll be good!
- Sonic Free Riders: This new Kinect game will be a blazingly fast Sonic game called Sonic Free Riders. In this game you control one of the many Sonic characters as you ride a hoverboard as you race to be the first across the finish line. You lean left or right to steer the board which makes you feel more in the game than ever!
- EA Sports Active 2: Another work out program that gives you a heart rate monitor that you wear on your arm. This program will give you feedback as you can do things like mountain biking, push ups or boxing. And this program will also track your progress and keep an eye on your heart rate so you can track your fitness inside and out.
- Deca Sports Freedom: This is another sports related title as you can try your hand at various events all without the need for any controllers. Try your hand at Boxing, Archery, Figure Skating and Snowboard Cross as you can unlock new clothes for your avatar to wear.
- Dance Masters: Ever hear of a small game called Dance Dance Revolution? Sure you have and for me I can't play it because I am extremely uncoordinated. Leave it to the folks at Konami to come out with Dance Masters as you try to match poses with the on screen characters. There are going to be 30 tracks included with this game and should be a hit with anyone that loves DDR.
- Adrenalin Misfits: Love to snowboard? This is the game for you! With various types of events such as flag slalom , racing or jumping for distance. Imagine the ability to snowboard whenever you want without worrying about what time of the year it is. If boarding is your passion than this is the game for you!
- The Biggest Loser: Ultimate Workout: Yet another work out type game being released but this one has a few options that the others dont. For example in this game you are given an option to keep a video diary of your progress. There is also online work out buddies to help you get through your grueling workout.
- Motion Sports: Not much about this game is known at this time but all we can think about is that it is going to be another work out title made by those great people at UbiSoft.
- Game Party in Motion: Another casual game title from kinect that will incorporate 16 games that you can just pick up and play alone or with your friends. These games range from sports games such as Hoops and Darts to classic arcade type games like Air Hockey and even Tapper! I would love to play Tapper using my whole body as the controller (I loved playing that game when I was a kid!)
No one knows how much the games or the Kinect are going to price for but in my opinion this new technology doesn't come cheap and expect it to be around $150+ with the games ranging from $29-$59 bucks each. Also there are no bundles announced at this time and the project that Peter Molyneux has not be announced when or even if that will be released.
All I can say is the future of gaming is looking great and with more titles on the way like Forza and even a Star Wars title I am looking forward to getting one of this when they come out in November. For more information on the Kinect go to http://www.xbox.com/en-US/kinect/ and get ready for the next generation in gaming.