Microsoft’s motion-sensing peripheral, Kinect, is one of two major peripheral releases coming from two major companies in the video game industry. However, unlike its main competition (in the sense that they are releasing roughly at the same time), Microsoft’s version doesn’t use a controller that you hold in your hand to represent actions on the screen. No, in Microsoft’s case, you are the controller. And since that became known, there’s been plenty of people wondering several different things: can you play it sitting down? And, probably the loudest to date: how many players can play at the same time?
It’s been reported that Microsoft’s Kinect can only support two active players. Meaning, at any given moment, there can only be two people caught within the view of Kinect’s camera, to actually play a game. With the launch of Kinect now just under two months away, questions like this have to be addressed. (And since the whole sitting down thing has already been clarified, it’s time for this to meet its end, too.) According to a quick interview VideoGamer had with Kudo Tsunoda, Kinect’s boss, he points out that one of the more popular titles previewed so far, Dance Central already obviously incorporates more than two players.
According to Tsunoda, the fact that two players are usually supported in any title so far isn’t because the Kinect can’t support more than two players, but because it’s a design developers choose. Tsunoda says that it’s not necessarily any limitation to the hardware. As any other game before it, and any game after it, developers are going to make the best decision for their game. If two players is what makes the game play comfortably, then that’s what’s going to happen.
While it may be difficult to get more than two people playing together on any particular Kinect title right now, that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s going to be the same way in the future. As developers spend more time with the hardware, and unlock all of the secrets it has to offer, more advanced games will get released, and surely there will be more titles that feature more players.