When the Nintendo Wii launched, the future of motion gaming was in doubt. Some speculated that the console would die as soon as it launched, since they suspected gamers wouldn’t want to jump around to play titles. Others said that motion gaming was the future.
Now, several years later, it’s clear motion gaming did work, and looking ahead, it will seemingly play a key role in all Nintendo products.
But Nintendo isn’t the only company that’s doubling down on motion gaming, as we saw last year when Sony launched its PlayStation Move motion-gaming peripheral to some success.
But it was Microsoft’s controller-free Kinect motion-gaming device that stole the show.
When Kinect launched, the Xbox 360 seemed ripe for a refresh. The platform was losing ground internationally to the PlayStation 3, and it was trailing far behind the Wii in the U.S. But after the Kinect launched, the Xbox 360 got a new lease on life, and given sales of the console as of late, it likely won’t be replaced anytime soon.
Like it or not, Kinect has been integral to the Xbox 360’s success. The device has caught on with casual gamers that are intrigued by the idea of playing a video game with only the movement of their bodies.
But as we look into the future of the Xbox franchise, we now need to determine if Kinect should work with the Xbox 720 (or whatever the device will be called at launch). Undoubtedly, casual gamers will want to see it. But what about the hardcore segment?
Yes, games are launching in the coming months with Kinect functionality that might appeal to those folks, but so far, the hardcore segment hasn’t been so quick to jump on the motion bandwagon.
Inevitably, Microsoft will need to determine if Kinect makes sense with the Xbox 720 by evaluating how much value it could add to its next console. And that can only be determined by properly estimating consumer response.
Since I’m a consumer who will undoubtedly buy the Xbox 720, allow me to make my opinion known right now: I don’t want to see the Kinect make its way to the upcoming console. I don’t like motion gaming, I see no value in it, and I’m willing to bet I never will.
I am an old-fashioned, hardcore gamer that enjoys sitting on my couch, and using a controller to play video games. Though the Kinect wouldn’t stop me from buying the Xbox 720, I wouldn’t be happy to see it included.
Do I think Kinect is a neat technology? Absolutely. Do I think it has potential? Of course. But motion gaming isn’t for me. And if the Xbox 720 relies heavily upon it, I won’t be happy.
But that’s just my opinion. Should Microsoft’s Kinect play a role in the Xbox 720? Let us know in the comments below.
Don Reisinger is a technology and video game columnist. You can see what he's up to each day on Twitter by following him @donreisinger.
The opinions expressed are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of SlashGear