Why Microsoft's Kinect Is the Next Big Thing In Gaming

As I've said numerous times on these pages before, I'm deeply concerned by motion gaming. I think it's holding the gaming business back and helps to make the space seem "gimmicky" — something I thought we were trying to move away from.My issues with motion gaming have prompted me to turn my back on the Wii. In fact, I haven't even seen my Wii in well over a year, since it's been sitting in my closet with the rest of the obsolete and boring consoles I've bought over the years.[Image credit: Cha già José]

Sony's PlayStation Move is similarly useless to me. The wands add no value to my gaming experience and as far as I'm concerned, should be relegated to the junk heap in the PlayStation 4.

And now, we move to the Kinect. I've said here before that while the Kinect comes with a really cool technology, I'm not a fan of the peripheral. I do, however, acknowledge — like the Wii — that there are some people out there that see some value in a product like the Kinect.

But what saddens me is that Microsoft's motion-gaming peripheral is, well, the next big thing in gaming.

Microsoft is doubling down on the Kinect. A software development kit that allows PC software developers to take advantage of the device's technology is in the wild, and there is a very good chance that it might also become the go-to device for laptops.

[aquote]I can see Kinect becoming useful in medical, manufacturing, and retail[/aquote]

In the beginning, that might mean PC gaming will be enhanced, but I can also see the device becoming a useful accessory for those developing other programs across a wide array of industries, including medical, manufacturing, and retail.

But it's that gaming element that keeps holding me up.

According to the latest rumors, it's possible Microsoft will launch the Xbox 720 with a Kinect camera built into the console. What's more, there is some speculation that Sony might try to find a way to come close to matching the Kinect's controller-less functionality.

Add that to the fact that the Kinect is selling exceedingly well and it quickly becomes clear that it could very well be Microsoft's ticket to gaming dominance in the coming years.

I hate to say it, but the Microsoft Kinect is the next big thing in gaming. It's already changed how console makers think, and it's well on its way to transforming Windows PCs. But it's the fact that it might play an even greater role in the next generation that's enough to make me cringe.

Just when I hoped you would be out of my life, Kinect, you've found a way to become a part of it for the next several years.

Maybe it's a good thing I own a Mac, eh?