News Article

Talking Point: What's Kinect Doing Right or Wrong?

Posted Sun, 20 Nov 2011 by James Newton

Now we are one, are we better?

Now we are one, are we better?

One year on, how's it going?

Kinect has had a full 12 months to bed itself in, and arguably the standard of releases this Christmas is higher than what the sensor launched with last year, but the sensor still hasn't established itself as a home for quality games.

In the past few days we've seen an encouragingly healthy discussion about the matter here at KINECTaku, so we wanted to give you a platform to keep the debate going.

If you bought into Kinect at launch, do you think the sensor has fulfilled that early promise yet? Are you sticking with it, or have you had enough?

If you're a newcomer to Kinect, what do you make of its recent performance? Do the games meet up with your expectations so far or are you hoping for improvement in the coming months?

Join the discussion with other KINECTaku members by dropping your thoughts in the comments below.

Tags: Talking Point, Features, Kinect.

User Comments


1. ManicMilner United Kingdom 17 Nov 2011, 17:46 GMT

Doing right: voice recognition to navigate menu's etc, more acurate control- can capture slight movements eg head tilts (forza) hand n feet (dance central2).

Doing wrong: too many wii ports and not enough original games made for it, can count on one hand what games work for Kinect.


2. abHS4L United States 17 Nov 2011, 18:33 GMT

At first I did love the Kinect and bought it at launch and while being a dancer and learning some moves from Dance Central and DanceMasters, I kind of regret buying it now because my dad and brother hog it and tend to remove my 360 out of my room so they can play. As for functionality, all the games we have for it work really well. I do think if they had at least a better resolution camera (doesn't have to be HD) it would've improved it's censors.


3. James United Kingdom 17 Nov 2011, 19:19 GMT

Interesting that you mention Wii ports — off the top of my head I can't think of any games that have come straight from Wii to Kinect. There's certainly games on both formats, but usually the two are totally different: Michael Jackson, for example.

Valid point, though having used the PlayStation Eye camera quite a bit too I think Kinect is streets ahead! A bump in resolution would always help though :)


4. SpaceKappa United States 18 Nov 2011, 00:14 GMT

I bought Kinect knowing it would be more of a supplemental device rather than something I'd dedicate a lot of time to. I've always been impressed with the technological achievement of it, even moreso once it became a fixture of my living room and I can lazily navigate my dashboard without even needing to use my controller simply by ordering my Xbox to do what I want!

Not all the games have been hits, but the good has been VERY good and there's still a ton on the horizon I'm excited about. I knew Kinect wouldn't provide "hardcore" experiences but would rather be a place for weird ideas from idealistic developers to come to life and I have absolutely not been disappointed in that regard.


5. d20Dark United States 18 Nov 2011, 00:40 GMT

I got Kinect a few months ago (4 or 5) and I really love it- but don't use it much. I love it for it's Voice Control features on Netflix. I like the features that Forza put in with Kinect- VERY cool stuff. I love Dance Central and Fruit Ninja. Even the play of Gunstringer is great stuff.
What I don't like about it is the crapware that they've put out for it that they charge full price on. That's crazy. Stuff that MAY be worth $10, they're asking $50 for. I'm not buying it, but I'm aware that it hurts the brand name as a whole. I haven't played Child of Eden yet, but that's a great example of screwing things up and then fixing it too late.
I'm in no way bashing the kid games or the games aimed at kids. I have a niece and nephew that LOVE the Kinect games and I think that's awesome. But games for adults are lacking right now. I think Steel Battalion may really change things, but right now "Better with Kinect" seems to be the best way to get in the game. Features, not "Featured".


6. pellissier South Africa 18 Nov 2011, 03:30 GMT

When Kinect (Project Natal) was first announced I couldn't see the functionality in it at all. So I dismissed it outright. It was only when doing Wii Fitness that I realised how annoying the Wii controller is when you have to navigate and push buttons between the exercises. At that point I realised that a controller like Kinect would be excellent for exercise programmes. Being a martial arts fan myself, I started considering the application for Kinect in that arena as well. It was at this juncture that I got positive about Kinect.

The fact that we will see terrible titles is a way of life. There are people who think they can cash in on a new trend and will push their idea to suit the controller, not that it makes practical sense. Forcing a certain kind of gameplay, like a first person shooter, to go handsfree is just straight out dumb.

What I do think Kinect is doing wrong, is more to blame on Microsoft. By now, there should be a wealth of data and software on how tracking can be done effectively, like code from games like Dance Central, The Gunstringer, Kinect Sports, et al, but why is that games being newly released still suffers from bad tracking?! Why does Microsoft not help these developers a little more to get the basics right? And other annoyances like small navigation buttons/menus? MS should provide developers with a checklist of what's on and what's not. I think the quality control somewhere has gone for a balls up.


7. James United Kingdom 18 Nov 2011, 09:08 GMT

I don't think Microsoft has the right or desire to dictate what menus developers can use with Kinect any more than it can with a pad. Sure, it provides libraries and support I think it's up to devs to figure out what works and what doesn't. We saw it with Wii, I'm sure we'll see it with Kinect.

I think you're right in that there are a lot of developers trying to sneak in a turkey on Kinect, but that's where sites like ours can help out :D


8. mastodona United States 18 Nov 2011, 09:33 GMT

I struggle to find much positive to say about kinect, I find myself constantly getting my hopes up only to be dissapointed by poor games rightly getting poor reviews. I'm not sure how much blame is with the developers and how much is with the hardware limiting what can be achieved. I know kinect sports 2 got a good review here but the majority of reviews thought it was at best, average, with some very iffy control moments. The first game was good fun (for a while) but does anyone find longetivity non existant with kinect titles in general? If a microsoft owned development company can only produce so-so titles what hope is there for the rest of the developers?
I am also on the fence a bit about dance central 2, i do find it fun (though preferred the track list of the first title) but I am not convinced it is accurate like so many seem to claim...where is the proof? The dancers on stage dance whatever you are doing they are just animated its not 1-1 motion control or even close and I know for a fact I'm getting "flawless" grades when doing things fairly wrong and getting no grade at all when im pretty sure im doing things right!
As for the camera yes this is a big dissapointment in this day and age. Anyone who has played yoostar 2 will agree...could have been a great fun game but its totally killed by the terrible resolution of the camera.
I may be a pessimist but I seriously don't think we will ever see a A+ title for kinect purely because of the hardware limitations. I am not sure anything can be done about that now. I'll still look out with anticipation for what next year has to hold but I think we've reached the limit of kinects abilities, it will never be able to track 100% of the time, it will certainly never manage accurate tracking of fast actions, and with no peripherals the games themselves will be extremely limited before they even get started!


9. AppleSprode United Kingdom 18 Nov 2011, 15:18 GMT

I've always seen Kinect as a way of introducing fun party gaming onto the 360. Something it lacked. I also found the technology more compelling and forward thinking than the Wii. In that regard, Kinect has provided what I wanted. It's been a bit slow with a big drought throughout early and mid 2011, but there have been a good selection of quality titles coming lately. Companies like BioWare, Double Fine, Twisted Pixel and Harmonix are paying attention, and I'm excited to see what the future brings.

On the other side of the coin we have more core games. Now, 90% of games on the 360 are hardcore games. I don't really need a Kinect shooter, I'll just play Gears of War or Halo. I don't need to race with my hands, as fun as it is for 10 minutes. Which is why I'm satisfied to bat balls and dance. BUT Milo was undoubtedly the most exciting aspect of Natal's unveiling, and I was hoping for at least one genuinely deep Kinect experience to enter the market this year. Games like The Gunstringer stand in a nice, fun middle ground and future hybrid integration looks solid, but I hold out hope that a company will nail a AAA Kinect game that core gamers can easily embrace. Maybe Fable: The Journey will be that game. Maybe not. Without it, I feel Kinect's full potential will remain unexplored. I won't regret the fun I continue having with the device though. And the new dashboard is wonderful to navigate with voice and gestures. It's what the Hub should have been on day one.


10. teamdoa United Kingdom 18 Nov 2011, 22:32 GMT

Well, it doesn't help when more than half the reviews are mediocre. There are only two games on the horizon that interest me, one was meant to be out this year, Star Wars, so that is major dissapointment. The other, Steel Battalion still doens't have a release date.

The other major drawback is the hardware is dated already. Virtually the reviews you read site that the controls are "laggy" This could have been avoided by using better hardware.


11. mastodona United States 19 Nov 2011, 00:55 GMT

What's this new wonderful dashboard I've heard a couple of people mention I missing something? I'm still using the same kinect dashboard which still won't even let me access kinect demos or arcade games so Is pretty for voice commands I tend to still use my hands for some reason. Talking of which anyone played halo ce...I don't get why voice commands for throwing a grenade is better than the Instant pressing on the button of the controller in your hand? It feels like ms is forcing kinect in where Its really not needed now.


12. James United Kingdom 19 Nov 2011, 08:41 GMT

: The dashboard is in trial at the moment but should be rolled out to everyone within the next month or so :)


13. dirtyvu United States 20 Nov 2011, 22:44 GMT

trust me. I'm in the beta dashboard program and its Kinect functionality is stunning. i can't go into it due to NDA but it's used EVERYWHERE in the dash.


14. userwords Spain 21 Nov 2011, 11:36 GMT

bla bla bla

no enough games, need 9 titles a month, dragon ball, tmnt, and many other legends on kinect.

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