Monday, June 14, 2010

Project Natal becomes Microsoft Kinect

Well yesterday Microsoft had a reveiling of Microsoft Kinect.


I thought the name was good before with Natal but I guess things change.
The software at launch is going to be similar to titles that Nintendo has had. Wii Sports,Mario Kart,Nintendogs(except Microsoft is doing a game about cats)
There will be a dance game as well from MTV.
Other than those few there will be something from LucasArts and Disney.
Rumors around have been circlating that Kinect will have 2 versions and that it will cost $149 for the higher end model.
Your thoughts on Kinect?


Benjamin Fennell said...

My thoughts on Natal/Kinect are pretty much what they were last year when it was first announced: a cynical assumption through corporate groupthink that they could wreck the Wii by putting out an Eyetoy. I haven't been impressed at all by their showings for the system or their shameless Wii knockoff menu redesign. Microsoft's usual audience has been pretty furious over mainstream blogs, since there's nothing 'hardcore' about it and just represents all the stereotypes they use to rationalize the hatred of the Wii we see on that side of the market. It seems to be turning into an E3 tradition as of late, the HD consoles alienating their only audience - which they trained to hate Nintendo and the Wii - by trying to cynically turn their consoles into the Wii by copying features and releasing motion peripherals, all while missing out on the core design ideas, functionality, and philosophies that made the Wii the success it is to begin with, the corporate leaders in these companies still having no actual respect for the Wii audience to begin with. So yeah, that said, between this and the increasingly stagnant software lineups of "more of the same and sequels" we're seeing on the other consoles, Microsoft and Sony only seem to be sinking lower and lower as they continue to struggle against Nintendo. My biggest disappointment is in how many third parties are actively choosing to go down with them.

Looking forward to Nintendo's conference in twelve hours, though. They've got some killer, show-winning/dominating stuff to show as is. :)

Maxi said...

Yeah that makes really no sense to me. For the past few years Sony and Microsoft have been basically putting down Motion Controls and saying that the majority of Wii games are not really up to their standards and yet they show games which are the titles that are putting down.
It makes it sound that Microsoft and Sony are,I hate to say it,Hypocrites.And are trying to catch up.

I am looking forward to the Nintendo Conference as well. Zelda Wii!

I'll put up my thoughts up here after E3 is over and cover my thoughts on all the conferences.

Benjamin Fennell said...

That's pretty much it. They're colossal hypocrites. They have no respect for the Nintendo audience - let alone the expanded ones - or the motion controls they're trying to push. Microsoft shareholders actually don't have any confidence in the product, as has recently come out - it's all just a cynical attempt to dupe the market they think nothing of into thinking the 360 - and in Sony's case the PS3 - is now a "better Wii." Both Sony and Microsoft are losing this generation badly, despite the paid online media - who basically work as Sony/Microsoft propagandists these days - blogs, and viral marketers trying hard to keep the elephant in the room covered: that the PS3 and 360 are too expensive to sustainably develop for. That most games on those consoles don't break even, let alone turn a profit. That Nintendo's crushing them, is still far ahead of the curve, and a healthier place for third parties to be with the much lower development costs and easier to hit profitability window to achieve sustainability. Bad business is being done this generation by Sony, Microsoft, and the third parties that aligned themselves with them in the hopes of forcing Nintendo out entirely this generation. The PS3 has been eating Sony corporate as a whole and putting the whole company in jeopardy. Microsoft investors are losing patience with the Xbox line because in the long term, it's been nothing but a net financial sinkhole for the company - they can continue to afford to support it, but there's no point because it isn't a successful, profitable hardware line. And we've been watching the third parties crumble and consolidate all generation now due to their constant HD support, which has been bleeding them to death. Konami just said they're looking for a buyer now, they're in such bad shape. Silent Hill: Shattered Memories was their biggest success of 2009. How've they responded at E3? Even more hefty HD support and pretty much nothing for Nintendo. This is just the face of third party suicide at this point - it's the most deeply disappointing part of this generation for me, because I honestly thought that the third parties were better than this, smarter than this. But I was apparently wrong.

Benjamin Fennell said...

Sony and Microsoft are far behind Nintendo and they know it, but they don't know how to reach Nintendo's audience because they hold nothing but contempt for them. Copying Miis and trying to redesign things to give them a lighter feel didn't work. Releasing a very few major family-friendly games each didn't work. Half-hearted motion controls that amount to little more than trying to hype up the Eyetoy all over again are downright insulting and won't work either - the companies supporting these motion controls will lose more money for it, and they've earned those losses for sinking into cynicism and continuing to relentlessly antagonize Nintendo as if they'd committed some crime by stealing the mass market from them in delivering gaming platforms the mass market actually WANTED. We're seeing a war being waged by Sony, Microsoft, and most of the third parties not just on Nintendo, but on the mass market whose support they feel they're entitled to - that they should be able to control what the market buys by putting all their support on the HD consoles (Which has only backfired on them), rather than catering to the market. It's corporate industry vs. the consumer that we're watching unfold, and the consumer is kicking ass and taking names, and as a result, Sony and Microsoft's days in the gaming hardware scene are dwindling. The biggest shame in all this is that they dragged the third parties into it and turned them against the market too, when given the very healthy software sales on the Wii, if the third parties refocused their HD efforts on the Wii and actually marketed their games, they'd be doing amazingly well right now. They wonder why half-hearted Wii games with no marketing don't sell, and it's obvious - a lack of effort on their part. They resent the audience that Nintendo treats with love and tries to please at every turn. Yet there's so much money being thrown around and so much corporate corruption now, the people running the third party publishers these days are blind.

Benjamin Fennell said...

But yeah, the Nintendo conference'll be amazing. Zelda, 3DS, any niche games they announce (Hoping for more on Cosmic Walker, Line Attack Heroes, Zangeki no Reginleiv, and any other even more obscure games like we saw in Glory of Heracles and the Domo-kun games last year.), any new Wii features, channels, games, Xenoblade and The Last Story (I'm really, really looking forward to these as an RPG addict.), surprise unveils (New Donkey Kong or Star Fox?), Retro's supposedly upcoming game, any new WiiWare announcements, Samurai Warriors 3, Dragon Quest 9 (Possibly Dragon Quest 6 and Joker 2 as well. They were conspicuously missing from Square-Enix's "pretend we're Eidos and that Eidos was doing amazingly well on games like this before we bought them" lineup this year. I could see Nintendo acquiring Dragon Quest as a standard first party property in the west now.), Wii Party (Not a huge party gamer, but this looks innovative enough to be interesting as party games go.), possibly a surprise like Tomodachi Collection on the DS, and really anything else. As embarrassing as the HD and third party lineups have largely been so far with rehashed, stagnant stuff, cynical cashgrabs (Like the XBLA Castlevania, which I'm seeing a huge backlash to on the blogs with big HD fanatic followings already - Kinect and the new Wii knockoff menu are making Microsoft's base furious too.), and Eyetoy-alike hyping, Nintendo's not gonna have any problem having their biggest show at E3 since the years they unveiled the DS and Wii. Further Wii domination, and the 3DS bringing in the next stage of their disruptive business practices will be very exciting to see, as will the inevitable Wii successor in several years.

With Nintendo at the industry helm, things're way more exciting than they were in the hobby and industry for a long time - instead of just focusing on technical prowess and graphical upgrades, the kind of innovation Nintendo's brought to the forefront like no one else can is just incredible. :)

I'm blogging about E3 as it happens, myself. I'm gonna try to have a post up on my thoughts on day one within the next few hours - hopefully before the Nintendo conference, so feel free to stop by.

NinSage said...

Wow, Ben, thanks so much for all your thoughts!!

As extreme as your wording is, I very much agree with the essence of your ideas.

The proof of your theories lies in the fact that Ubisoft only showed video of the PS3 version of Shaun White Skateboarding yesterday.

Let's review some facts for Ubisoft's sake:
SWS (Wii) - 1.49 million
SWS (360) - 0.73 million
SWS (PS3) - 0.50 million
SWS (DS) - 0.21 million
SWS (PSP) - 0.19 million
SWS (PS2) - 0.13 million

So the Wii version sold almost as much as every other version COMBINED (1.49 vs 1.76).

Which is why the Wii got the only sequel, SWS World Stage (0.12 million so far).

So, tell me Ubisoft, why does the Wii version of SW Skateboarding not even get shown during your presentation? "Wii" was literally the last word out of their mouth on the subject.

*sigh* ... I just don't understand the business side of these corporations.

Benjamin Fennell said...

It probably comes from a mixture of passion and spending enough time reading Malstrom, among others, while generally being irate with the state of things this generation.

If you want to see more, I'm doing mammoth E3 coverage, contextualization, and commentary posts - comprehensive stuff, albeit somewhat skewed more by my own personal tastes - and just finished posting my huge day one post a few minutes ago. I'll be doing another large day two post on Nintendo, Sony, and more third parties tonight.

This first one focuses on Microsoft's conference, their mostly stagnant showings, and a complete deconstruction of why Kinect and Move's efforts to disrupt the Wii as part of a longer strategy of copying the Wii are futile. Plus, commentary on a few third party lineups and the insanity around Ubisoft's Scott Pilgrim video game platform choice. And yeah, there's some definite problems with Ubisoft's attitudes toward the Wii and Nintendo, and they're not serving them any better than any other third party treating them like a second class gaming audience when the Nintendo crowd's dominating the industry.

It can be hard not to say too much with enough passion in this hobby, haha. :)

Benjamin Fennell said...

Just finished the conference. No Xenoblade, Last Story, or ultra-niche stuff as hoped - keeping an eye out for their non-conference unveils for those like they gave us last year.

But yeah. I feel like crying. I don't see how anyone can compete with Nintendo anymore with a lineup like this, and the 3DS - they really did disrupt the DS with that thing. It's like a wishlist of gaming dreams came true.