Seven months ago I went to the launch of the Kinect in London and was impressed with Xbox’s answer to the Nintendo Wii. Now witnessing the unveiling of more games and upgraded features at the world famous E3, I predict a successful future for Kinect and Xbox.
Attempting to address wider audiences with a much broader range of experience for consumers, the Kinect and Xbox boasts a greater selection of new games. For the hardcore gamers this includes Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Fable: The Journey and Forza Motorsports 4. For the fans of classic games there is the brand new Tomb Raider, Kinect Star Wars, and the mighty Halo 4. Then for those who enjoy family fun there is Kinect Sports 2, Sesame Street: Once Upon a Monster, and my personal favourite Dance Central 2, which finally allows multiplayer fun.
There is also an impressive upgrade for Xbox Live, which looks to dramatically change the TV entertainment experience. Rather than the click of a button it’s now all down to voice command “You say it, Xbox finds it”. In the past voice recognition has been found to be less reliable and even seen as more of a gimmick. However, Xbox claim the technology behind their voice command has vastly improved and will change gameplay.
Xbox Live has partnered with Bing making searching for games, films, TV shows, music and sports smarter, easier and much faster: giving you that extra time to make popcorn to eat while watching a film. The catalogue of films and TV shows has also expanded with the partnership with YouTube, giving you access to content from Sky and Zune.
My most favourite feature has to be Kinect Fun Labs. From Kinect Me, which allows your avatar to mimic your actual look; to FingerTracking, which allows you to create awesome 3D pictures; to Object Catcher, which allows you to create your own content. These fantastic new features demonstrate Microsoft’s attempt to not only widen the game player’s experience but also supports individual developers to be more creative. This all sounds very promising but what Xbox haven’t mentioned is who the new content created by you will belong to.
At this moment in time, at the very core of Xbox’s new launch, I am impressed with their attempt to expand the entertainment experience and their target audience. This is something that has been long overdue. Nintendo started it with the Wii and now I see Xbox taking that step further.
I do feel however, that there is more on offer for hardcore male gamers, especially those into fantasy warfare. Research from Women at Play has found that women represent a financial opportunity of £0.6 billion so could Xbox be missing out by deciding to target hardcore male gamers? However, Xbox have promised more games to be released this coming year, so let’s watch this space …