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Comic for: August 31st, 2010
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Kinect: "As Seen on TV"
Posted: Tuesday August 31st, 2010 by

When Microsoft officially lost Natal and gained Kinect at E3, the first push of information was all about selling the vehicle. Getting you excited, hyped up and amazed at all of the ways that Kinect was going to change your gaming and entertainment experiences. However as we get closer and closer to the actual launch date, most of the news articles seem to revolve around handling your expectations or figuring out how this thing actually works.

News stories talk about how the Kinect device can only handle two active players at a time (which has now been debunked by Microsoft), how due to cost considerations, the Kinect does not have a processor unit built in and all of the overhead is handled by the XBox itself (which leads to a pretty impressive delay which game coders have to work around). I've seen at least three different news articles on different sites at different time periods talking about and confirming that the Kinect will work while sitting down (apparently there was quite a bit of confusion on this point).

All-in-all I think the Kinect and motion control have the opportunity to change the face of home entertainment (and computing for that matter), but I think it will be a bumpy ride. Watching John Underkoffler demo his UI at TED with multiple motion capture cameras shows that the "best case scenario" implementation of this technology is still in the "several thousands of dollars" price range... but hopefully we'll get there soon. Who knows? Maybe Kinect will eventually even be seen as an integral stepping stone to that goal. Right now though... if you compared their features side-by-side, it sure does seem like the normal wireless controller has a lot more functionality.

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