The XBOX Kinect is scheduled for release in the UK and Europe this Wednesday. As the eagerly anticipated motion sensor arrives in stores throughout the country, reactions in the gaming community remain mixed.
The XBOX Kinect is the highly anticipated motion sensor add-on by Microsoft, promising you on their website ‘hours of hands-free fun where you’re the controller’. It features a camera, microphone and a depth sensor, allowing the user to play videogames without the aid of a controller. Even before its release, the Kinect is proving to be very popular. At HMV Gamerbase in Edinburgh there will not be any Kinects available to buy on the day of release, as the store has already sold out of them for the next two deliveries. Graeme Loarridge, manager of the HMV Gamberbase stores in Edinburgh and Glasgow added: “Given that it is a £130 piece of kit [we are] well on target“. Gamestation and HMV Gamerbase had Kinects set up to try in their stores since Saturday. A member of staff at HMV Gamerbase said: “It is an expensive add-on so it’s good to try it before you buy it”.
While the Kinect is being marketed as a revolution in gaming, it is in fact the product of a recent trend that has swept through the gaming community. Consoles like the Wii and the new Playstation 3 motion sensor controller are designed to make videogames more accessible to casual gamers. While this has proven to be greatly successful, it has also created a divide between ‘real gamers’ and ‘casuals’. Christian Mugiraneze, a member of staff at Gamestation Edinburgh said: “Motion controllers will alienate real gamers”, adding that controllers are for ‘real’ gamers.
While the Kinect has attracted a lot of people, gamers remain sceptical. Mr Mugiraneze describes consoles that rely on motion sensors to be designed to “bridge the gap between ‘easy gamers’ and ‘hardcore gamers’” and Mr Loarridge explained: “Don’t forget that the best selling game of 2009 was Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2, and the new Call of Duty: Black Ops is set to be the biggest selling game of 2010. Both these games use a traditional controller and adhere strongly to the standard action shooter format.” Whether the Kinect will become a ‘second Wii’ and will focus entirely on appealing to casual gamers or if it will actually innovate the way we play videogames can only be answered once games will have been released for it. But with exciting releases already in the pipelines finding this out is at the very least likely to be a lot of fun.
Click here to go to HMV Gamerbase