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MS Prepares Slim XBOX360, Kinectic

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#1 of 50 mattCR

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Posted June 13 2010 - 04:11 PM

Project Natal Gets a name, and it's "Kinectic" this is their motion sensitive via digital cam recognition technology.   It's hard to say how this will look/work in comparison to motion sensitive controllers.  This is a controller-less technology that relies on photo imagery and recognition.  It's ambitious.. but I keep wondering what will happen when someone walks in front of you.


In other news, ads are now popping up for XBOX360 "slim".. new stats are: 250GB HDD, built in WiFi, another die-shrink so less likely to suffer RROD, and a new fan structure.  So, less power, smaller case, inbuilt wifi, bigger HDD.  I guess it all depends on the cost.


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#2 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 14 2010 - 05:21 AM

The initial impressions of Kinect (not Kinectic) have not been very kind.  Reports consider it laggy and inaccurate, but the games are the biggest disappointment -- most are trying too hard to be Wii-wannabes.  Aside from the Star Wars game (which is on rails), there isn't anything to interest the hardcore gamer.



#3 of 50 mattCR

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Posted June 14 2010 - 05:23 AM

That's kind of the impression I get.  I think some of these are going to have a really hard time because they are an expensive add-on, rather then something developers know is built into every system.  So, I don't think Sony's Move or MS's Kinectic will get a huge following because it's hard to develop a huge # of titles for them.


It will be kind of like Robby the Robot for the original NES.  It's cool, but like, 3 games for it.


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#4 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 14 2010 - 07:37 AM

Niche gaming is always a problem when you do things like this.  Even the Wii Motion Plus won't have many games made for it, and they're only $20 a pop.  But the biggest thing holding back Kinect is that the 360 is a hardcore gamers system -- if they're not going to get the Kinect for $150 because the games suck, then how is anyone going to see it in action?


The other complaint about the Kinect is that there used to be a processor in the Kinect that did a lot of the number crunching for the tracking.  They took it out and offloaded the processing to the main console, presumably for cost reasons.  Having the main CPU handling the game and the tracking is the reason there is lag and the occasional hiccup.



#5 of 50 mattCR

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Posted June 14 2010 - 07:45 AM

I tend to think Kinect will be a bust.  But I think the new XBOX, which in a lark seems to be from all reports shipping with HD-DVD (REALLY?  but apparently using up a ton of left over committments to Toshiba for drives that were already produced) is a funny twist.  I'm wondering if you'd ever see a game that would take advantage of that.


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#6 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 14 2010 - 08:00 AM

What, no SelectaVision slot?



#7 of 50 Sam Posten

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Posted June 14 2010 - 08:23 AM

New 360 is whisper quiet =  I'm getting the first batch of Elites to hit Costco.


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#8 of 50 joshEH

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Posted June 14 2010 - 08:33 AM

Oh God...World Class Track Meet is back to finish the coronary it tried to give me, back in 1988.

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#9 of 50 mattCR

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Posted June 14 2010 - 10:46 AM

Yeah, the fact that everyone is saying it's dead silent using the new die shrink and is smaller make it a major upgrade.. the silent factor is potentially huge for me


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#10 of 50 Morgan Jolley

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Posted June 14 2010 - 02:14 PM

I think Kinect is a neat idea in terms of how it can change the way you interact with your TV and media, but as a gaming peripheral I think it won't work too well.  The games they announced could easily be played on the Wii or PS3 already (as a matter of fact, extremely similar games already are).  The EyeToy and Wii Remote pretty much allowed for everything MS showed off.  Sure, there's no controller, but as Sony and Nintendo mentioned a year ago, the lack of tactile feedback hurts the experience.  If the hardware can supplement existing games in neat ways (putting your face on a character in a shooter, for example, but still allowing for a controller to play the game) then that would be smart on their part.  But rumor has it that Kinect will be $150 and add $100 to the 360 hardware bundles, which is probably too much.



#11 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 15 2010 - 01:25 AM



Originally Posted by Morgan Jolley 

Sure, there's no controller, but as Sony and Nintendo mentioned a year ago, the lack of tactile feedback hurts the experience.

Wouldn't it be leagues better to pet a tiger and get a subtle rumble as feedback?  Or feel a rumble when you put your paddle into rough waters?  Or rumble when you skid out?  I'd love to have a way to control my HTPC with gestures, but for actual gaming, taking the controller away is a seriously dumb idea -- unless it's dead on 1:1 (which it clearly is not), it's just a lot of running in place and arm waving.  Anyone ever play Raving Rabbids or Wii Sports boxing?  It's like that with no tactile feedback.  When your best game is a yoga "game", you have big problems.  When the rest of them would play much better with a controller, you have even bigger problems.


If you compare the buzz around any of the Kinect games (zero) and Wii Sports back in the day (creaming jeans), it seems almost certain it will be a colossal failure.  It makes me wonder if MS pulled the chip out of the Kinect to save a few bucks since it was going to crash and burn anyway.



#12 of 50 Adam Gregorich

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Posted June 15 2010 - 09:59 AM



Originally Posted by Hanson Yoo 

The initial impressions of Kinect (not Kinectic) have not been very kind.  Reports consider it laggy and inaccurate, but the games are the biggest disappointment -- most are trying too hard to be Wii-wannabes.  Aside from the Star Wars game (which is on rails), there isn't anything to interest the hardcore gamer.



I think this was aimed squarely at the Wii casual gamer.



#13 of 50 Morgan Jolley

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Posted June 15 2010 - 10:46 AM

It was probably aimed at the same gamer that the Wii tried to market to (which, as you said, is casual gamers).  Unfortunately, the new X-Box 360 isn't the most approachable looking piece of hardware (the original model looks "friendlier") and the cost to get a 360 and Kinect is going to be too high, most likely $400+.  Sony is doing the right thing by shooting for the more hardcore audience with Move and 3D.  A $400 bundle is easier to sell to someone with a big 3D TV than a housewife.



#14 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 15 2010 - 10:49 AM

The problem for MS is that the 360 is such a hardcore gamer's machine that they need to have some of that core audience adopt the Kinect or it will rely solely on new casual gamers.  And at $299 for the Arcade bundle (aka, the crippled 360 bundle -- it's $399 for the new slim bundle), they aren't priced for that kind of adoption.  And without hardcore gamers, there won't be any buzz to drive casual gamer to the system -- the Wii was bought by a lot of hardcore gamers (they're collecting dust now, but they did buy them).  And their moms and uncles watched them and got into it.  Who's going to demo the Kinect for these people?  It's also a bad sign that bowling, which almost single-handedly sold tens of millions of Wii's, is reportedly one of the worst games on Kinect.  To market at such a narrow market is absolute folly.



#15 of 50 mattCR

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Posted June 15 2010 - 11:20 AM

I think it may change the way you could interact with media.  The webcam thing was a neat display.  But WTF is paying $150 for a "neat' webcam that can work as a remote control?


It's not accurate enough to be 1:1 as pointed out above, and the lack of tactile feedback is bad.  Someone mentioned Raving Rabbids, and that's a good example.. the way the Wiimote would shake or seemingly pull funny as you responded, or the loud, unusual noise that would flow through it when the Rabbids got behind you.. the first time it happened, I damn near laughed my ass off.  It was funny, unique and it made you feel part of the game.

Doing the running man for a camera just feels.. stupid.  I mean, can you imagine "Rockband" or "Guitar Hero" without a guitar, only you playing air guitar?  Of course not.  Because you need that guitar around you to complete the experience.

To me, Kinetic is an inherently flawed idea.  MS had a few things they showed that I thought were impressive, but as a whole, their entire presentation was a distant third to Sony and Nintendo.


Sony had a great presentation, good games, and actually made a case, along with changes in the online (I admit, Playstation Plus seems like a very good idea for me)

But MS didn't offer anything breakthrough that I thought was a "must own".


It seemed to me like:  Nintendo distant second Sony and then WAY down their MS.   I felt as though MS needed to intro something different, I was waiting for them to offer an external Bluray device etc. but nope.

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#16 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 15 2010 - 11:32 AM

I would love for something like Kinect to control my HTPC.  Use my finger to move the mouse, type in the air on a virtual keyboard, use gestures to launch and close programs -- this would be soooo awesome.

But to play games?  Has anyone even mentioned how you're supposed to move your character in Kinect games?  How long do you walk in place before it gets tedious?  I'm thinking like, one day.  That's probably why the Star Wars game is on rails.



#17 of 50 Morgan Jolley

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Posted June 16 2010 - 10:57 AM

I don't think you would control a character in Kinect games.  The idea is to create new games around it, rather than shoehorn it into existing genres and styles.  That said, I don't see the room for creativity being too open.  It will be hard to make an action game or RPG with it, unless you use a regular controller as the regular input method and Kinect supplements it.


Also, the price for the Arcade 360 is $199, not $299.  That said, once the new model is on store shelves (this weekend), the regular 360 models are dropping in price by $50.  The Arcade will be $150, the Elite will be $250, and the new model is $300.



#18 of 50 Hanson

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Posted June 16 2010 - 11:35 AM

The prices I quoted referred to the Kinect bundles, not the base systems.



#19 of 50 joshEH

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Posted June 16 2010 - 12:56 PM

I fully believe motion control is the future, but it sure as hell isn't the immediate present.

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#20 of 50 Morgan Jolley

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Posted June 17 2010 - 12:56 PM

I doubt MS is going to bundle Kinect with the older model 360.  The new one matches the Kinect in how it looks and the current reduced price on the old model is meant to clear out the stock.  The new 360 also has a port that can supply power to the Kinect, while the older consoles don't which means the Kinect needs to be plugged in.


In other words, Hanson, I don't think there will be an Arcade/Elite Kinect bundle, just the new 360 by itself for $300 and the Kinect/360 bundle for $400.







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