Expectations rise as Kinect is on the brink of release

The new XBOX game console and Kinect bundle

By Antonia Landi

The XBOX Kinect is scheduled for release in the UK and Europe this Wednesday, 10 November. As the eagerly anticipated motion sensor arrives in stores throughout the conuntry, reactions in the gaming community remain mixed.

The XBOX Kinect is the highly anticipated motion sensor add-on by Microsoft, promising you “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. 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 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 states that “Motion controllers will alienate real gamers” and “controllers are for ‘real’ gamers”. 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. However, there are XBOX consoles available that include the Kinect, but these are selling fast as well. Both Gamestation and HMV Gamerbase have 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 has attracted a lot of people, many 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'”, while members of staff at HMV Gamerbase agree that “there is something nice about having a grip on something” and that “generations of people grew up playing with consoles” and this is not likely to change anytime soon. 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.

Useful links:

Gamestation

HMV

Click here to go to HMV Gamerbase

Official Kinect website

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