Everyone remembers the original Kinect demos at E3 2010, prior to the product’s launch last November. While the use of your whole body as the controller was a unique take on motion gaming, the technology itself still seemed slightly raw and unfinished. The demonstrations of the technology floored the crowd, but the controls seemed a bit slow and a bit rough in terms of granularity. We were told point blank that Kinect was, for the time being, meant to be used standing up as the software couldn’t handle gaming from a sitting position.

Fast forward to E3 2011 – Kudo Tsunoda is showing distinct finger tracking in Kinect Fun Labs; and the Ghost Recon Future Soldier Gunsmith demo put on by Ubisoft showed the ability of the Kinect to discern specific hand gestures to aim and fire weapons. Forza Motorsport 4 showed the ability of Kinect to handle head tracking to allow players to virtually looking into corners by panning the cockpit to match head movement. Mass Effect 3 gave us a glimpse of using voice to control dialog tree choices and also for squad combat. Expect these improvements in updates soon as many of these titles are launching in the 4th quarter.

Microsoft’s ability to roll out improvements over time in their twice yearly spring and fall Xbox 360 system updates allows the system to gain new enhancements and abilities as they are implemented. As game developers find new and interesting ways to enchance our gaming experiences with added bits of motion control, Microsoft is working with them to ensure that Kinect continues to get updates to add to its repetoire. While the promise of Kinect is far from being fully realized, the system is getting better over time. I just hope that I can get my butt back on my couch soon.

Source: EuroGamer.net, Joystiq, Shacknews

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