Don't These Kinect Games Sound Awfully Familiar?

So the Microsoft Kinect is official, and we've seen a list of exciting new titles making their way to the Xbox 360 motion control device, but where's the innovation? Is Kinect changing the game or delivering more of the same?

USA Today's story on the newly renamed Kinect highlights several of the titles we'll be seeing for the eagerly anticipated device when it launches later this year.

Unfortunately it's a pretty disappointing list.

We were expecting some sort of revolution, but then we were expecting a revolution from Nintendo before they renamed the Revolution to the Wii. Perhaps that explains the similarities between the games.

Let's take a look at what's been revealed so far.

Kinectimals let's you train and play with 20 different virtual cats. Or perhaps that's Catz. With tigers and lions in the mix, this is hardly Microsoft's version of Nintendogs, but the Petz series from Ubisoft has touched on tigers before.

But wait, we're interacting with them on a screen, without use of any sort of controller! That's new and exciting, right?

No, that's EyePet, already released in several regions, but retooled for North American release alongside the PlayStation Move.

Then there's Kinect Sports, with its boxing, bowling, beach volleyball, track and field, soccer and table tennis. It's Wii Sports, without holding anything. Hell, during the early days of the Wii, Wii Sports often turned into Wii Sports without holding anything, albeit while gaping at your newly cracked television screen and wondering where your Wii remote flew off to.

Kinect Adventures contains river rafting and an obstacle course. They probably should have included this with Kinect Sports and called it Kinect Sports Resort.

Dance Central from MTV Games brings the So You Think You Can Dance? experience home. Just like Just Dance did, only slightly different.

Surely there is some innovation? What about Joy Ride? The avatar-based, co-operation-fuelled driving game was a big hit at last year's E3, promising an amazing community experience that would be a free download to all Xbox Live users. It sounded amazing!

And now it's a Kinect game, where players hold an imaginary steering wheel in the air, tilting forward and back to accelerate and brake. It sounds like they've taken BigPark's game, integrated the controls they showed off last year for a Natal-powered Burnout, and might be selling it instead of giving it away. I guess that counts as innovating and new.

Of course these are just the first games announced for Kinect, and it might not be a complete list. Microsoft could still have some surprises up their sleeves. Something that capitalises on the promise of Lionhead's Milo, for instance.

We're not excusing Sony from creating Wii game clones here. Sports Champion for the PlayStation Move is pretty much Wii Sports Resort. The difference here is we were expecting Wii clones with the Move. Both systems have wands? Bring on the clones!

We were expecting more from Kinect.

We'll wait and see what E3 has in store for Microsoft's Kinect, but right now we're not that impressed.


Comments

    At least PlayStation move has shown Socom and other 'hardcore games'

    Will be interesting to see if this works with Halo Reach

    You think they will have any game on it that aren't for kids or party games?

    I'm intrigued, to say the least. If it works, tickle me impressed.

    Man, I hope they're holding something big back for their E3 presentation. Because what I've been reading about this particular event is... beyond disappointing.

    MS had better pull something out of the hat for Kinect, or their E3 2010 will go down in history alongside Sony's from 2006 as the most embarrassing ever.

    Like any new console, it'll take a couple of months or even years for anyone to capitalise on the potential of the Kinect properly.

    That said, it would have been nice for something a little bit game-breaking - this isn't reinventing the wheel. The Wii could get away with the launch titles being mostly crap, because it was shiny and new and exciting. Motion control doesn't do that to people anymore.

    Joy Ride sounds particularly bad, though - I can't imagine anything worse than standing, pretending to hold a steering wheel, and pretending to drive - that's one area where an actual peripheral would do them some good.

    Car racing without a wheel is lame. Racing with yr hands in the air is less immersive than just using the standard gamepad controller.

    Natal will need to be more than just a reason to save you picking up a wii to play wii sports.

    The dancing game alone is completely different to the Wii offering - my wife is extremely excited for it already...

    I dont think you understand what this machine is capable of, it's not some wiimote which only senses via infrared.
    This is 4D motion sensing, incredibly advanced tech. They are just testing the water, I'm sure we'll see some amazing games come from this. The wii is screwed, you no longer have to stand on that god damn white thing to get fit!
    But why the hell did they call it 'Kinect'. God microsoft can't name a product for shit!

      It's a play on words. It's a mixture of kinetic (as in kinetic energy) and connect as in the ability to be part of the game. See? Kinect.

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