Microsoft this week released the beta version of its Kinect non-commercial software development kit (SDK).
Gamespot report that “The Kinect SDK includes drivers for using the camera with Windows-based PCs, as well as source code samples, including a simple game where users interact with shapes falling from the top of the screen. Using voice commands, players can change the size, speed, color, and shape of the falling objects.”
This is a major move fromMicrosoft, will they be allowing developers to build their own Apps for publish on Xbox Live? They previously seemed to frown on the unoffocial but often cool and funny hacks of Kinect. Maybe they are now seeing this as a major opportunity to further embed the Xbox in peoples living rooms.
Kotaku are reporting that the Nintendo Wii U may actually be pretty powerful, more so than the Xbox 360 and PS3. And this is coming from developers who are working on new games for the console. This may therefore be much more reliable than the usual random sources. Check out the article to read more.
Asked about Kinect support in Microsoft titles, Gamespot report that , Game Studios boss Phil Spencer remarked:
“There are some things that just seem to make navigating and playing games much easier…in the end, you’ll see all first-party games using some form of Kinect functionality.
“Whether it’s voice in Forza or head-tracking in Forza, which you wouldn’t say is somehow turning the Forza gameplay experience on it’s head,” he continued. “Rather, it’s just using the advantages of what Kinect brings to make the experience better. So I think there’s some specific examples where Kinect makes everything better.”
Lets us know your thoughts in the comments.
This weeks E3 was a glorious event celebrating what is now a very established, powerful and in our opinion joy giving industry. But some have noted that Sony seemed to stand in the shadow of Microsoft and Nintendo.
For the Microsoft Xbox 360, it quickly became the year Kinect appears to be coming of age and in to it’s own with now support spilling in to mainstream gaming title such as Mass Effect 3 and a Star Wars branded game. And they were not the only ones. Indeed, the Fall due upgraded dashboard with voice recognition, Live TV and greater Kinect interactivity alone was a major message behind what Microsoft see as the future of gaming.
Nintendo came out with that controller! The Wii U and it’s controller signals intent by Nintendo alongside being embraced by mainstream game titles alike to bring Nintendo in to the Living Room Hub game with features like video calls, touch screen drawing and a console which does not have to dominate the TV!
Sony indeed did bring out the new PS Vita which marked their next move forward in to portable gaming. But that is a market that is becoming increasingly competitive with even Apple getting in on the act through the impressively growing array of gaming titles for iOS devices and indeed reports today that AppleTV and an iOS device such as an iPad may start to even compete directly with the Wii U concept. Android and the Sony Ericsson Xperia Play are further diversifying the portable gaming market and creating some huge choices for the consumer. And the Nintendo 3DS!
Now a year in the games industry is not a great deal of time and next year it would not surprise any of us if Sony hit us all with a Playstation 4. But where will the PS4 fit with Kinect taking control of the no controller needed environment and Wii U bringing the interactive gaming experience with a motion control and multi view gaming to a new level (check out the golf shot from the Wii U promo video). Sony are capable of bringing something special that we can not think of but Xbox is catching up Sony for content on the Entertainment front outside of gaming (video playback, music hub, TV, social networking etc). They may feel (as hinted by the Playstation 3D gaming TV set they announced – which is pretty neat) that the future of gaming console wars is to be fought over the 3D market but I am not convinced this is going to universally catch on with movies and TV nevermind gaming. There is still resistance to having to wear a 3D pair of glasses to get the best experience. Sony still has the edge on Blu-Ray but is this a move to protect their investment in the format? Downloads and content streaming are increasingly where the market is moving.
And while Sony are looking at the PS4, Microsoft will surely already be looking ahead too. Where this will all take us, we will have to wait and see, but it is hard to see where the PS will catch up and indeed overtake the Xbox.
Next years E3 will certainly be very interesting!
Microsoft has confirmed that the imminent firmware upgrade to Xbox 360 consoles may not work on a small number of older Xbox 360 consoles.
They know who you are and will reach out to you to replace your console….new slim Xbox 360 then!