If Microsoft’s hype machine is to be believed, the future has arrived, and we are now living in science fiction.
If you’re still on the fence about Kinect — and who would blame you? it is, after all, a $150 investment — here’s some food for thought and some eye candy to help you make your decision.
Here’s what the pundits say about the Kinect hardware:
Wired says… “It’s clear Microsoft will attract new users based solely on the “wow” factor of controlling your television holding absolutely nothing in your hands. For that reason, Kinect is undeniably cool… [But] what exactly is wrong with buttons?”
The New York Times says… “The Kinect’s astonishing technology creates a completely new activity that’s social, age-spanning and even athletic… Just this once, the gods have lifted the Curse of the Microsoft Hardware.”
CNN says… “Is it worth it? That may depend on whether you have kids — and what kind of gamer you are.”
Joystiq says… “Microsoft conceived a potential game-changer with Project Natal, it just seems like Kinect was born prematurely.”
Kotaku says… “If Kinect becomes nothing more than a replacement for the TV remote, it’ll prove to be a winner. For its launch price, though, it needs to be more.”
IGN says… “As high as our hopes may be for the future of Kinect, we still have to look it as it exists today, and there are definitely some issues standing in the way of its true potential.”
Gizmodo says… “The potential is there, but you need to think of Kinect like the launch of a new console: Wait until the games you really want are available — or maybe even the next generation.”
The general consensus seems to be that Kinect shows a lot of promise, and has a lot of novelty appeal (shades of the Wii launch, anyone?), but needs a healthy dose of firmware updates and expansions to become the revolutionary device that was promised to us back when “Project Natal” first debuted.
Here’s a handy gallery of Kinect and its many slick interfaces.