Microsoft’s Kinect for Xbox 360: Why it will fail

By Peter Chubb - Jun 17, 2010

Earlier this week we learned that Microsoft renamed its Project Natal for the Xbox 360 – Kinect. This is their latest attack against Nintendo and Sony to stay ahead of the game – as they have such high hopes for their motion controlled gaming technology. However, John C. Dvorak from PC Mag believes that it will fail – judging by the comments he is the only one who thinks that.

Dvorak explains that although it will be great with its fight against childhood obesity – there are a number of reasons why the Kinect for the Xbox 360 is doomed from the start, one of them is with its Microsoft hardware.

Dvorak said that the Xbox 360 is not a console that you want to workout on, it is something that you play after you have been working out. This is true for the most part – but you have to remember that consoles can evolve. Once upon a time we never thought that we would be doing any workout regime on a games console – now look at the Nintendo Wii.

The article then goes on to explain the limitations of Kinect, but there have been a number of reports that the Sony PS3 Move is more limited. I do not want to be biased and say that the Kinect is going to become a huge hit with gamers, but it seems that the article in PC Mag wants to condemn it before it has a chance to prove itself.

Dvorak even mentions the fact that people will not want to jump about in a room unless it has solid floors as they will shake too much – again this has not affected sales of the Wii in any way.

Have a read of the PC Mag article from the link above and let us know if you agree with it.

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Also See: Transform Microsoft Kinect into a 3D scanner with Skanect

  • Shaunoez

    sorry gents, i been seeing alot of kinect love throughout the comments
    "oh, the ps3 stole wiis idea, but the 360 is 100% new technology"

    go look at the ps2, theres this peripheral device called the eyetoy
    its a fuckload cheaper then the kinect, and does the exact same thing, with less lag.

    dont get me wrong
    i wont be touching any of this movement crap
    maybe after the ps3 gets killzone 3 and no more heroes so i can use the sticks like guns and swords, not bouncing a tiny monkey around like a retard..

    if you want the console to blame for all thise crpa going downhill
    blame the ps2 and sony with the eyetoy
    they invented this new agey casual crap, dont get me wrong it sold the ps2 pretty good

    add all the sales for xbox, and xbox360 together, then double it, the ps2 is still more
    check the sales for the wii, the ps2 is still more.

    casual shit always sells big, for all the mommys at home who are bored throughout the day.

  • PanchoTaffy

    The biggest reason it will fail is because it does not work. It has been seen to fail time after time. You can't wear certain colours, you can't sit down, you have to speak a certain language, you have to move in a certain way. Oh dear MS, you really have fupped up here.

  • david

    I own both xbox and ps3, but i wont be getting kinect. Without even using it i know it wont work, i saw the appauling e3 showing of the device, The worst thing tho is how microsoft are always saying imagine using your hands as a steering wheel, well i did, i imagine my arms getting tired as im not holding anything, i imagine preffering holding an input device, but most of all i imagine it being rubbish cause it wont work with all the lag, atleast the wii and move dont suffer from this, I am honestly suprised microsoft didnt drop this tech just like sony did back in the ps2 days

  • Ashvin Doolub

    Sousoute pi

  • Murph

    People bring up a good point about XBox 360 being a "hardcore gaming console" but why does it need to be limited to simply that? The whole point of Kinect is to compete with the Wii, so it only seems right to make similar technology and similar games. The people asking questions about why not get a Wii instead? The answer is simple – The Wii can't hold a candle to the potential of Kinect. With the "hardcore gaming" that XBox 360 already offers, combined with the potential that Kinect has to offer, Microsoft is looking to completely monopolize the gaming industry, not simply aim at one specific genre of gamers. I have never been a supporter of anything that Microsoft has ever done, but honestly think that if Kinect works half as well as it should that Microsoft has simply outdone the competition. Also, the Star Wars game is just a glimpse at the potential for "real games" that Kinect has. Just like any new gaming technology, it needs to be a slow start process… I mean, both Sony and Microsoft were making games for PS2 and XBox for a while after their nextGen systems came out, and likewise, I think that Microsoft will (obviously) continue to make XBox 360 games that don't use Kinect. Simply because of that, the XBox wont lose any of the "Hardcore Gamers" it will just add customers from the pool of people interested in Kinect. Lastly, it seems as if Kinect isn't just a gaming device. Kinect is moving away from the strictly gaming hardware and becoming a complete entertainment device, which is also unique to the available video game systems. Although the couch king of certain shooter titles may not care if he can connect to facebook or netflix on his system, many people will. It's not about specific appeal, it's about mass appeal. The more options, the better, for Microsoft to sell… Now let's just hope the potential becomes realized.

  • I think Microsoft is trying to set the standards in gaming…they've been out of the "game" for a while.

  • Klatu

    Motion control is a slippery slope. On the one hand, the launch games are all Wii-type kiddie games, which alienate the core audience for the PS3 and Xbox 360. This will be a problem as the majority of people whom like Wii-type games, (newsflash) already have a Wii. Second hurdle will be price point, as the global economy is not the greatest it's ever been, (literally $2 in my wallet) and a $100-$150 price point for a peripheral is quite steep. Again, with said lackluster launch lineups, catering to a very tiny demographic within the respected consoles, that will undoubtedly mean small sales numbers off the bat, which will stifle 3rd party developers from producing future titles. Lastly, functionality with existing games is not happening. Meaning your extensive library of games you've collected over the years will not be compatible. A peripheral you cant use with any of your games is, needless to say, not a good sales angle. I see this "motion war" coming down to which console creates the better "hardcore" games for their motion device first. While these issues might together mean bad initial sales, the future is wide open for motion control. All that said, I can see the promise of this tech in other areas. Its been announced that TVs and PC's will be outfitted with Kinect like devices (integrated) by 2011. Waving your arms around in front of the TV/PC is apparently the future. Cant find the remote, just yell at the TV to change the channel!

  • bblake1982

    i’m pretty excited about this, i’m not an avid fan of kids playing video games (my 3 year old) but it rains in washington alot, i’m hoping they offer games that he can figure out and relate too, he’s a smart kid but like all kids, every button on any controller gets pushed all at once. with this him and I can do something together when we cant go out.If not for me then for him. i just dont hope they bust out with another xbox system soon cause i’m having a hard enough time keeping up with all this crap. but yeah, i cant wait to see Youtube video’s of that PS3 dildo flying through the air and knocking some one out, i think the wii will go in the closet with my NES, Nintendo has made it this far after sega and everything else went away, but i think their time is coming. just an uneducated opinion though. who knows..

  • Mark

    Although the xbox has had some mishaps before i don't think this one will fail. First off the move and the kinect ae coming out at the same time. That means that microsoft is going to have to be on top of their game because they don't have like 2 years before the move comes out. They knew nothing else was comming out when they released the xbox 360 and rushed and it had a bunch of errors. I don't think they want the red ring of death all over again so this new system better be great or sony will take the motion market.

    Second, people are talking about how it is laggy. Well your not using a controller so it take more time for the system to register movement. Think about a toilet. It doesnt flush as soon as you leave. It takes a liitle while.

    Thrid, no conntrollers. Great idea. Now if my friends come over you wont have to buy 3 more controllers for them to play. Then the voice activation part. That will make it sell prettey well.

    All in all the kinect has as good a chance as the move if not better.

    • lulxboxfanboys

      You kind of state yourself why kinect will fail. The lag. Thats the key factor. Xbox is supposedly a hardcore gaming console, and kinect is the opposite of that. While move on the other hand is dead accurate, and with already the support of killzone 3 and socom 4, 2 hardcore games off the bat, WHILE ALSO having kiddy games for the casual such as eyepet is really going to give move the edge here.

  • jay

    i can purchase natal for 150 and have me an three of my friends play with no extra accessories, however with the move i must purchase extra dildos and nav controllers (in addition to the camera) for my friends to play….think about how much that will cost….i own a wii and i can tell you four wiimotes and four nunchocks cost me more then the console itself!

  • Griffon

    Kinect will not fail in any aspect , the wii was supposed to be a workout thing but everybody loves it. Kinect is just a wii without a remote. It makes sure you actually have to workout and not "cheat the system" by sitting on the wii fit scale thing. The wii has some mario games on it that are very fun to play and i can imagine that playing mario on the kinect will be similar if not better then it is on the wii

  • Jordan Linn

    Although I agree that we need to give the Kinect time before shuning it the problem is that the 360 is overall a "Hardcore gaming console" and with the presentation at E3 all of the games for Kinect, so far, look like carbon copies of games that are out for the Wii already. The price of Kinect will judge whether it will fail or not. If the price is up at $150 or higher people will just say "Why not just buy a Wii for the same price.". Microsoft's technology is ingenious but the application is shitty the whole time I was watching E3 I was getting deja vu from Nintendo's confrence in 2008. You might want to be unbiased but the fact is all the games coming out for Kinect are shitty carbon copies of party/fitness games that the world has already seen from Nintendo and the only difference is they're using Avatars instead of Miis. Playstation Move showed actual games for their product that actually look fun and Nintendo has a fantastic line up of games for their platform too. So it comes down to why the consumer should pay for something that expensive when they could save up and get a Wii.

    I have a PS3 and 360 and was extremely upset with Microsofts kickoff of E3.

    • Alec

      "I…was extremely upset with Microsofts kickoff of E3." I absolutely agree. Microsoft set up countless distractions to detract from the viewer paying attention to Kinect. There were constantly random interruptions whether it be people walking above the family playing Kinect or random shots of 'cavemen'? And you could tell that Kinect had a very bad time keeping up with the user when their hands were lifted near/above their shoulders, which is probably what Microsoft was trying to take attention away from. It has potential, but knowing Microsoft's quality I'm forecasting a rainy day.

  • Adam

    Kinect is something that cant easily be said it will fail or succeed before launch. Its a new technology and many people are curious about it capabilities. This depends on demand in the market for something of this nature. A designer has to first study the demand of the market before he may make a decision on what product/new technology to produce.Microsoft (including Sony) saw the huge sales of the Wii & it was because it was a new technology that people really enjoyed for a fair price.The question is, Are people still interested in this type of technology?I think there is.Think of the all the Wii owners. Kinect is motion control but I have seen some people try to say its the same thing as Wii. Well, not really. There is no controller & its meant for even more than just motion control gaming. Its meant for motion control intereacting. What impresses me is the ability to speak to the device & it does what you say.The ability to surf through my music/movies with the wave of my hand and speak to the device for it to play is what will make Kinect sell. Its up to Microsoft to make sure any bugs are corrected at launch. Check is #1 right now in Gaming sales. That speaks something already.

  • Mornelithe

    Actually Peter, I think most articles I've read on either device, says Kinect has more limitations. The biggest, and most damaging to it's use in bigger games, is the overhead Kinect uses, from the 360. According to Microsoft, it's going to require 15% of the 360's resources. That's going to be a dramatic step back from the fidelity we're used to seeing the 360 put out. It's already the oldest machine on the market (meaning developers have learned it's bells and whistles the best out of all the machines), taking 15% of what they've come to know and depend on, isn't going to be very helpful, or welcome.

    Other issues? It's already been confirmed that Kinect has a between .08 and .12 response lag. Move clocks in at 22 milliseconds. Huge difference there, and that will make a very big difference in games that require high accuracy. My problem with it? For $150, there's gonna have to be more than a smattering of family friendly games for me to even bother with it. And with such response lag, MS will have to come out with a whole new breed of games that're made with Kinect in mind, only.

    Which brings me to another big problem. Games. Microsoft does very well, when it's competition isn't biting at it's heels. But, with the PS3 making it's charge of late and shortening the gap, so to speak, it becomes more and more difficult for MS to be able to throw tons of cash at a developer for an exclusive or timed exclusive game, especially block buster titles from 3rd parties. So, they're going to need to rely on their internal devs to help stimulate the launch of Kiniect. The problem with _that_ is those devs already have franchises they need to pump out, to keep Microsoft's core happy (don't argue, you know they rely on a few key franchises), which means not allot of time on big, detailed, and amazing games for Kinect.

    After all that, I do believe there are some applications for Kinect, I just don't think MS did a very good job of lighting the fire at E3 this week, and that's what it should have been all about.

    • BOB

      So your saying that the ps3 copying the Wii is this new high tech gaming who cares if it is just kids games. Not like there only gonna make kids games eventually by 2012 Microsoft said they will have mw3 on kinect so why are you complaining? If you don't like the kinect then don't buy it don't even say anything shit about it

      • :)

        There will be no more games made by Infinity Ward (makers of Mw2…. Only Treyarch(makers of call of duty 5) will make the rest of the games. Most of Infinity Ward got fired because Mw2 was such a bad game the ones who didn’t get fired now work for Treyarch

  • Kinectisforkids

    It will fail cos you cant play MW2 on it 🙂 pce

    • mw2 is such a bad game

      • Guest

        In case you didn't know, MW2 is the most played game in Xbox 🙂

        • steve

          in case you didn't know, xbox live is not known for its reputable gaming demographic

        • guest

          In case you didn't know no one cares.