E3 2012 seems to be a bit of a … well, mostly it seems to be … is there really a good word for the opposite of innovative announcements? That’s the vibe I’m largely feeling. Mostly E3 2012 is producing exactly the announcements and viewings that you’d expect it to, with little surprise.
One actually interesting thing is that Microsoft seems to largely be resigned to giving up, or at the very least heavily-downplaying, motion control through its Kinect product.
“You are the controller”, certainly, but it seems to be almost all focused around voice control rather than tracking the motion of players for input.
But motion control sold a whole bunch of Kinects, right?
Motion-tracking certainly sold a whole pile of Kinect hardware, with a Guinness World Record for the fastest-selling consumer device, but that motion-tracking is mostly being used for things other than games, on devices other than the Xbox, nowadays. The gaming side of Kinect gesture and motion control peaked quickly, and then declined, practically into obsolescence.
So, now we’re hearing very little about Kinect’s gesture and motion control from Microsoft and developers. Instead, voice control seems to be “the way forward” for the next generation of Kinect-enabled games. The message seems to be one of “sit back down, grab the controller, and start talking,” an idea which might have some issues of its own, but might see the Kinect dusted off and back in use again over the next couple of years.