Microsoft Kinect is the next step in gaming

Xbox 360 250GB plus Kinect bundle priced at $399 in US Pictures, Images and Photos

Yesterday, Microsoft launched the Kinect for Xbox 360. It is the next step in gaming as it takes the motion sensor controllers that the Nintendo Wii and Playstation Move have to the next level. The Kinect doesn’t actually use any controllers at all. It works by recognizing body movements with its camera and sensors and essentially makes the user the controller. It will be interesting to see how responsive and accurate it is, but the potential for success with it is big.

I am one of those (probably a minority) that feel that the Nintendo Wii is not accurate, not very responsive and not worth playing. I haven’t tried the Playstation Move yet so I will not make any judgments about it. However, the Kinect for Xbox 360 needs to be better than the Wii. It is not enough to only be the same without a controller to really be huge. This concept has the ability to make meaningful inroads in various markets aside from just the gaming industry, but it must work well in order to have a real shot.

If it is responsive and accurate then this product can do things like effectively teach people to dance, play certain sports and improve hand-eye coordination, among many other useful lessons. It can convince people that do not care for video games at all to buy the system and the games that will teach them those skills. Unfortunately for Microsoft, they don’t have a great track record when it comes to making good hardware. Although the Xbox 360 is a very good system, it is really the only piece of hardware I can think of that Microsoft has ever made that is good. Every other attempt they had at making hardware failed miserably. Hopefully the Kinect will be more like the Xbox and less like everything else they’ve ever made (not including software) because it truly has enormous potential.