Microsoft Kinect Event

We go over the new user interface for Kinect and meet with Phil Spencer of Microsoft.

Microsoft held a Kinect event in San Francisco to show off several games, many of which we've seen before, but we did get the opportunity to chat with Phil Spencer and go over the new user interface with Craig Davison.

There were a small handful of games that I hadn't played before, including Body and Brain Connection from Namco Bandai, Adrenalin Misfits from Konami, and The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout from THQ. Scroll down for more!

Body and Brain Connection is like Brain Age for the Kinect. It's surprising how much harder it is to coordinate with your limbs when you don't have the precision of a stylus in your hand. There's a collection of 20 minigames that are split into five categories: memory, physical, reflexes, math, and logic. One minigame has you moving your arms as though they were clock hands to display the time that is shown digitally. Another has you popping numbered balloons onscreen from the smallest to the largest number. There is even a game where you have to control Pac-Man with one hand and another character with the other while avoiding ghosts. It's surprisingly difficult to watch both sides of the screen and coordinate with both hands.

Adrenalin Misfits is a crossboarding game from Konami where you pick from a list of wacky characters and bomb down a hill that may or may not be covered in snow. There are a variety of environments to race in and multiple modes. It's like a typical snowboarding game in that you can participate in downhill slalom or do something more focused on tricks. There's a balloon buster mode where you need to find as many balloons as you can as you go down the course. As you would on a real board, you lean forward to increase your speed and lean left and right to turn. How the controls work will depend on your board and the character you pick. Going with the big fat armadillo was probably a bad idea when all I wanted to do was be fast. There are power-ups to collect, though, so you can harass your opponents a bit on the way down.

The other game I checked out was The Biggest Loser Ultimate Workout from THQ. If you're familiar with the TV show, you'll find that a lot of the show's elements made it in, like challenges, the trainers, and even recipes to guide you on your way to a smaller pant size. Kinect makes workouts a lot easier, because there's nothing to hold, unless you decide to bring in some resistance bands or free weights. The game will adjust based on what you have, but you don't need any extra equipment to get started. The game uses three pillars to analyze your fitness level. It takes your height and weight to get a body mass index (which is never entirely accurate) and gives you a fitness test to see where you are. After that, it analyzes your body shape to see your proportions. By combining these three factors, the game will determine how "fit" you are. There are 120 exercises and several preset programs to choose from, and the routines will change dynamically depending on your performance. It looks like there's a lot of customizable stuff, and the onscreen trainer will immediately let you know what you're doing wrong if you're being lazy about it. Periodically some voice commands will appear where you can tell the game that you need a break or that it's too easy, and it will adjust according to your response. Granted, it's not going to yell at you for being a quitter, but this is the next best thing if you don't want to hire a real trainer.

For our previous coverage on other Kinect games, check out our Dance Central feature as well as our previous coverage on Kinect Sports and Joy Ride. Also check out our launch center for Kinect!

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

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14 comments
ste-g
ste-g

this is the first step towards next gen gaming. im not expecting it too be amazing straight away. but imagine after this technology has been out a few years nobody knows where this could lead. its only a matter of time before virtual reality turns real.

Marcus_daGamer
Marcus_daGamer

Is it really taht slow to navigate???? 5 seconds to do what i do in 0.5 seconds with the controller

the_requiem
the_requiem

@ACx7: Agree. I dont own Xbox and don't intend to, but am interested in Kinect as UI interface. I won't be surprised [would be delighted, in fact] if Kinect makes way to Windows 8.

Fatherofangels
Fatherofangels

Already got my new xbox and kinect paid for cant wait for nov. 4th

jasrob2
jasrob2

i cant wait i am going to pre order it right now

Devilzsid
Devilzsid

its looks gr8...evn if u dont wanna use the interface with voice nd gestures...u can use a controller.. niceee....:)

Sagacious_Tien
Sagacious_Tien

I'm hopeful that the system works well and the games are fun and exciting experiences which will expand gaming's audience and reach. Now, they just need to make a Sim City style game with Kinect.

darshie76
darshie76

I just hope that it will not be a failure like the wii...after 10 years the motion games are still almost at the same level of where we were; with light guns and infrared sensors and vga cameras..... from what i can see this video is a free commercial for espn,that i already have on my tv with comcast, so as live member can't care less to waste power to turn on xbox and the tv to watch something that i can watch on the tv :) Anyway the lag is pretty bad; picture you at 3 am yelling at kinect just to do some basic operations.....i am still positive hoping for the best, but it does not look that good as preannounced with Natal.

FuriousHamst3r
FuriousHamst3r

''Xbox...Go back! Go back! Stop! Stop!'' not too responsive...

pyrofire
pyrofire

I'm really excited. I hated using the controller as a remote and I already have 4 other remotes for the stuff in my living room. I think the controller-less interface will be awesome for movies. I tried the demo out on the tour and the only thing I'm worried about the the lag between me making the motion and it showing up. Also, without any directional controller the Kinect can only be a rail-shooter. I'll be interested to see what they come up with for the hardcore gamers like myself.

ACx7
ACx7

Not gonna lie at all, It looks promising. The controls seem kinda stiff. And the voice recognition seems like it needs to be a bit more sensitive. I don't want motion gaming, but I like the idea of controller less menus and options.