Microsoft Kinect: So hardcore it will kill your Grandma

Microsoft's new motion sensor is about as casual as a killer whale

When Microsoft announced Project Natal to the world, certain members of the GamePro team were worried. Was the company “doing a Nintendo” and kiddifying its console beyond all recognition?

We feared the machine we knew and loved would be cynically repackaged as a casual toy for the family — a Wii for the next generation. The Xbox 360’s hardcore image would soon be dead and buried, and its legacy forever tarnished (or so we feared).

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

The artist formerly known as 'Project Natal'. Underestimate it at your peril.

Well, it turns out we were all stressing about nothing. Phew, eh? After spending some quality time with Kinect at this year’s E3, we can confidentially report that there is nothing even remotely ‘casual’ about the experience. In fact, it arguably goes too far in the opposite direction.

Sure, the initial launch line-up might star cuddly lion cubs and cutesy avatars, but appearances can be deceiving. These games are set to deliver some of the most gruelling battles of your gaming career, forcing you to learn unfamiliar skills from head to toe. It’s like the Nintendo Wii on steroids.

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

These men are professional games journalists. Weezing death is imminent.

Instead of merely giving your fingers a workout, Kinect puts your entire body on the line; and by God do you feel the burn. In a five minute game, we probably got more exercise than we had over the entire previous year. This is a device that separates the men from the boys, the stud from the cattle, the svelte from the fat. We sadly fit into the latter categories -- which made us even more determined to kick Kinect's butt.

But it’s an uphill battle for an unfit gamer (is there any other type?) Indeed, the amount of running, jumping and ducking that these games demand is so intense, one of our colleagues almost puked on the showroom floor. Now that’s hardcore.

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

Pretty fly for a white guy.

After a few minutes of playing Kinectimals, I was actually getting heart palpitations -- and for once, it had nothing to do with the hot promo girls sandwiched in our booth. We basically had to run a virtual obstacle course, with our onscreen avatar mimicking our every move. Star-jumps featured prominently. Star-jumps. The game even forces you run the course twice — a Herculean effort that even Chuck Norris would balk at.

When ushered into the next Kinect booth, the sweaty throng of journalists had the look of cornered animals. Just how much more of this torture were we expected to take? Our portlier brethren had the sickly grey-green hue of walking corpses — and we still had four more games to play. By the time we reached the full-tilt boogie of Dance Central, most of us were just about ready to keel over and die. Was it fun? Absolutely. Was it casual? HELL NO.

Check out the embedded video. You are expected to match their dance moves to the letter. Has Microsoft even seen the average gamer?

If you attempted to play this thing with your Wii-loving grandparents, they would almost certainly expire on the spot. That’s right ladies and gents: Kinect is so hardcore it can kill your Grandma. [He’s joking of course. -- Legal Dept.] I think that's something every hardcore gamer can get behind.

Except the fat ones, obviously.

Check out out blow-by-blow account of E3 2010.

In Pictures: My First E3, by Spandas Lui.

Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu

Tags Project NatalE3 2010KinectMicrosoftgamesXBox 360Microsoft Kinectmotion sensing

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Jager

GamePro Australia

4 Comments

JNice

1

Ohhhh so Kinect is a workout tool?

I don't think you know the definition of hardcore GAMER. Any system can give you a good workout, any VIDEO can give you a good work out. But why buy a system for it when you get the P90X

To attract hardcore you need to provide games like Socom or Sorcery without taking away from the gamers' experience. Or Metroid and Zelda on Wii. MS still hasn't shown anything, not saying they won't but it's EXTREMELY tough without BUTTONS or ways of maneuvering. That Star Wars game was trash.

Bob

2

I can't tell if the writer is being sarcastic, because clearly the Kinect is anything but hardcore. Hardcore is spending all night trying to clear a level, or grinding until your eyes start twitching. Hardcore is not jumping up and down or swatting at invisible enemies

oldest gamer

3

EYE TOY, I'll say it again, EYE TOY. These kiddy journalists weren't around for it, but this was done 7 years ago on a Sony device called EYE TOY. Sure Kinect is high def but who will care when gamers play video games because, well we are LAZY. If we wanted to be physical, we would actually go and play a sport, not a video game. Video games are played to relax, even while fragging.

OldIsMould

4

Hmmm Eye Toy... seems to have suffered the same fate as the Walkman. Hubris and lack of customer connection has felled Nokia and Sony will surely follow

Comments are now closed.

Most Popular Reviews

Follow Us

Best Deals on GoodGearGuide

Shopping.com

Latest News Articles

Resources

GGG Evaluation Team

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Steph Mundell

LIFEBOOK UH574

The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.

Andrew Mitsi

STYLISTIC Q702

The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.

Simon Harriott

STYLISTIC Q702

My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?