Tag Archives: xbone

Why the XBox One Being Sold Without The Kinect Is a Bad Thing

Confession of an Xbox Owner

I’ll be up front and admit I don’t own an Xbox One….yet. I’m still using my Xbox 360 presently.

The reason I don’t own one yet is down to a couple of factors… I just bought a flat so money is tiiiiiiight. As such I’m waiting for pay rises and price drops to reach a point where I can afford to have one skint month and splash out on the Xbox One.
The other contributing factor is that I’m holding on till the TV system’s kinks have been worked out for the UK as once I have the XBox One I’d like to be using it’s TV integration all the time.

That being said I still have very strong views on why the Xbox One should always be sold with the Kinect.

What makes the Kinect great

The new Kinect is incredibly powerful and capable. It can tell your heart rate, facial expression, weight distribution across your limbs. That is an amazing feat along with it’s video and skeletal tracking.
It can also do all of this across a much wide range of lighting set ups than the previous version.

Where some users seem to be failing to see the potential though is that they are thinking about the current paradigm of maybe using a kinect with a dance game, or playing a kinect game like Kinect Adventures or such where the activity has been designed to change the gaming experience to one of physical participation.

Thinking outside the XBox

However if you think outside the box for a moment and imagine you’re playing a HD graphics zombie game. As you play the game it guages your heart rate and notices you are particularly exhilarated by a certain type of zombie or situation. It tweaks it’s algorithms and so you are taken thru more, similar situations. The game has become personalised to you, and the experience has become augmented by playing off you as an individual.

You could also imagine a game scenario where every time die at a certain stage of a game the kinect notices your unhappy face and body position, after a tailored amount of times the game makes that section easier to allow you to proceed. Suddenly a game you might have given up on and traded in you are now playing in it’s entirety.

There are a million different scenarios where using the many sensors in the Kinect the gaming experience can be uniquely tailored. However in order for games manufacturers finding this a worthwhile enough venture to invest time and money in they need to know that the audience is there.
If they know that everyone with console X definitely have the sensors they need, they know there is a market worth investing in.
If their efforts are going to be wasted on users without a Kinect then why bother.

As a result of this dichotomy the result will be games that are Better with Kinect and have features gludged on to make this so.

He’s the (not) Greatest Dancer

Yes you might be a hardcore gamer who plays FPS and what would you need a Kinect for, you’re not going to be dancing in your living room, you’re going to be maming, but what if the number of enemies that the game threw at you depended on how fast your heart was beating. What if your presence not being detected in a game depended on keeping your heart rate calm and steady and not moving a muscle?

Open your mind

Xbox One An Honest Write Up

Day by day I see PS fan boys slam the Xbox One misquoting sources, or not quoting the full story, or printing satirical articles as fact. I just wanted to summarise the facts here and back that up with sources.
Note: I am an Xbox 360 owner. I also own a PSP and PSVita. I endeavor to write as factually and unbiased as I can.

Kinect2 Always On – Is Microsoft Watching Me??

If you think that Microsoft have got the resources to actively be watching you all the time then go and speak to your doctor about your paranoia.

Microsoft have stated that the Kinect2 has a number of different power level modes, the lowest of which is just listening for you to say Xbox On. A feature you can turn off if you are struck by paranoia.

If you have a Kinect 1 then when your Xbox is on the Kinect is on so no change there.

Source: http://kotaku.com/xbox-ones-kinect-can-turn-off-microsoft-says-noting-510100564

Aside: Those who are worrying about the people in the room being counted and watchers of a video being limited http://tinyurl.com/asxchtd, I think this has several possibilities.
Firstly, it could be used to change on a more granular basis for media licensing, i.e. if just one person is watching then you get charged a cheaper rate. If another person enters, of course the rate would need to step up, and so could do so, up to a family license.
The other thing that would be interesting is if you could opt in to a tv viewer survey. Presently tv ratings are worked out based on a small number of people having a special set top box type device that users then have to tap in who’s watching every hour or so.
The figures would be much more demonstrative if they taken from real world counts of people watching. An opt in policy should apply of course.

Always Online – But what if I have no Internet??

There are two issues people have about this. Firstly that it’s calling back to home to check your right to play your games, and secondly people seem to be worrying about having a connection all the time.

The Xbox One checks once every 24 hours if you have the right to play your games. This does seem a bit off at first glance I agree. But the Xbox One is bringing with it a load of shifting paradigms, and they are going to take some getting used to.
For instance, I can insert a disc that I’ve bought, and ‘install’ it and then play it whenever I like, and even round friend’s houses without the disk. The online check has replaced the checking the ownership of the physical disc.

I can also lend my games to up to ten ‘family’ members who can be in different geographical locations and don’t need to be blood relatives, so think of family as a very very lose term here. I can also play simultaneously with one of my ‘family’ members even though they don’t own the game. That’s a very useful and cool function. A lot of gamers I know have a close group of gaming friends. Worked right they could save on buying games between them and could enjoy playing together on games that one or more of them might not usually buy.

If you are worried about what if you’re internet connection goes down, when was the last time your internet went down?

If you’re worried because you don’t want your Xbox to be online all the time. What do you think is happening with your current console? Are you disabling the internet when you don’t want it online? We live in a connected world, you’re reading this on the Internet.

Source: http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/license

DRM roll please – I want to trade in *MY* games

I’ve heard a number of approaches to explain this, but to me this is again another paradigm shift that is going to be hard for people to swallow initially.
Think about when Apple started releasing computers without floppy drives, and more recently, without cd/dvd drives.
Disc are going the way of the Dodo, and the floppy before them, and we’ll be fine with that in time. Microsoft haven’t taken the bolder and scarier decision of getting shot of disc entirely. But the disc has become less important. It’s a token of your purchase of the game. As mentioned above, once installed you no longer need the disc in your machine.

However this move forward to a discless system hasn’t been the focus due to the DRM discussions and rants going on online.
Let’s lay out the actual facts of the policy:

  • Publishers (not Microsoft) will chose whether to allow trade ins on their games
  • You can gift a game to a friend. (a game can only be gifted once)

Source: http://news.xbox.com/2013/06/license

At least one analyst has suggested that all published will enable trade ins to avoid complaints.
Source: http://www.videogamer.com/news/all_publishers_will_enable_trade-ins_and_pre-owned_gaming_on_xbox_one_says_pachter.html

Let’s also consider the alternative. Sony had a laugh poking fun at Microsoft’s DRM policy. However their own DRM policy doesn’t seem all that different. Publisher’s have the ability to enable DRM and to what degree. The key difference seems to be that Microsoft game publisher’s can limit traded games.
If you find that they do… maybe you take that up with them by boycotting their games. They’ll soon change their tune.

Source: http://www.polygon.com/2013/6/11/4419476/playstation-4-third-party-publishers-can-dictate-their-own-drm-terms

Finally The Price – ooh the PS4 is cheaper

And? Yes, the PS4 is cheaper. The PS4 also doesn’t include a ground breaking new Kinect 2 which can detect your heart rate and facial expressions of users.
You’re not comparing like for like, so why compare the price?
If you want an Xbox One and the price is good enough for you, then buy one. Simple.