Kinect. Me Want.
A few weeks ago, I tried out PS3 Move, the new Wii-like motion controller system for Playstation 3. I played their Wii Sports knockoff, Sports Champions, and came away thinking “Wii with bigger controllers.” In addition to the controllers, that resemble something you might direct planes on a runway with, there’s a camera that asks you to pose in a frame between games so it can tell where you are, which slows down the action. Maybe Move isn’t really aimed at us casual moms (there’s only one fitness game out so far), which is just as well.
But today I tried Kinect, with its virtual-sports game Kinect Sports, and I came away thinking, Wow. Like, WOW factor in spades. I played soccer, a track-hurdling minigame and a boxing match, and I was panting and sweating at the end.
When I first heard about Kinect last year, I thought it would be just another Eye Toy, the PS2 camera that needed lots of light and nothing moving in the background. But I played Kinect in a store, with fluorescent lighting and people moving around in the background, with no problems. The menus worked fine and it was really cool to see my silhouette on the screen copying every little move I made.
Some are calling Kinect the “Wii killer” but I don’t know if I’d go that far. More like, the Kinect is the shiny new sports car while the Wii is the economy sedan. You do need a good amount of room for Kinect, and it only handles 2 simultaneous players while Wii can handle four. And Kinect is more expensive, both for the console and the games. There’s nothing in the $20 range, yet.
For the first time in four years, though, the Wii is looking long in the tooth. After this holiday, a lot of Wiis may be headed to kids’ bedrooms and basements, while Kinect takes center stage in the family room with the giant flat-screen. The Wii game output of 2011 may end up being more kiddie-oriented, much like what happened with PS2.