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E3 Vidcasts :: Kinecting with Dance Central & Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

Posted by Cat on June 20, 2010

As you may have heard, the hardware formerly known as Microsoft’s Project Natal, has been renamed ‘Kinect’.  It’s a combination camera and motion sensor that is capable of extremely precise interpretation of your body movement, facial expressions, and other futuristic weirdness.  Unlike Playstation Move which mostly replicates Nintendo’s approach to motion control, Kinect goes in a whole different direction: your body is the controller.  Though E3 was the debut of the Kinect and it comes out as soon as this November, few of the games on display showed even a portion of what the new hardware is capable of.  Only two games on display really showed off Kinect’s firepower and we tried out both of them.

In addition to the astounding and potentially industry-changing Rockband 3, Harmonix had another big game on display: Dance Central. Dance Central was a part of Microsoft’s big Kinect debut at their conference this year and for good reason.  Whereas in the past you’ve had to use an expensive (or shitty) dance mat in the past or hold a baton in your hand (*cough* Playstation and Wii), Dance Central actually lets you move like you would if you were really dancing, no accessories required.

Though Dance Central was a great demo of what Kinect can do better than other system’s motion control, it doesn’t really show off just how nuts Kinect’s movement mapping can be.  For that display of technical prowess we had to go to an unlikely source: a fitness game. Your Shape: Fitness Evolved demos Kinect’s powers far beyond anything else on display at this year’s E3.  The game maps 6000 points of motion tracking, that’s at least double any of the other Kinect game.

It looks like Microsoft may have debuted Kinect too soon for it to prove itself upon launch, but if Your Shape is proof of anything it’s that the hardware has a lot of potential beyond cashing in on Nintendo’s broad gaming audience.  I think come next year we’re going to really see some cool application of Kinect that might go beyond simple motion mapping.

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About Cat

Cat is Executive Producer of The Nerdy Show Network as well as Lead Host of the titular Nerdy Show podcast and one of the site's founders. Her illustration, graphic design, and writing both journalistic and fictitious have appeared in various publications and public spaces.

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