We could all use a little time at PAX South from time to time.
Ever wonder what the bottom of an avatar’s shoe looks like? Now we’ll never know. The motion controller without the controller camera is officially on ice. Microsoft announced via an interview that their 3D sensing motion camera will cease production and whatever is left on store shelves will be it for their strange motion experiment.
If you don’t remember, the Kinect was Microsoft’s foray into the motion gaming world. While Nintendo and Sony focused on handheld controllers, Microsoft removed all barriers between you and interacting with the game—and it worked. The Kinect sold really well at launch and even had some interesting titles to play. However the magic faded quickly and the Kinect’s gaming lineup began to look like the leftovers of a Wii discount bin. Games would repeat and copy concepts and designs from more successful titles, and the few that did stand out rarely ever felt fun to play. For all its accomplishments, the Kinect usually felt clunky and clumsy when you played it. The camera would often lose track of limbs and freak out in an attempt to find your hands again. When the Kinect broke, it broke spectacularly.
This is probably the last big step to move away from Don Mattrick’s vision of the Xbox One, and Phil Spencer’s current attempt to clean everything up. Maybe there’s a world where Mattrick’s Kinect did well and we’re all jumping around our living rooms like crazed gaming freaks. But for now we’re stuck on our couches and we’ll have to fight the urge to yell “Xbox, order me a hot pizza pie!”