Tag Archives: Kinect

Force It Down My Throat, Please

Let me start off by saying that I am NOT a fan of non-traditional gimmicky controllers and peripherals, since they are never utilised properly, and, for the most part are usually little more than previous gen tech, repackaged to run cheaply made un-innovative titles that are nothing more than half-developed tech demos.  I was particularly down on the current gen of gimmicks in particular – namely the Kinect and the PSMove.

Well this week I stumbled upon this video highlighting the Kinect upgrade for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, showing off some rather interesting gameplay controls using voice commands.  Part of me was intrigued by the addition of the Kinect features – however, my intrigue was overwhelmed by the fact that voice controls like these have been around for over a decade, and I was reminded just why I was so down on these gimmicky platforms in the first place, and how annoyed I actually am at the slow pace of innovation in the industry.

Way back in the PlayStaion 2 days I was wowed by the then-innovative use of voice control and microphone tech in games such as LifelineGhost Recon: Jungle Storm and Manhunt, and I was very much looking forward to seeing what the then-new consumer technologies like voice recognition, Eyetoy, DVD and the internet would bring to market.  However fast forward now to nearly a decade later – technologies have advanced in leaps and bounds, but it pains me to see that we are still pretty much playing the exact same types of games, using the same old recycled technologies.

It frustrates and annoys the hell out of me to see this stagnation in the field, to see just how much untapped potential there are with these platforms.  To see how the companies are failing to capitalise on their own devices, how they are failing to deliver on the things promised by their own technologies, and how the majority of them are failing to take risks, to take steps forward in the name of innovation.  And I am certainly sick and tired of seeing companies refusing to provide support and development for their own products, simply due to fear of alienating their existing established user bases.

We, the consumers, are as much to blame too, with our damned mainstream mob mentalities and our hostile schizophrenic attitudes.  I despise the fact how so many people would complain about the lack of innovation and change, but then when the odd developers (especially when it comes to those who operates on the more mainstream end of the market) do attempt something different, these very same people would then criticised and punished them for it.

With our own unwillingness to embrace the new, or in fact anything that might deviate from the norm – we are forcing these companies to cater to our every tiny little whim, and in a sense encouraging the creation of un-innovative titles that are safe, unimaginative, and altogether forgettable.

As much as I hate companies like FaceBook and Apple, and the tactics applied by them, part of me is starting to think that perhaps others should follow their leads.  As I have said before I am sick and tired of being pleased and appeased. Instead of trying to ease us gently into their platforms and technologies, pushing them out slowly and splash-lessly into the waters and moving with the ebb and flow of the market – perhaps more companies should learn to ignore the rest of the world, to say consumers be damned.  To produce new and exciting creations based not upon the demands of the common man, but rather, upon the strength of their own technological prowess and their own artistic visions and imaginations.

Strange as it might sound, I wish companies would become more aggressive and start forcing their products down our throats.  We might choke and we might gag, but at least then we might start to see some real innovations, and perhaps then the industry as a whole might finally move forward.



2010 – Get Off My Lawn!

Time, like a thief in the night, is slowly creeping up on me, and day by day, I am finding it increasingly more difficult being a gamer.  Maybe it is a case of me getting older and slower, and not being able to keep up with the hectic pace of this modern day world.  It might be a case of the games and their communities, having moved down a different evolutionary path then the one I have been travelling.  Or it might even just be a simple case of the sheer volume of games released, and a lack of time on my part.

Whatever the case is, looking back on 2010, I have come to realised just how tired, how burnt out, and to a degree how fed up I am with gaming in general.   Looking back at at all the games I have played; the games I have yet to play; the games I have finished; the ones I have yet to finish; and the ones I have abandoned…   It all just bring up such negative emotions in me.

It frustrates the hell out of me, looking at refreshing new games like Heavy Rain and Demon Souls (okay from 2009, but was released in Europe in 2010), and seeing how they failed to revolutionise or even make a splash in the industry.   Or looking at abandoned products like Sony’s PSP Go, at how badly implemented and supported that device was, and at how so much wasted potential there was.

It makes my blood boil looking at companies like Apple, Activision-Blizzard, and even companies like Zynga, with their overpriced overrated products that everyone just seem to love with a mindless passion.   What’s worse is seeing the unstoppable momentum these companies have built up, and seeing all the other companies out there making regurgitated copycat clones of their products, trying to emulate their successes.

And don’t get me started on things like the PSMove and the Kinect, or non-gaming things like the Kobo; autotune; idiots who releases weblinks and free classic books as paid-apps (and the idiots who encourages more of such stupidity by buying them); Twilight (damn sparkly “vampires”) and the whole pseudo vampire craze; vuvuzelas; and of course, Justin damned Bieber.

Right now there is just so much frustration, and so much anger cooking inside of me – 2010 has brought me to a bubbling simmer, and this year of prolong cooking has left me a dried up emotional mess on the inside.  And so, I find myself looking at 2011 with a skeptical eye, and wondering just how I will fare in this brand new year.  Will I finally be pushed to the boiling point and beyond?  Or will my faith and passion for gaming (and indeed humanity) be restored in a glorious non-stopping train of double rainbows?  I guess ladies and gentlemen, only time will tell.

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