2012 was a mixed but still quite good year for Kinect with 50 more Kinect-supported Xbox 360 games released, mostly “Kinect Required” but also a few “Better With Kinect” games.
The highs included the release of some great core Kinect games like Fable: The Journey, Marvel Avengers: Battle For Earth and of course the long awaited Steel Battalion: Heavy Armor and Kinect Star Wars! The first Kinect For Windows PC games starting to trickle out like the PrimeAction Sports Bundle, SkiRanger (currently just a free beta version) and the Kinect support update for Garry’s Mod. Plus the launch of the innovative Kinect TV software that has introduced the first ever interactive motion controlled “2-way TV” shows starting with Kinect Nat Geo TV and Kinect Sesame Street TV, titles that Microsoft has dubbed “Playful Learning“. And finally for an end of year/Christmas present we were given Double Fine Productions’ Kinect Party absolutely free! (You did all remember to download it didn’t you?)
The lows included most of the “Better With Kinect” games only featuring voice commands, Kung Fu Superstar getting put on hold after not achieving its Kickstarter goal, more games delayed and still not enough core games even though the situation improved slightly.
2013 looks like it will be Kinect’s most mysterious year. Mysterious because beyond the highly anticipated & long delayed core games RYSE and Crimson Dragon (which surely can’t be delayed past this year, right?!) and the “Better With Kinect” games Tiger Woods PGA TOUR 14, South Park: The Stick Of Truth, Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Dead Space 3 and Hunting The Abyss – Depth Hunter 2 the only (Xbox 360) Kinect games that have been announced that I can think of are Gore Verbinski‘s mysterious Kinect game called Matter, that we know next to nothing about, and Kung Fu Superstar which is unfortunately currently in limbo until Kinesthetic Games can get more funding to continue development. (SkiRanger is also a possibility if Outpost Studios can sort out the licensing issues.)
Other than that we just know that there are a lot of Kinect games in development that still haven’t even been officially announced or revealed yet. Hopefully most if not all of those mystery games will be released on the Xbox 360 this year and have not been moved onto what is possibly the biggest mystery of all…
…the next-gen Xbox with Kinect 2! All the rumours seem to suggest that they will be released, as a bundle rather than separately, at the end of this year, that the next-gen Xbox will be 6 – 8 times as powerful as the Xbox 360 and Kinect 2 will also be far more powerful than Kinect 1 with much more intricate and precise tracking. If Kinect 2 really is bundled with every next-gen Xbox then I think it’s safe to say that there will be a lot more Kinect 2 games, ESPECIALLY CORE GAMES, than there have been Kinect 1 games, possibly even every next-gen Xbox game supporting Kinect 2 in some way! Among the rumoured launch games are Kinect Sports 3, a Fable MMO, Halo 4, Forza 5, Destiny (Bungie’s new game) and Battlefield 4, although the rumours haven’t said if any of those actually support Kinect 2. (Except Kinect Sports 3 obviously, lol!) If the next-gen Xbox & Kinect 2 really are released at the end of this year then expect to see some incredible new Kinect experiences in the not too distant future that could blow us away! *fingers crossed*
What does this mean for the Xbox 360 and Kinect 1? Well obviously there will be less Xbox 360 games after the next-gen Xbox is released so no doubt there will be less Kinect 1 games too, right? Well those who don’t/can’t buy the next-gen Xbox & Kinect 2 at launch shouldn’t be too pessimistic as Microsoft have said in the past that they won’t drop the Xbox 360 straight away like they did with the first Xbox after the Xbox 360 was released, so hopefully Kinect 1 will continue to be supported too and I think there’s even the possibility of even more and better Kinect 1 games after the next-gen Xbox & Kinect 2 is released as developers could port at least some of the next-gen Xbox & Kinect 2 games (which hopefully there will be many of) to the Xbox 360 & Kinect 1 with reduced graphics and controls. So you could see games that developers were hesitant to originally make for Kinect 1, because it was just an add-on that not every Xbox 360 owner has (although over 20 milllion of us have!), being made for Kinect 2 if it’s bundled with every next-gen Xbox, then porting those games to Kinect 1 for extra sales! This is all (allegedly) almost a year away though, so there’s still plenty of times for lots more Kinect 1 games this year anyway.
So what do you expect and would like to see in 2013? Could this mysterious year actually turn out to be Kinect’s biggest so far? Let us know in the comments below.
PS. If anybody is wondering how the video is related, well not only is it a New Year’s video but the band is Kids Incorporated who happened to be Stacy “Fergie” Ferguson’s first band (she’s the blonde girl in purple) who of course is now in The Black Eyed Peas who have their own Kinect game called The Black Eyed Peas Experience! 😀