The Kinect has made history by becoming the fastest selling consumer electronic devices ever. Millions of people around the world have added a Kinect to their entertainment center and 2012 is set to be a good year for the Kinect. The Xbox Kinect All Access premiered on YouTube recently, with plenty of new information for gamers alike (see video above).

The highlights are outlined, below.

Kinect games

There are tons of core games set to release this year that plan on integrating Kinect to add a whole new dimension to the gamer experience. Some of the biggest games in the industry such as Mass Effect 3 and a number of others will offer voice implementation (and some offer even more deeper Kinect integration like Fable: the Journey and Steel Battalion, for instance).

Microsoft already tried out with core games for Kinect last year. The game that made the Xbox brand what it is today was remade for the 360 Kinect, and that game is none other than Halo: Combat Evolved. Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary got a high definition facelift along with a new way to interact with the game. The Kinect can be used instead of the controller to issue commands to Master Chief. For example, simply saying “reload” will reload your weapon, and saying “flashlight” will turn your flashlight on (checkout our review for more info).

As described in the video above, Halo and Xbox Kinect voice commands aren’t limited to just those two however. You can throw a grenade simply by saying “grenade.” You can do more than just issue commands though, you can pause and un-pause, control the game’s contrast and brightness, and doing something even more spectacular. By only using your voice you cans witch back and forth from the remade Halo, to the old Halo. Saying “classic” will instantly make the game look like it did when it first on the Xbox an entire decade ago. Saying “remastered” will bring the game back with its newer and improved graphics. Kinect adds a fresh dimension to an old classic, and for a full review of this Kinect game check our review.

An important Kinect game release for 2012 is also breaking grounds with the advancement of 3D graphics. Kinect Star Wars will be fully playable with 3D visuals in 2012. In Kinect Star Wars, the player is thrust into the world of Star Wars with the ability to jump, dodge, and swing a light saber without even touching a controller. The game also features a pod racing level set on Tatooine that is accessible in 3D. The game is set for release sometime this spring.

In addition to the all access episode on Kinect, we’ve also seen improvements in Kinect’s use in upcoming games, as the developer of Disney’s Kinect rush claims, for instance.

Kinect beyond gaming

As you may know, and this episode of “Kinect all access is referring to”, the Kinect isn’t just for gaming however. Users across the globe are creating their own apps using the Kinect sensor as well. One cool app that’s been created is the Kinect Turret. Designed to ward of coworkers looking to secretly borrow things from your office, the Kinect Turret app actually tracks the skeleton of anybody who enters into its view. That’s not all however as an attached toy gun, the Kinect will fire upon the intruder and take pictures of him/her being barraged by the squishy nerf projectiles. It then sends those pictures to your phone so you can instantly know when someone’s been in your office while you’re away. There are more apps being developed for the Kinect everyday and anyone can do it with the download of the Kinect for Windows SDK beta.

Kinect has gotten off to a fast start and 2012 is looking like it may be a blockbuster year for the young device. With Halo, Star Wars and an entire community of user developers behind it, it is shaping up to be a fun year for Kinect owners with great advancements and new game options.

What are you looking forward to the most? Share your thoughts, below!


Thanks to 123KINECT visitor Yaniv for submitting this news!