The Xbox Kinect was an interesting experiment by Microsoft. And while the motion-sensing camera was pretty much universally hated by most gamers, that doesn’t mean it wasn’t absolutely fascinating for its time. Motion sense controls started to gain popularity with the Nintendo Wii. And because Microsoft and Sony couldn’t let Nintendo corner that market, they jumped on the bandwagon with the PlayStation Move and the Xbox Kinect. Now, you might be able to figure out that all three of those systems were the pre-cursor to video game VR, but regardless. The Kinect and the Move were seen as party gimmicks and went pretty unloved as a whole, despite selling a ton of copies.
Except by paranormal investigation crews, who decided to use the Kinect’s laser grid as a motion detection system for ghosts. You know, because it worked in Paranormal Activity 4.
Rare studio head Craig Duncan doesn’t think that reputation is quite fair. After all, Rare did a large amount of work for Kinect games, specifically Kinect Sports. Rare did implement some interesting features into Kinect games, like the Champoin Creator for Kinect Sports Rivals where the game uses the Kinect grid to make a three-dimensional version of the player which can be used in game. And Duncan believes they ought to get more credit for their work on Kinect games than they do.
Speaking with IGN, Duncan said “I don’t think Rare got credit for the cool stuff it did on Kinect.” He pointed out that Kinect Sports was “one of the biggest franchises in Xbox,” and claimed the success was because “the team did a great job executing that game.”
I think the problem isn’t just that people don’t give Rare credit, but also that most of us look back on the Kinect as something of an embarrassment. It was a failed product after all, and there were plenty of people who refused to buy the Xbox One at launch because it came with a Kinect, and either snagged a PS4 or waited for the Xbox One sans Kinect release. And only some of those gamers were convinced Microsoft was using the Kinect’s camera to spy on them.
Though, considering the situation we’re in now when it comes to current affairs, that suspicion might not have been far off the mark. Except it was Facebook we should be worried about.