Why kinect and Xbox will "win" the next gen
Natural input have definitely changed gaming forever. the Wii "won" the last generation simply because it leveraged motion controls so effectively.
In the current console generation, we see a split in control schemes. The Wii and PSmove relies on a stick that you hold in your hand, and you wave that around, whereas kinect relies on cameras and voice input.
Well, we know that next gen consoles are coming soon, probably before the end of this year. We still don't know how Microsoft and Sony are trying to approach the natural input for the next gen. Well, as far as I can see, assuming that Microsoft continues with a follow up to the Kinect, and Sony follows up the move, I will predict that as far as natural input goes, Microsoft will win the next gen, and it all comes down to porn.
We all know that porn has repeatedly pushed technology forward, and has played a deciding role in the wars of competing standards. After all, when digital cameras first appeared, Kodak introduced it as a better mechanism for your amateur porn (there isn't a guy developing your film. fapping to it). Porn pushed internet adoption (penthouse gave a free modem with your online subscription). VHS won against Betamax because it had the support of the porn companies. Internet payments were first introduced by porn companies. Porn pushed DVD because people liked the alternate angles and "special features".
And now, porn will allow Xbox to win a crushing victory against Playstation and Wii.
Kinect as a platform pushes a more "free form" way of input, relying on gestures and voice instead of a waving stick. I am willing to say, that waving sticks has reached a peak. Video game developers know how to use the waving stick effectively, I do not believe that there can be a fundamental revolution in waving sticks. Just like the mouse and keyboard, waving sticks has pretty much reached the top of its potential. There is no possible revolution that can somehow make waving sticks so much better than before.
Voice input in games is very under-rated, but has lots of potential. Remember End War? The game itself was completely underwhelming. the AI is simplistic, gameplay is pretty much just rock paper scissors. But I still played through the game, simply because I was pretty damned impressed by the voice commands. Later on, in games like HAWX, the voice commands took a back seat, but it still enriched gameplay, and made the game better.
Gesture based gaming is the other pillar that kinect is built on. Sure, as of now, what we are stuck with is a game where you can dance with Han Solo, but fundamentally, Kinect allows for greater flexibility than PSmove or the Wiimote. It allows for lots of different gestures, not just pointing and waving a stick.
Rationally, we can see that the Kinect as a platform has more potential for future improvement than PSmove. However, actually it is porn that caught my eye (and the attention of certain other body parts) at first.
リアル彼女 or Real Kanojo is an erotic game developed by the now infamous developer/publisher Illusion (the guys who brought you highly controversial titles such as the Battle Raper series) In this game, they masterfully used facial tracking, and gestures to simulate a sexual experience. It was actually not a Kinect title, but a webcam and mic based PC title.
The experience is mindblowing. I was able to pick up a girl just with nodding and shaking my head, and with my hands. Her gaze would follow mine, and her tone of voice would change according to my hand gestures.
PORN IS THE KILLER APP KINECT NEEDS!
not just porn, but other games can benefit from increased adoption of Kinect too! Imagine a game where you play as Otto von Bismark, waving a rapier around, commanding armies (they should totally it with the next total war title). Or a game where you play as Kim Jiong Un, screaming and gesturing to give commands to your minions. In fact, with kinect, you don't really need to even put your controller down to enjoy many of its features (something titles like Madden are already doing)
Well, you heard it here first folks. The "natural input" war will be won by Kinect. And as such, as long as Microsoft doesn't really screw up, they will win the next gen.