When I first bought my Kinect, I must admit that I thought, "Where are the good games?" But after watching this year's Microsoft conference, I realized just why games should stick to the controller.
Almost every game on show had Kinect support, ranging from casual games such as Dance Central to core titles such as Mass Effect 3 and Fable. Unfortunately, the gameplay showed what is wrong with Kinect – it simply doesn't suit core titles. As Ubisoft fumbled with FPS Kinect with Ghost Recon, and Lionhead flailed in front of their TV with Fable, it became clearly apparent that the device cannot replace the controller. Sadly, if Microsoft's conference is anything to go by, they seem intent on doing just that, with "You're the controller" stuck on everything they had on offer.
Even with finger-tracking now on its way, the lack of a controller makes playing core titles – where even a millimeter can make a difference – rather imprecise, and judging by Microsoft's demonstration of Bing, voice control has still not been perfected. Adding on the lag caused by the device, this will undoubtedly lead to gamers standing in front of their TV, twirling their arms, and shouting the same phrase, before being killed by a level one boss.
As the fastest selling electronics device ever (or so they claim), Kinect is here to stay, so we'll have to get used to more and more developers having their resources stretched as publishers demand what seems like gimmicky and rather pointless support, rather than focusing on the main controller.
Of course, Kinect can be used for terrific titles such as Child of Eden, but that's like saying that the 3DS can be used for games that aren't ports with added 3D. As long as Microsoft supports publisher decisions to add rather silly and unnecessary Kinect controls, it remains destined to be an annoyance among core gamers.
Well, there's always next year.