Well it's only been released for three weeks but already some clever folks have managed to hack the software for Microsoft's new Kinect device. This is the piece of hardware designed for the XBox 360 that allows you to control games through your voice and through bodily gestures. So far the official MS releases for the device seem to comprise mainly of casual family-oriented games in a grab for the business that the Nintendo Wii has enjoyed for the last three years, so it's good to see that a bunch of amateur hackers are already outdoing Microsoft in realising the potential for the hardware. But why am I interested? I don't own or have any intention of owning an XBox after all.
Well the folks over at KinectHacks.net are already showing what can be achieved. The two things that have caught my attention so far are the following videos.
The first shows the new Kinect controller being used to control Windows courtesy of some hacked driver software.
Now, put that together with the next video, in which some bright spark has got the device to create a lightsaber weapon in real time using a PC.
Now this is the control method I want to play Star Wars: The Old Republic with!
Oh well, I can dream!
It does raise an interesting point however; one that Arifel raised in a comment on one of my previous posts. When are we going to see the next revolution in control methods for MMOs? I can understand why every MMO uses a very similar interface - after all World of Warcraft took the EQ model and made it massively popular and massively profitable, and we all know MMOs cost a lot to make.
Personally I think the next real revolution will come from the amateur community because the AAA games cannot afford to innovate and take risks with their huge budgets. It will take something like the lo-fi innovation of Minecraft to push the boundaries before the big boys will move forwards. It will be interesting to see where it comes from, but it will be from an unexpected direction.
Now, where did I put my lightsaber?
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