Last week I posted my thoughts about the XBox One announcement and something just didn’t sit right with me about the focus on the Kinect integration. I’ve thought about it and watched the press conference over and over and the things I saw should have gotten me excited. The ability to control my TV and game system with just hand gestures and talking to it is like Iron Man style Jarvis technology. Why shouldn’t seeing that in action get me excited. This weekend, I finally figured out why.
It’s Nintendo’s fault. Specifically it is the fault of the Wiimote and Wiimotion Plus. Let me explain.
When we first saw the Wii, everyone got the impression that the technology inside the system and controller would be able to accurately track the motions of my Wiimote but quickly found out it wasn’t one to one readings, but gestures that were recognized.
Then, we were told that the “improved” Wiimotion Plus was coming and that would solve the problem, and yes, while it was better, it still wasn’t perfect. Finally, with the release of the Wii U which had all this new technology, maybe Nintendo finally got the motion down.
Obviously all that new technology went to the Wii U Gamepad and not towards a Wiimotion Plus Plus because to this day, when a group of four of us plays the Wii U, it takes 30 seconds for everyone to be able to point at the screen and click start. You know what didn’t have that problem? Duck Hunt. All of us were scarily accurate back in the day and comparing the tech in those to the Wii U is like comparing a Nokia to an iPhone.
Jump over to the XBox 360 and the Kinect which we again thought would be one to one motion and we’d be having lightsaber battles with Darth Vader and boxing Mike Tyson and it turns out there is a delay. it’s ever so slight but it still affects the gameplay. But it wasn’t really the controller free control that got us excited, it was the chance to tell my XBox what to do. “XBox Pause”… but nothing happened. “XBox movies”… nothing happens. So maybe it was just the first generation of the Kinect. That was the issue. At least, that’s what I told myself.
And then during the XBox One announcement they show all these great new features for the Kinect like how responsive it is (to the point that when they said “XBox off” people watching the conference on their 360 saw the XBox command work properly for the first time) and things like “Snapping”. But it didn’t excite me. Not one bit. And it’s because Nintendo taught me to not believe in hardware upgrades.
After so much potential with the Wii and then the Wii U, Nintendo broke my heart and I just couldn’t open myself up to more of that kind of abuse. Like a jaded lover, I want to believe Microsoft but as soon as they start doing the same things that Nintendo did to me before, a red flag goes up. Sony took away Linux. Nintendo motion still doesn’t work right. Why would Kinect finally start listening to me?
Thank you Nintendo for breaking me. I will still come back to you like the romantic sap that I am even though I know you’ll hurt me. But be warned, I am cheating on you with your cousins Sony and Microsoft and they get the job done a lot better, even when they treat me bad too.