Microsoft seems to be banking on the Kinect becoming a hit with the same crowd that bought the Wii. However, the Xbox 360 has built its reputation on being this generation's must have console for the core gamer. Without a doubt it is a little shocking to see just how casual the launch line-up for Kinect is. So the question begs to be asked. Is Kinect to casual for its own good?
I would have to say yes. While I do not think it will fail, I do not think it will become the culture fad that Microsoft seems to think it will be. The main problem I see with Kinect is that the 360 already has a huge dedicated user base of core gamers. The same people who play the 360 are not the same people that usually play the Wii. Kinect seems like a tough sell with the current audience of the 360. There are absolutely no games in sight for Kinect that even attempt to bridge the gap between the casual and core gamer.
By comparison the Wii seems like a hard-core gamers paradise. Nintendo may cater to the casual gamer most of the time, but they are always consistent in releasing the core games that life long gamers crave. Sony's Move is another good example of bridging the gap between the core gamer and the casual. Move is set to launch with some very casual titles. However, at the same time Move is already confirmed for titles like Killzone 3, Resident Evil, and SOCOM. For owners of the PS3 there just seem to be more options for their system.
Kinect's main problem is that it seeks to imitate more than innovate. Sure the technology behind the camera is impressive, but at the end of the day is it better than the Wii or Move? The answer all depends where you stand in the debate.
If you are a core gamer looking for the latest action packed experiences, then no, Kinect is not a worthy purchase. However, if you are someone with kids that owns a 360 then by all means I could see Kinect being a great purchase. Even then chances are if you fall into that category then you have already bought your house a Wii. At the end of the day how many casual systems does one family need? My guess would be just one.
In closing, I would like to say that I am by no means trying to make this a 'Xbox 360 is failing' editorial. The 360 is in a good position right now in my opinion. With that said, I just don't believe that Kinect is going to be a smash hit like Microsoft does. As far as core gaming goes, the 360 has a bright future ahead of it. I just do not believe that the same audience that buys the latest Halo and Gears of War will want to buy Kinect.
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