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Television Input Devices Microsoft XBox (Games) Games

What Kinect Could Be, But Probably Won't 143

An opinion piece at CNN looks at Microsoft's Xbox Kinect, praising the system's capabilities not for gaming, but for what it does to the video viewing experience. "The idea of being able to ditch your table full of remote controls and just use your hands and voice to interact with the TV is compelling. It's much nicer than QWERTY keyboards, which are a terrible idea in the living room. It's also better than Wii-like remote controls, or even using an iPad or smartphone as your TV remote, a feature that cable companies are increasingly rolling out." The problem, as they see it, is Microsoft's inability to actually bring this into common usage for regular television viewing. "It seems like the company is tied too much to the Xbox's substantial gaming revenue to split the Xbox TV stuff off as a separate product — even though there's a huge population of non-gamers who probably have no interest in buying an Xbox." Perhaps this is something that can be addressed by others when the Kinect SDK is released.
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What Kinect Could Be, But Probably Won't

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  • Stupid. (Score:4, Informative)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @06:00AM (#35919886) Journal
    I think that there is a reason that this guy is writing opinion pieces for CNN, rather than actual strategies:

    Microsoft's "unwillingness" to split off some sort of 'xbox TV' thing: So, the kinect is a ~$100-$120 device(and Microsoft is apparently not making a loss; but not trying to mar a launch by gouging). On top of that, it needs a host device to run the body-detection stuff. So, you might be able to do an 'xbox TV' for a bit less than a base-model xbox SKU+Kinect, by going with a weaker CPU and no GPU; but such a device would still cost much more than a universal remote and not so much less than the base model xbox that it could really differentiate itself.

    "Table full of remotes": Y'know why you have so many remotes? Because you have a zillion sucky little set-top-boxes that require more fiddling than joe user is willing to devote to the problem to get working together nicely. Guess what problem your 'xbox TV', no matter how magical the input experience, won't solve? Oh, yeah, that one. Consumer video is a mess, with endless fast-replaced devices, minimal control standardization(and what standardization there is, as with HDMI CEC or Cablecard, is either a few rounds short of fully baked or a failure by design), and some fairly entrenched players who have absolutely no intention of being shoved out of the way so that you can use the box you want to, rather than Scientific Atlanta's latest sick effort. That is the hard part.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 24, 2011 @06:02AM (#35919892)

    In commercials you always see how some ordinary thing is so very difficult and cubersome to do. You know... "Vacuuming under the sofa is so hard and the vacuum cleaner doesn't fit there well and you have to (*gasp*) kneel down and it still won't be perfectly clean... But if you buy Super Cleaner (TM) RIGHT NOW you'll...". At that point, every regular person should go "Excuse me? I've vacuumed under the sofa and it's not that difficult, really". The commercials are trying to create a need that doesn't exists because there is a product that has been designed to fulfill that need. This sounds similar.

    The reason why it's difficult to come up with a replacement for a remote is that there isn't any real need for that. Are the remotes really that hard to use? You pick one up. lay on the sofa and can do anything with a small finger gesture. I don't understand why they're trying to create need for a replacement with those very artificial sounding arguments. "It's hard to pick up the right remote"? Oh please...

  • by benjymouse ( 756774 ) on Sunday April 24, 2011 @06:27AM (#35919952)

    Then you don't recall correctly, obviously. Microsoft did actually develop Project Natal within its own organization (and through a wholly-owned subsidiary). They are using hardware developed by an Israeli company.

A committee is a group that keeps the minutes and loses hours. -- Milton Berle