The big deal at the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) early on is about the future and the usability of Project Natal, now known as Kinect for Xbox 360. Going into the show a lot of people had concerns about the idea of Microsoft's controller-less interface for the Xbox 360, after leaving the Microsoft Press Briefing, I don't think there are nearly as many skeptics, myself included. Let's talk about some of what they have done to make me a believer.
First, they have bought into their own idea. Sometimes Microsoft doesn't seem to believe in themselves as much as they should to make something successful and their products fail. That is not the case here. Microsoft has committed to launching Xbox Live and Kinect in every country where the Xbox 360 is sold this year. That is a big change for them because previously there were big holes in the Xbox Live network and we expected the same holes with Kinect.
For the rest of what they have done right, hit the break!
Second, they are going to have launch titles. Not just some, but 15. Some are mini-game style, like KINECT Sports and KINECT Adventures. Some are Wii-ish, such as Ubisoft's Your Shape, which was announced when Project Natal was first announced at E3 2009. Some are just adorable, like KINECTIMALS, where you can adopt 40 different types of animals, including a tiger cub, and interact with them without the fear of being attacked. This seems to be the first marketable version of the Milo software we saw last year. There will also be a dance game to give Konami's Dance Dance Revolution series and Ubisoft's surprise success Just Dance a run for their money.
The most important part of the whole Kinect idea, however, is the fact that it will work on ANY Xbox 360. No need to buy new hardware, just plug it in and go. The Kinect will be available November 4 in North America, just in time for the Holidays!
Also, don't forget to check out PLuGHiTz Live! Radio Tuesday night @ 9PM Eastern for our Microsoft and EA recap show!