Microsoft Kinect: Missed Opportunities

Microsoft Kinect: Missed Opportunities

We recently spoke with regarding Microsoft’s new Kinect motion sensing control system and rendered the following verdict: While the technology itself is impressive, so far featured games are middling, and the device’s broader home entertainment feature set by far and away trumps its current software lineup. Playing with virtual pets by mimicking the motions of stroking their fur or dancing naturally to bad pop tracks is all well and good, and will undoubtedly engender the accessory to a wide number of casual shoppers. (Although it’s doubtful how many will suddenly decide they want to pony up over $300 for a video game console and peripherals which they’d previously held out on buying for the privilege of doing so.) But more importantly, nowhere in Microsoft’s Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) 2010 press conference, hands-on demos or ridiculous pre-show Cirque du Soleil event were illustrations of the technology’s use for hardcore gaming applications evident.

As such, we dub it a “vital strategic error,” major mistake and serious problem on the company’s part, as – despite the desire to broaden the Xbox 360‘s reach to address more mainstream buyers – nothing was done to clearly demonstrate the tech’s full range of uses and potential game-changing features across the entire software spectrum. It’s a worrying move, given that current Xbox 360 owners are the likeliest early adopters. Interestingly as well, amidst all the smoke and mirrors (and perhaps understandably so, given the event’s game-heavy focus) the company trotted out to trump up how families will use the device to make their body the controller, one vital fact also seemed to be lost on viewers. Specifically, that the Kinect enables effortless videoconferencing between users (including allowing owners the option to video chat while watching movies together), or call up films and music with a spoken word or flick of the wrist.

These options don’t just promise to turn your living room into a digital communications hub. They also promise to bring millions of people together, uniting friends and family no matter the distance, and completely change the way in which we interact with technology – not to mention restore the TV to its place of prominence as the hearth of the home after years of playing second fiddle to game systems, smartphones and PCs.

To read more about the Kinect (coming November 4 for $149.99), as well as the new Xbox 360 slim model, simply click the link below.

Microsoft Unveils Redesigned Xbox 360 –

About Scott Steinberg
Scott Steinberg is CEO of strategic consulting and product testing firm TechSavvy Global, and a noted keynote speaker and business expert. Hailed as a top tech expert and parenting guru by critics from USA Today to NPR, he’s also an on-air analyst for ABC, CBS and CNN.

Leave a Reply