Microsoft Kinect: So hardcore it will kill your Grandma

Microsoft's new motion sensor is about as casual as a killer whale

When Microsoft announced Project Natal to the world, certain members of the GamePro team were worried. Was the company “doing a Nintendo” and kiddifying its console beyond all recognition?

We feared the machine we knew and loved would be cynically repackaged as a casual toy for the family — a Wii for the next generation. The Xbox 360’s hardcore image would soon be dead and buried, and its legacy forever tarnished (or so we feared).

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

The artist formerly known as 'Project Natal'. Underestimate it at your peril.

Well, it turns out we were all stressing about nothing. Phew, eh? After spending some quality time with Kinect at this year’s E3, we can confidentially report that there is nothing even remotely ‘casual’ about the experience. In fact, it arguably goes too far in the opposite direction.

Sure, the initial launch line-up might star cuddly lion cubs and cutesy avatars, but appearances can be deceiving. These games are set to deliver some of the most gruelling battles of your gaming career, forcing you to learn unfamiliar skills from head to toe. It’s like the Nintendo Wii on steroids.

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

These men are professional games journalists. Weezing death is imminent.

Instead of merely giving your fingers a workout, Kinect puts your entire body on the line; and by God do you feel the burn. In a five minute game, we probably got more exercise than we had over the entire previous year. This is a device that separates the men from the boys, the stud from the cattle, the svelte from the fat. We sadly fit into the latter categories -- which made us even more determined to kick Kinect's butt.

But it’s an uphill battle for an unfit gamer (is there any other type?) Indeed, the amount of running, jumping and ducking that these games demand is so intense, one of our colleagues almost puked on the showroom floor. Now that’s hardcore.

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

Kinect: So ‘hardcore’ it will kill your Grandma

Pretty fly for a white guy.

After a few minutes of playing Kinectimals, I was actually getting heart palpitations -- and for once, it had nothing to do with the hot promo girls sandwiched in our booth. We basically had to run a virtual obstacle course, with our onscreen avatar mimicking our every move. Star-jumps featured prominently. Star-jumps. The game even forces you run the course twice — a Herculean effort that even Chuck Norris would balk at.

When ushered into the next Kinect booth, the sweaty throng of journalists had the look of cornered animals. Just how much more of this torture were we expected to take? Our portlier brethren had the sickly grey-green hue of walking corpses — and we still had four more games to play. By the time we reached the full-tilt boogie of Dance Central, most of us were just about ready to keel over and die. Was it fun? Absolutely. Was it casual? HELL NO.

Check out the embedded video. You are expected to match their dance moves to the letter. Has Microsoft even seen the average gamer?

If you attempted to play this thing with your Wii-loving grandparents, they would almost certainly expire on the spot. That’s right ladies and gents: Kinect is so hardcore it can kill your Grandma. [He’s joking of course. -- Legal Dept.] I think that's something every hardcore gamer can get behind.

Except the fat ones, obviously.

Check out out blow-by-blow account of E3 2010.

In Pictures: My First E3, by Spandas Lui.

Follow GamePro Australia on Twitter: @GameProAu

Tags Project NatalE3 2010KinectMicrosoftgamesXBox 360Microsoft Kinectmotion sensing

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Chris Jager

GamePro Australia




Just because you were almost put in the grave by the effort you expended in playing with this doesn't make it hardcore. The Kinect is a casual gaming experience. There is no way they will be able to get this controller to be as precise as hardcore gamers would want. Controllers are a must. The sad part is that Microsoft is advertising this as a controller free controller which will not allow them to add a controller to the system in the future. I guess they weren't paying any attention to the EyeToy.



" I guess they weren't paying any attention to the EyeToy."

That's good too, because the Eye Toy sucked. It cant even remotely do what the Kinect can do. They're not comparable by even the slightest.

Adam wilson


Not to mention kinect is almost completely accurate so maybe you should do a little research before you hate on something just cuz you don't have the money to buy it.



i have done no research other than talking to my friends about it, but i seem to recall them saying that it was reasonably accurate but it sucked at voice recognition, and there are maybe 20 games for it at present? It seems that in the future we may have a pretty good run of games, but the idea of swinging an imaginary sword would cause many gamers to faint with embarressment. And these are people who talk of NOTHING but Call of Duty.

just a point there

bud toker 13


so the fact sony has already tested the Z-cam by 3DV which is the same thing as the kinect and thy already sed with a little pre calibration thy can do every thing the Z-cam can do for 1/3 the price means nothing to the ms fanboys thy think the ps eye cant do body tracking face tracking head tracking well thy are right the cam cant but the programs for the eye can and has be shown for the past 10 years thy even had the eye toy doing head and body tracking on the ps2 but it was not good enough at that time to make a working game and ms fanboys keep overlooking the downfalls of the kinect like a 43 horizontal viewing angle a 30fps cam now even with the ps eye with its 75 horizontal view angle its hard for it to see all the player at 6ft away and 30fps come on the reason the eyetoy on ps2 was a 60fps cam was cus of the lag that cant be corrected do to how slow the cam is which is why sony went with a 120fps cam for the move no matter what way you try and say it you cant say the kinect wont have a lag and tracking problem and as for full body tracking how can you say it can fully track you wit only 20 points from wrist to shoulder on one arm is 8 points times that by 2 and you have 16 now that leavs 4 points left so you cant fully track every point of articulation the human body

Coffee guy


roger took the words right of my mouth. What do you think "hardcore" gaming is? lots of excercise? you must be living in some kind of revrse world.

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