Microsoft has already openly discussed the prospect that they are bringing their wildly popular Kinect motion gaming system to the Windows platform and we have known for a while now that commercials pertaining to the new Windows periphrial will drop sometime early 2012. But rumors from the company now suggest that developers are partnering with both Vizio and Sony (yes Sony, recall that Microsoft purchased the Microsoft-Sony.com domain some time ago) and will attempt to literally integrate the Kinect system into television sets.
Websites are speculating that we would be mostly looking at television sets that are tied into Windows based PC’s and would allow for such things like motion controlled television viewing, movie viewing, and possible voice commanding. We are also looking at the potential for things like “facial recognition” to pick up programs where individuals left them unfinished and perhaps even some television channel recommendations based on facial recognition (in the sense that the controller recognizes the individual and knows what they want to watch based on viewing habits)?
We also have to consider here that Microsoft is attempting to find a way to compete with Google TV and the new Apple television rumors that are flying around.
The question here is, what exactly are we going to see? It makes sense that Microsoft would implement the Kinect into HDTV’s for the sake of ease of use. Imagine being able to air swipe, scroll, and voice command your way through television menus with the flick of a wrist rather than a bulky or confusing remote control. That much I understand, but what is still under wraps is what the Kinect was really meant to do, play games.
I can see a possible implementation of games with an internet ready television that is running the Android marketplace. Perhaps there could be some simple Android based games that could make use of the controller. But when it boils down to it, Microsoft is only talking about implementing Kinect into televisions, they said nothing about tossing an entire Xbox 360 into it, nor did they say anything about popping a gaming-ready PC in there.
So this begs the question, is this really a “Kinect” in a television or just a smart motion tracking “remote control.” We still won’t know for some time what Microsoft really has planned. In my personal opinion I would hate to see gaming-integrated televisions. That just means you can’t purchase a console without first purchasing the entire television unit? For now, we should treat this news as nothing more than Microsoft attempting to implement its controller-less unit in more living rooms across the nation, at least that’s how I see it.
What do all of you people out there think? Is this just gimmicky, or does it have the potential to go somewhere much bigger?