The future of gaming

Fighters Uncaged Kinect

The future of gaming

Baffled by Kinect, Move and 3DS? Let us assist

Forgive us if we sound like old timers but video games have come a hell of a long way in the past 20 years. Remember getting unfeasibly excited about nudging a crudely pixellated character across a blocky level? Or loading screens that lasted so long you could nip to the shops for a bag of Quavers? Us too.

The launch of Xbox Kinect in two weeks time confirms the dawn of a new era. Hot on the heels of PlayStation’s Move and soon to be followed in the new year by Nintendo’s 3DS it, signals a change of tack from gaming’s major players.

We’ve all seen the Minority Report-style futuristic advancements and heard the considerable hype but which of these three new bits of tech is actually worth your cash? Allow us to fill you in.

All images: Gamespress

Tags: computer games, video games, home entertainment

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Kinect

It may be a pretty brazen attempt to muscle in on the Wii’s success but Microsoft’s offering is the most instantly impressive. Sure, the fact that they’ve completely eliminated the need for a controller with a nifty video camera able to intricately track your body’s movements (right down to 48 skeletal points) is cool.

But it’s the little sci fi touches that make it special. Wander up to the camera and it’ll recognise you and log you in. Want two player? Simply stand alongside your mate and you’re in the game. Gentlemen, the future has arrived. Can we have hoverboards now please?

Pros: Games like Dance Central and Kinect Sports are heaps of fun and groundbreakingly innovative plus the interface is incredibly slick.

Cons: Early lag problems have been ironed out but menus will still occasionally leave you flapping your hand in frustration. And bar Fighters Uncaged there’s little in the launch line-up for grown up gamers.



PlayStation Move

Sony’s glowing wand may look a bit naff but there’s some sharp thinking behind their Wii-alike. Firstly, they’ve eliminated the wires between Nintendo’s white nunchuk controllers so gameplay is less inhibited.

There’s also a focus on intricate movement tracking that’ll appeal to anyone who’s swatted their way through a motion-sensor tennis game that felt worryingly like a glorified demo.

But perhaps the biggest element in Move’s favour is that it utilises the technology in shooters and adventure titles so not all it’s games involve jigging about like a goon in your living room. Great news for the rhythmically challenged among us.

Pros: A genuinely enticing range of Move-enabled games including Heavy Rain and Tiger Woods PGA Tour 11. Plus thoroughly awesome shooter SOCOM 4 is on the way.

Cons: Clunky controllers and it’s more of a Wii clone than Kinect. Are the better games really worth stumping up the cash for?



Nintendo 3DS

3D has become so prevalent that it won’t be long before soaps start offering tedium in three dimensions, so it’s no wonder gaming has gotten involved.

Sony are carving out their own 3D revolution with titles like Killzone 3 but the innovators at Nintendo have found a way to do it without the prohibitively priced telly and dodgy goggles.

The 3DS uses layered LCD screens, three cameras and witchcraft, we imagine, to bring 3D to the handheld games market. Disclaimer: it’s impossible to capture the 3DS’s effect on video camera so you’ll just have to take our word for it that this isn’t some elaborate ruse.

Pros: Glasses-free 3D is an enticing prospect and it works terrifically well. The 3DS also lets you take 3D pictures and download original Gameboy games.

Cons: Has the release date been nudged from Christmas 2010 to March 2011 because of technical jitters? Probably not. But some might say it’s just a gimmicky DS update.



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