I love being right. A few months back I ran a two-part feature (an article and a follow up piece) discussing the new techniques and abilities the Kinect would unleash on the gaming world. In particular, I made the following prediction:
The first thing that jumped to my mind was head tracking for camera and targeting systems. By this, I mean that as you played the game, Kinect would track your head in order to adjust your view inside the cockpit based on where your head would look. With face recognition like the Kinect's, you could use your own head to look around. Need to look to your left? Turn your head to the left just a little (you would want to exaggerate the motion of view on the screen, assuming that if you look a little to the left would result in a large turn to the left on screen). It could be done in many different ways (have zones of the TV that when looked at trigger the shift), but the result would be you being able to look in one direction while still moving/shooting in another without some sort of head-twistingly complex control problems. Worried that someone is sneaking up on you? Take a quick peek left without stopping your suppressing fire forward. This could also work for first person shooters, but would work best for Simulations of all kinds.
Well, guess what, according to this article over at Kotaku, Forza Motorsport 4, the latest in the Forza series is not only putting this feature into the game, they are also (surprise surprise) allowing players to play the game with a controller! This represents the first reported direct fusion of classic console style play with the Microsoft Kinect, players will be able to play with a controller, or with their hands for a more casual experience if they don't feel up to the simulation. Reportedly the game will use the Kinect system to also allow players to look slightly from one side or the other to peer into corners, but I honestly doubt it'll stop there. Who's excited to actually be able to look at your rear view mirror in a racing title?