No Kinect Voice Control or Video Chat at Launch (?)
I love the idea of Kinect. I really do. Which makes it all the more annoying when Microsoft constantly seems to mishandle every single aspect of its marketing and design.
The latest news from CVG is that Kinect's flaunted ability to leverage powerful voice recognition software into controlling basic console functions will not be activated Remember those excellent trailers of families controlling the Xbox 360 with nothing but a word? Flicking through menus or starting DVDs with a simple phrase? It looks like we'll have to wait some time for feature to become a reality- which is arguably a full half of Kinect's functionality.
In other news, the video chat software will also not be shipping at launch. Once again, this core selling point will hit at an unspecified later date. [MCV]
UPDATE: Microsoft have refuted this story, though it's possible that only certain languages may be supported at launch. We'll follow this one up- and don't yet know about the fate of the video chat software.
Things could be looking better for Microsoft's upcoming motion control peripheral, but Kinect's lead creative assures us that it will grow organically and offer new game experiences in the months and years after release.
"you’ll see [Kinect] evolve as a platform over time, see it as something that will extend not only through Xbox but could be applied through a lot of different mediums.”-Kinect creative chief Kudo Tsunoda [VG247]
Will Kinect be an evolving platform or a train wreck in motion? Disappointed at the delayed features? Have your say in the comments!
Sony Exploring Online Passes
EA (and subsequently THQ) has rolled out the Online Pass, a code that unlocks the online functionality of a title and requires owners of used copies to pay a supplementary fee in order to gain the According to the SCEE president Andrew House, it seems that Sony might be eyeing up a piece of the action for themselves.
"On the principle of making online portions of the game available or unlocked from the disc-based release for a fee, we're broadly supportive of that. And we're exploring actively the same option for our own content." -Sony Computer Entertainment Europe president Andrew House
This is odd news from Sony, who already sell a premium online service in the form of Playstation Plus. We'll keep you updated- but in my opinion, Sony won't change their policy on free core online play. This is hopefully just a flash in the pan caused by an ill-advised quote. [Eurogamer]
PC Black Ops Will Have Mod Tools
The PC community can exponentially multiply a game's lifespan, value and replayability with aftermarket player-made content... and in an exciting turn of events, Treyarch have announced that they'll be opening up CoD Black Ops for modding after release. Details are thin on the ground, but apparently a degree of modification will be possible after Treyarch have finished polishing the core game.
Whether this new functionality will allow easier hacking or exploitation of the multiplayer modes remains to be seen. However, it's still a step in the right direction. [Call of Duty Community Forums]
Psyched for Black Ops? Why not check out my time with the brand new Vietnam levels at Gamescom!