04 June, 2012

Microsoft Press Conference

written by Blain Newport on Monday, 4 June, 2012

Better With Kinect

To demonstrate Kinect voice commands, a player speaks to make a character in an action game call in an air strike. Audibles are called in sports games. These are not bad things, but it only takes some simple math to prove they aren't worthwhile.

Publishers believe that the money Microsoft pays them to make voice commands for Kinect only is more than the extra copies they would sell (across all platforms) if they gave everyone with a headset access to this "amazing new feature".

Live Anywhere 2

Announcing MS Smart Glass! Yep, Microsoft's cross device initiative that died on the vine in 2006 is back and so withered it's hardly recognizable.

In 2006 Microsoft was talking about the future of games. Buy once, play on any device. Edit your race cars on your PC and phone, then race them on the Xbox. Play multiplayer games across all supported platforms. It was ambitious and cool.

If the 2012 edition succeeds in every way, it will be a dismal failure by 2006's standards. Microsoft's lead feature was being able to pick up watching a movie on your TV from where you left off watching it on your mobile device. They'll save you the two seconds it took to read and remember the time index and the three seconds it takes you to skip ahead on your TV.

The rest of the features (supplementary info during video viewing and gaming, using the tablet as a controller, web browsing) were also uninteresting.

Maybe they think a little tablet integration will make people ignore the Wii U, but that's wasted effort. The Wii U will sink or swim based on software designed for it's unique abilities.

As far as I'm concerned, Microsoft had nothing to show this year.

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