The message we certainly got from Xbox's E3 conference was this: If you don't have Kinect, you're missing out.
According to Microsoft and Xbox, this will be the year for Kinect, and not just for kids either. The main focus has in actual fact been on putting Kinect in some of the Xbox's more hardcore titles such as Fable, Mass Effect and Ghost Recon.
Microsoft Xbox games video round-up
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Mass Effect 3
This was one of the more impressive Kinect demo's we saw at the conference. Instead of going for all out Kinect control, what Mass Effect 3 is planning on doing is enhancing the current experience. By adding voice-recognition you can use your voice to control the flow of dialogue when talking to other characters. This is then also used when you engage in combat by being able to command your team through the voice control. It's incredibly slick and definitely doesn't appear to take over the experience, rather letting you spend more time on the tactical side of things than feeling like you're doing too many things at once.
Ghost Recon: Future Soldier
Definitely one of our favourite demo's here at T3 Towers the Ghost Recon demo actually included very little actual gameplay, instead going for a nicely melodramatic trailer featuring opera singing vocals and incredibly satisfying headshots. While this was all nice and dandy it was what followed that impressed us most. Called Gunsmith it's a Kinect-based feature that allows you to customise your weapon to an astounding degree. By using Kinect gestures that bordered on a 'Minority Report' level of cool you can pull your gun apart, tell the game to select certain features then using your body as the weapon, take it out onto the test range.
Very little is known about this game from CryTek and to be blunt, from the incredibly short trailer, it's still hard to know much. What we do know is that it's based in Ancient Rome and at present has been solely controlled by Kinect, showing very responsive attack gestures and movements. As soon as we know more you'll know more.
Forza Motorsport 4
This was probably one of the more well-known Kinect titles that was announced having been previewed late last week. By uitilising head-tracking and voice control you can look around inside the car cabin as you drive and control the game through voice as well.
Fable: The Journey
Fable's latest incarnation will utilise Kinect in perhaps a more traditional way than the others by letting you use your hands to control the reigns of a horse or caravan (as shown in the demo) or to cast spells. Focusing on the story that Fable's world is dying, you play a tribal dweller who can harness magic and create weapons all through using Kinect. It looks very similar to the style used the latest Harry Potter game but of a much more advanced nature.
Last but not least we have the Dashboard and OS itself on the Xbox 360. With a totally new-look interface the Kinect-friendly Dashboard now has full voice-control, increased gesture controls and Microsoft bing search capability. By using bing and voice-control the idea is that you can search anything within the Xbox Live universe and download or play it straight away.