Being Kinected

I wasn’t too impressed when I heard the XBox One announcement earlier this year. A lot of people weren’t, especially about the DRM, always online, needs to connect one a day ‘features’ that Microsoft were promising.

Well, the inevitable backlash that followed caused MS to backdown on a bunch of this stuff, but there were a few features that concerned me that are still there.

The Kinect requirement in particular.

It turns out the XBox One won’t work without a Kinect. I think it’s part of Microsoft’s agenda to force the entire world to wave their arms about like demented Macaulay Culkins that is in play here, but to me, I think this is completely unnecessary. I’ve been happy to turn on my 360 for 7 years now (wow, has it been that long?) using the remote, or by simply pressing the button. Have these options been removed now? Is this the Windows8ification of the XBox, removing useful features to force a new paradigm?

For me, where I live there’s not much space. It’s pretty cramped. My furniture currently obscures some of the Xbox, and there’s no room to get up and wiggle for the Kinect, let alone workout to the Prancercise game. (Sorry for inflicting that on you.) I’ll just be leaning back on the couch with the controller thank you very much.

Apparently, the Kinect option also listens for the users voice commands even when the console is turned off. Game Politics wonders if the Guv will use it to spy on XBox users even when the console is switched off. NSA paranoia is everywhere these days. For good reason. Lord, protect us from those who think they know what is best for us.

Luckily, I always turn my XBox off at the switch when it’s not in use. Need to save all the power I can these days, the bills are getting ridiculous. Sorry NSA boffins, no video of me prancercising in the nuddy, or audio of me musing on the meaning of life, or cussing out the utility companies.

Still with all these downsides, I’m very tempted to get one. Maybe not at launch, that will depend on budget and time, but perhaps sometime in the near future after release.

When the 360 was released, there was one game that was the seller for me, the main reason to buy the console. That was Oblivion. This time Forza 5 is the bait in the trap.

And maybe I’ll experiment with the Kinect. Try sticking some Bluetack over the microphone. Duct tape the camera. Then waiting to see how long it takes the secret police to turn up on my doorstep.

I wonder what the weather is like in Guantanamo this time of year?