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  • Kinect, The Great Fail of 2010

    Posted on September 7th, 2010 Shawn 4 comments

    This post will likely seal my fate of ever working for Microsoft or Harmonix. With that, here’s goes my prediction of Kinect, the great fail of 2010. Though, there will be hope of its redemption in 2011.

    Microsoft’s next gaming evolution for Xbox 360 is Kinect. As we all know, that’s the camera-based controller that puts you in the game. Kinect will be available for purchase this Fall for $150 stand-alone or $300 packaged with a new Xbox 360S (4BG hard drive & Kinect Adventures game).

    Journalists and gamers have now had a few rare opportunities to try out Kinect; at E3, GamesCon, PAX Prime, select Macy’s and Gamestop locations. The people touting that its a really good peripheral for Xbox 360 are either Xbox loyalists or those who have played Dance Central (that’s Harmonix’ new dancing game). Dance Central is an evolution of Dance Dance Revolution, where gameplay is generally fun and precision isn’t always necessary to have the game score properly. Remember that you aren’t dodging, ducking, shooting or jumping from bad guys in it. It’s the kind of game that works and works well with Kinect.

    If you listen to people who have played other games, such as DecaSports Paintball, the calibration has to be set several times, the gameplay is generally not fun, and precision is inaccurate. Here lies a big problem. Gamers are going to expect some action/adventure in their games, and if the precision isn’t there (like in the original Wii controllers), gamers are not going to play games much with it. Don’t take my word for it, listen to Alexander Sliwinski and Dave Hinkle of the Xbox 360 Joystiq Fancast.

    As recent as last week (PAX Prime), Kinect developers were telling gamers that the Kinect software they were using at PAX was not the final version. I think that’s crazy to know the final build is not yet on the Kinect just a couple weeks away from launch. In one respect, it scares me that there are still glitches being ironed out. On the other hand, it gives hope that calibration and precision may be fixed by software patches.

    Other than Dance Central, there is the use of Kinect for navigating menus on the Xbox Dashboard, Netflix, and other similar applications. This is another area where Kinect works well, and can be a great add-on for Xbox users. Though, a great (and I mean great) dance game and dashboard navigator is not going to get anyone (other than loyalists) to pay $150 for Kinect, plus $50 for Dance Central. Would you pay $200 to add a really cool dance game to your Xbox library?

    Kinect will not sell well for the 2010 holiday season. You might hear some big buzz as it launches, but when the dust settles, it will be a flop. I expect for every 3 out of 4 Kinect purchases, Dance Central will also be purchased. As for all the other Kinect games, they will sell as well as 3rd party Wii games (aka not sell).

    There is a potential saving grace for Kinect though. Remember, the navigation system is very good and there is one solid game available at launch. The saving grace is Microsoft reducing the price of Kinect by 2/3, yes to $50. Fortunately, Microsoft is already selling Kinect games for the same price as Wii games, which makes the games a compelling price point. Would you consider a $50 peripheral to allow you hands-free dashboard navigation, with some limited gaming capability? I might. What about trying out some sub-par hands-free games for a price lower than the typical Xbox 360 game retail price. I might go for that also. To get Kinect and Dance Central for $100, I could see that as compelling. Though, until the Kinect pricing drops by 2/3, this new evolution for Xbox will flounder and ultimately fail.

  • They Ruined The Snoop Dogg Songs

    Posted on September 7th, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Thanks to jrolson on the Rock Band forums, we have this (not so great) news for you this morning. Looks like the Snoop Dogg songs that dropped (like its hot) on Rock Band DLC this morning, are not only reproduced, but entirely new recordings. They sound completely different than the originals, with new lyrics, additional guitar and drum parts.

    The vocal stylings of Snoop have changed drastically in the past 16 years. He sounds a little older, a little deeper (weed smoke will do that to ya), and not as quick (see aforementioned weed smoke reference). I’ll be honest, this week was a long time coming for me and my friends. After checking the vids online, I’m going to pass on this DLC pack, and instead spend my MS Points on the Nickelback pack.

    Don’t believe me? Check out the video:

  • Rock Band Slacker Radio: Snoop Dogg

    Posted on September 3rd, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Rock Band Slacker RadioHere comes an eight song addition to our Rock Band Slacker Station. This time around, we get some Snoop Dogg, based on our earlier announcement post.

    “Beautiful”
    “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
    “Ridin’ In My Chevy”
    “Sensual Seduction”
    “Snoop’s Upside Ya Head”
    “Tha Shiznit”
    “That’s Tha Homie” *
    “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?”

    Direct link to Rock Band Station on Slacker.com
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  • Tons of Rock Band 3 Gameplay Videos

    Posted on September 3rd, 2010 Shawn No comments

    Harmonix threw a pre-PAX party last night (Sept 2, 2010) at Jillians in Seattle. Many people there recorded the gameplay and tossed them all over YouTube and the Rock Band forums. I’ve grabbed as many as I can and put them in-line for you here…

    UPDATE: Bohemian Rhapsody now added







  • S-N Double O-P D-O Double G, on R-B-D-L-C

    Posted on September 3rd, 2010 Shawn 2 comments

    It’s been 1 year and 7 months since I initially announced this was coming to Rock Band. Now, it’s official. The Doggfather, aka Snoop Dogg, aka Calvin Broadus is coming to Rock Band! Yes, you read that correctly. I don’t know how this stuff will play on Rock Band, but I have to admit that 1993’s Doggystyle was in my CD player nearly 24/7 followed by the Murder Was the Case soundtrack in 1994 on regular rotation.  I’m a Snoop fan, and very intersted on how his stuff will play out on Rock Band.

    What are your thoughts?

    Comin’ straight outta the desk of Henry at Harmonix:

    From HMXHenry at 4:23 this AM, the Rock Band forums:

    Available on Xbox 360, Wii and PlayStation 3 system (Sept. 7):

    “Beautiful”
    “Drop It Like It’s Hot”
    “Ridin’ In My Chevy”
    “Sensual Seduction”
    “Snoop’s Upside Ya Head”
    “Tha Shiznit”
    “That’s Tha Homie” *
    “Who Am I (What’s My Name)?”

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