Witnesses to Microsoft’s glitzy E3 launch of Kinect (formerly Natal) report that Microsoft’s conspicuously refused to show any actual gameplay, instead using a crude mockup with actors pretending to “play” an onscreen movie, and that a mechanical elephant was the real star of the show, not their “revolutionary” new controller.
One report phrases it thus:
To say I was disappointed with Kinect would be putting it mildly.
After waiting at the Galen Center for a couple of hours, other than the name, Kinect, nothing was revealed except a handful of pre-recorded demos where actors clearly pretended to control the on-screen characters (avatars) with their own body movement.
At several points the avatars would move before the actors did, ruining the illusion of a real live demo of Kinect. This body-synch debacle makes Milli Vanilli’s legendary lip-synch outrage look tame by comparison.
Laughably, a huge animatronic elephant with in-built projector screens was the highlight of the crazy spectacle.
Look, it has to be said: that was one of the single biggest cluster****s I’ve ever seen at a games event, hands down.
With the eyes of the world on Microsoft, it decides that the best course of action, for whatever profound reason, is not to truly unveil much of anything.
Instead, the audience is assaulted with a strange and shambolic mess of pretentious garbage, muddy messaging and glimpses of very uninspiring games. Good lord.
A video of the event:
Just why Microsoft would not be desperate to show off the actual product it is launching is a very interesting question.