The Emperor’s New Video Games

Microsoft’s Project Natal made the news at E3, and ever since it’s only growing in mind share thanks to “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” and, now, Stephen Colbert.

The highlight last night was the introduction of the “next next generation” of Xbox technology, the X-Xbox, a device that requires no controller, no screen and no console. (can only be viewed in Hulu approved territories)
Vodpod videos no longer available.

Funny. Will Microsoft ever ship another “Box”…?

But I saw something beyond the joke: A sign for the end of hardware.

Why would you need a console, a control, and a screen when you could have more fun without all of it? Really!?

Just put on your favorite augmented designer sun glasses, wear that chic augmented e-textile shirt you got from your mom (both communicating with the mini network computer in your pocket), and go out an play!

This, by the way, would also satisfy Obama’s plea to parents voiced in a speech to the American Medical Association this week:

“…raising our children to step away from the video games and spend more time playing outside.”

You will look just like Colbert in that clip – albeit expressing more subtle gestures, and having REAL fun.

2 Responses

  1. I think youd always need a controller of some sort.
    Natal is brilliant, but has two limitations that prevent it from replacing everything;

    a) Lacks tactile feedback. I think when your playing a game where your charecter is holding something….sword, bat, club, steering wheel…..it will be very odd feeling not to hold anything yourself.

    b) Charecter movement. Classic VR problem of how to move someone, without moving them.
    A traditional analogue stick is still best, imo. Walking on the spot just isnt that fun.

    That said, I think AR specs can replace a lot of the rest of the hardware, and for the retrogamer even
    emulate old consoles.
    I dont just mean the games, you could emulate the consoles themselves.
    Even with authentic NES-cart blowing action to start the game! :P

  2. And yes, when I heard Obama comment I instantly thought of AR.
    Augmented Reality lets us have the immersion and sense of reward that games give us, and have it set outdoors with physical activity.

    AR is also about the only thing that would make live-action-role-playing socialy acceptable :P

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