Something important to remember is that the handful of Kinect titles we have seen so far do not represent the only things Kinect can do. There are more games in the works from every major publisher. As time passes, the games will get better as developers learn how to use Kinect better. You might not be impressed with Kinect yet, but you shouldn't write it off completely. Check back a year after launch and we'll see how things are going.
Kinect Is More Than Just Games
Kinect also offers more than just games, which is something that is very appealing for me personally. Because it will be implemented into system navigation, you will likely be using Kinect every day and every time you turn on your Xbox 360 whether you are playing a Kinect game or not. You'll be able to use your Xbox 360 system with either voice commands or hand motions. Your Xbox 360 will be able to recognize your face and sign you into your gamer profile. This is another way to justify Kinect's price tag. It does a surprising amount of stuff for $150. Unlike a similarly priced set of Rock Band or Guitar Hero instruments that only do one thing, just for an example.
The price of Kinect has been an easy target for critics, but I think you have to put it into perspective. Yes, $150 is a lot, but you'll only ever have to spend that $150 once and it does come with a game (Kinect Adventures). You won't have to buy batteries. You won't have to buy extra controller sets. You buy Kinect once and get two player support out of the box. To get two player support out of Sony's Move, for example, the price will be roughly the same assuming you have to buy the PS Eye camera, two wands, and two navigation controllers (nav controllers supposedly not required, but c'mon, we all know the good games will use them).
I don't see the Kinect hardware as being that expensive, especially when compared to other motion controllers. The games, on the other hand, are definitely too much at $50 each. I don't see Kinect Joyride or Kinectimals or most of the other stuff shown so far as being worth $50. $30 or $40 would make a lot more sense. Critics do have a point in regards to Kinect pricing, but they should be focused on the software instead of the hardware.
Another criticism of Kinect is that only two players can play simultaneously. Again, we have to put it into perspective. Only two people can play at once, but Kinect can recognize up to six people at a time, which means jumping in and jumping out of gameplay is as easy as getting the camera to recognize you and away you go. There might be only two people playing at once, but swapping people in and out quickly isn't going to be a problem. Considering the type of games that Kinect will likely have (family friendly, active, party stuff where you're flailing your arms) letting people swap in and out easily and quickly seems more important than simultaneous play anyway. Four people waving their arms and jumping around is just asking for trouble unless you're playing in a gymnasium. Two players seems about right for most living rooms.
The one thing I do know for sure even without using it yet, and am actually happiest about Kinect, is that it is different. The PS Move is just a rich man's Wii (can anyone honestly argue against that statement?), but Kinect is completely different. You can lump them all into the "motion controls" category if you want, but Kinect is the only really new and innovative idea that has come along since the Wii came out in 2006. It is going to play different and unique games from the other two. And that is a good thing. I have to admit, it looks like Kinect might have a rougher time (at least at the start) than Sony's Move will, but that is what happens when you try to do something new instead of just copying what your competitor has done for the last four years.