Released with much fanfare on November 4th, 2010, Kinect sold 8 million units over the next 60 days, snatching up the Guiness World Record for fastest selling consumer electronics device of all time in the process. Of course, in the entertainment world, with great success often comes great angst among the fanbase. In the Kinect’s case, much of the grizzled hardcore gamer crowd immediately rejected the idea of a motion controller for the Xbox, claiming that the new technology was a gimmicky draw for casual gamers and that Microsoft was going to force Kinect down gamers’ throats by slapping it into everything possible. The Next Web snapped a pretty hilarious screenshot of the games subreddit after Microsoft’s E3 keynote last year, and you can see the overwhelmingly negative response from a group made up of what most people probably think of as typical gamers.
Are the hardcore gamers right? Has Microsoft abandoned its core in order to gain a spot in the living rooms of the coveted Wii-playing elderly and Farmville mom crowd? Well, not exactly. 2011 saw the release of the fantastic Gears of War 3, the latest iterations of Modern Warfare, Battlefield, and Saint’s Row, and a number of other great, “hardcore” titles on both retail and XBLA (you probably won’t find any casual gamers playing Dark Souls). Basically, Microsoft is still pumping out all of the content that made it beloved in the hearts and minds of gamers, but it’s also adding to the overall entertainment experience on the Xbox by integrating Kinect with games and other software in interesting new ways. How so? Well, let’s get on to the main feature – the State of Kinect 2012. Read each category for some in depth analysis or feel free to skip down to the bottom for a quick roundup of this year in Kinect.
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