At this point, almost anyone who owns an Xbox 360 and plays multiplayer games is familiar with the concept of saved films. First made popular by Halo 3, saved films give the player the ability to watch replays of their multiplayer matches and capture their most glorious, luckiest, and funny moments “on tape”. We’ve all had those moments when we pull off a crazy shot, or take out a team of four guys by ourselves. You want your friends and the world to see those moments. With saved films, showing off those bursts of gaming greatness if possible. Players are able to save these film clips to either watch themselves later to relive the moment, or to show off to friends and members of the public by sharing them in their profile. Some games have taken the concept a step further, allowing gamers to share their saved films on social media sites such as Facebook with just the click of a button. This is one of the great accomplishments of online gaming this generation. The standing issue is that this is not yet a standard feature of Xbox Live. Each game that allows players to save replays does it differently. What we’d like to see is for Microsoft the integrate saved films into Xbox Live, and utilize Kinect to make saving and sharing films easier than ever.
Making saved films a part of Xbox Live is simple in concept. Utilizing software (hypothetically) built into Xbox Live, players would be able to view, rewind, take screenshots and capture video from their games. Not only multiplayer matches as we’re accustomed to, but also single-player sessions as well. With the miracle of cloud storage (already part of Xbox Live) it seems like the memory is available to at least save replays until the system is shut off, if not longer. With this tool, developers simply need to create profiles and menus within their game for players to store these videos. It may also be viable for Microsoft to add the ability to store videos from any and all Xbox titles as part of their Xbox Live profile in addition to the game specific file shares. Before moving on, allow us to state that we have no idea if programming this would be difficult, or even possible. All we know is that we want to see it happen.
Now this is where Kinect comes in. As of right now, controlling the camera in many saved film theaters can be difficult. There is often so much going on that you want to capture, that you just can’t include it all. Or maybe something happens so fast it makes it difficult to move the camera fast enough because you just can’t move the analog stick fast that quick. With Kinect however, the options are limitless. The speed that the camera is moving could directly correlate with the speed you are moving your hands.
You could then set the camera to keep moving at the speed you just moved your hands, or you could continue to “freestyle” it, and move the camera, up, down, left, right, zoom in, zoom out, or whichever combination of directions you wish. Maybe a small globe shape could be placed on screen which you “roll” to rotate the camera around. This would allow for quick flips in camera angle rather than slow, manual pans. The idea can be conceptualized in dozens of different ways. One thing is clear however: Kinect can grant you more control over theater mode camera systems to help capture each and every tiny detail. That time you bounced a grenade off a stop sign, onto the hood of a car, and down a manhole that then exploded on someone’s head just has to have the perfect set of angles and Kinect can help make it possible.
It goes without saying that voice commands could also make editing and saving films a lot simpler. Most of the time, we get a little action bar with play, rewind, fast forward, record, and a few other features on it. How much easier would it be to just speak “Play” or “Rewind”? Or how about “Skip to 5 minutes, 36 seconds” instead of holding down fast forward to find what you’re looking for? How much easier would it be to tell your Xbox to save the file as “WTF Bungle?” than typing it out with the on-screen keyboard? Top it all off with a quick “Share on Facebook” and you’re done. The current on screen controls can be confusing and clunky while Kinect could simplify the entire process and make recording your moment simpler and more satisfying.
The bottom line is, we just want saved films integrated into Xbox Live. It’s a feature that empowers players with bragging rights, and public glory that is just too powerful not to be part of the broader Xbox culture. Xbox Live has been the leader in online gaming services since its inception, and we want to continue to see it expand and grow. Integrating saved films into Xbox Live is just one way for Microsoft to continue to raise the bar and stay a step ahead of the Additionally, allowing players to control their saved films without a controller using only their hands and voice is something that only Kinect can bring to the table. It could even revolutionize saved films altogether by giving players more control and making the entire process simpler than ever. The opportunity is too great to pass up. Microsoft, if you’re out there, make it happen!