Dance Central: My Kinect Killer App?

I am not a fan of motion controls. I’ve made it very clear on this very blog. In particular, I have a number of doubts surrounding Microsoft’s motion controlled solution. While I think the idea behind Kinect is cool, I have concerns about how the technology works, the price (rumored to be $149.99) and the types of experiences being made available for it. So far, Microsoft is marketing this squarely at the casual audience, providing no shortage of Wii-inspired and Wii-ripoff games, such as Kinect Sports, Kinect Adventures and Kinectimals. As Darth Vader once said, “Do not want!”

After watching Microsoft’s e3 presentation, I was ready to avoid the Kinect completely. But if I told you I didn’t want to play anything the Kinect has to offer, I would be lying. I want to play Dance Central really bad.

The latest Harmonix creation is easily the most ambitious Kinect game we’ve seen so far. It’s also the most ambitious use of the technology. Unlike dancing games in the past that abstract what dancing is, Dance Central is using the Kinect to allow for gamers to use real-life dance moves as gameplay input. From what I’ve heard, the Kinect does a great job of tracking your movements and the game does a great job of telling you what you did wrong so you can fix it the next time you try it. The game features over 600 dance moves which are used in dozens of routines which range in difficulty.

I’m not that great of a hip-hop/pop dancer. My friends may tell you otherwise, but they’re lying. I’m not that good, but I have a blast doing it when I’m in the club or on the dance floor at weddings. I think this game would be a great outlet for me to get “jiggy with it” and if Just Dance is any indication, Dance Central has the potential to be a huge hit based on the concept alone.

I really want to play Dance Central. However, I really don’t want to spend $149.99 on top of the game price for hardware that I will likely only use for one game. With these two forces acting against each other, at this point in time I can’t see myself buying Dance Central until other companies make compelling Kinect experiences that I want to play. In the meantime, I’ll have to make due with dancing in the club and mimicking YouTube videos of Usher and Justin Timberlake.

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