White water rafting takes a lot out of you – especially when you’re launching off towering ramps and dodging treacherous whirlpools.
Although this recent adventure was certainly exhausting, the best part about it was staying dry.
This Thursday, Microsoft will release Kinect, a motion-gaming device that allows users to play multiple types of games without a controller or accompanying sensor.
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To promote the release, Microsoft has teamed with Burger King to feature system prototypes at store locations across the country.
On Monday, two Microsoft representatives were on hand at the Burger King in Saugus, guiding customers though the ins and outs of this seemingly improbable gaming platform.
“It’s like a traveling road show,” said store owner Dave Wurts. “I’d like to try and keep it in the store.”
By simply standing in front of the console, Kinect uses depth sensors to create an identity for the player. This identity is realized in the form of an avatar – a computer-generated character – and can be saved in the system for quicker loading.
Once the avatar is generated, the games begin.
While speaking with Wurts, two young boys slid in front of the machine. Kinect analyzed their shapes and sizes, created their avatars and suddenly transferred them to a virtual Olympic stadium.
From there, they took part in a 100-yard dash before moving on to the javelin. Viewed from the outside, and with no prior knowledge of Kinect, it might have looked as if they were at the height of a delirious sugar rush.
In fact, they were just playing a video game – but a kind seemingly influenced by hundreds of PSAs concerning childhood obesity and general laziness.
Microsoft has adopted the stance that Kinect is aimed to get “gamers” off the couch. With such titles as Kinect Sports, Adventures, Dance Central, The Biggest Loser: The Ultimate Workout and Fighters Uncaged, the physical approach is apparent.
Kinect follows Sony’s Move – released in September – which requires the use of a hand-held controller. According to market researcher IDC, it expects Microsoft to sell 2.53 million Kinect units over the holiday season, about a half million more than the Sony Move.
After running through multiple events, both boys stared doggedly at the floor, panting, laughing – talking while wiping their brows.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Wurts. “It’s a full workout.”
Burger King is located at 26480 Bouquet Canyon Road, at the corner of Newhall Ranch Road. Customers will have the opportunity to test the game today and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.