An interesting thing happened when I got back from E3 and sat down to talk with Lev about what’s been going on while he was out on book leave. I told him my initial impressions of Kinect and Move and more or less pooh-poohed Kinect for its piss-poor showing at E3. I specifically mentioned the Forza demo I stood through where I simply put my hands at the 10 and 2 o’clock positions. What Lev told me after I was finished ranting blew me away.
Lev saw Project Natal in its early stages and one of the demos he was privy to last year was a Kinect-able Burnout that wasn’t even optimized. It was basically thrown together as a proof of concept. The thing is, Lev says that it worked really well and that he did more than just steer the car. To accelerate and brake, he just slid his right foot forward and backwards. For a quick boost, you’d gesture with your right hand as if you were grabbing something a few inches in front of you, making a fist and pulling back.
So why didn’t Microsoft show this off at E310? Why are they holding back? Are they holding back or did they realize that it impossible to do outside of a tech demo? These are the questions I want answers to and I’m sure you do too.