Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Get Into the Game

I finally took the plunge and put my old IBM to rest. This meant that yesterday after work I was off to Best Buy to grill their sales staff and find the sweetest Apple for my budget. It seems like the Best Buy computer team are cut from a mould. The all male squad is comprised of either super scrawny or dumpling shaped boys with slight hair loss and low rise slacks. As we closed the deal on my new 4GB Macbook Pro with Tyler, who resembled the spawn of Tweedledee and Nick Carter, another staff member ran over in a flurry of excitement. He was closely followed by a young woman who clearly thought that RAM was nothing more than a male goat and a computer bug was in the same family as a cockroach. The odd couple waltzed right up to one of the sample computers and headed over to the hub of all things great and stupid: Youtube. What the overly excited employee showed the woman is so epically awesome yet borderline terrifying that I am still in awe.

Best Buy computer nerds would logically be the first to scream like prepubescent Jonas Brothers fans in anticipation of the newest installment of the Xbox family; however, what this gaming franchise plans to release is nothing short of amazing. The new Xbox 360, code named “Project Natal”, uses a RGB camera, depth sensor, multi-array microphone, and the big name benefits of Steven Spielburg to create a gaming experience completely void of a controller. There is no longer a hand held buffer between your skill set and your abilities on screen. Doing a roundhouse judo kick will now require you do actually attempt pull a Jackie Chan in your living room, not just press a button.

Microsoft is behind this literal step towards the future of interactive technology. The new games also include interactive characters that recognize your voice and emotions and respond accordingly. Life is suddenly feeling a bit like the Jetsons.

Most people who watch this video generally find it creepy if they’re female and totally freakin’ awesome if their male. I just find it exciting. The Xbox 360 Peripheral is set to come out sometime in 2010. To me it feels like when the first iPod was unveiled. People were baffled with the original models’ capabilities but the technology snowballed at lighting speed to produce the paper thin portable, life-encompassing devices that are now standard. “Project Natal” is just the first step that will send the industry sprinting towards blurring the lines between technology and reality.

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