Microsoft has been touting its Kinect all morning, and it’s clearly being marketed as a family-oriented device. They demoed quite a few games, covering a lot of territory; gaming rags are already whispering that this is where much of the MS development muscle is going to be applied for the foreseeable future. Not everything is going to be a hit, but among the dozen or so launch titles, there are definitely a few worth checking out, though a lot depends on your gaming tendencies — and age.

Here are our picks for which games will and will not impress buyers when November 4th comes around.

Age 14-17
Untitled Star Wars game

While they’re waiting for their parents or some older friends to buy them the darker games that GameStop won’t sell them, these teenagers will find some solace in Star Wars. The feeling of power, the massive destruction, and so on. This is a maybe — gameplay is still kind of a mystery, and if Natal isn’t capable of delivering a robust experience, these nascent hardcore gamers will reject it as too arcade-y or casual. The light saber battles better be good. Unfortunately for theDance Central team, I’m afraid their game won’t prove popular with any demographic. The music isn’t hip enough and the game doesn’t look particularly fun or competitive, unlike DDR, which finds power and reach in simplicity.

Grown-up gamer: Mom
Your Shape: Fitness Evolved

I hate to cater to stereotypes here, but in my defense, Microsoft did it first. And although this demo was performed exclusively by women, I actually thought it looked quite good. The Wii Balance Board, while interesting in some ways, really seems archaic next to this thing. The presumed Achilles’ heels of Kinect (lag and lack of fine motor detection) are nonexistent here, so the whole experience can be about the player. It’s also a great conduit for DLC, which many will be happy to pay for: exercise routines, yoga classes, and so on — minus the hassle and exposure of a gym. I suspect this will be a staple, and will be a key property in getting the family in front of the TV.

Grown-up gamer: Dad
Forza

I don’t pick this merely because guys are supposed to be car lovers, but because this is the kind of video game that will get a non-game-playing dad into the gaming world. Even though the flaws of Kinect will be front and center (no pedals? laggy steering?), the wonder of seeing your gloved hands steering the actual car, and the childish joy looking around a virtual world with your real head will prove a serious draw. They’ll have this on display at a lot of electronics dealerships and dads who missed the gaming boat by a couple years will be lining up to take a turn. (image:Joystiq)

Advertisements