One game that Kinect played a particularly interesting role for during the presentation was the upcoming edition of EA’s Madden NFL series, Madden 13. Hall of Fame quarterback Joe Montana was brought out on stage to demostrate how Kinect voice controls will work for the game.
Montana sounded a bit like his old self, barking out audibles and calling for the snap. The game seemed to recognize both the player names (“Crabtree”) and route assigments (“fly”) that Montana said on stage, and adjusted accordingly. Though there was a notable delay between Montana calling for the snap and the game actually starting the play, it was still pretty cool to see.
Madden and Kinect voice control seem like a match made in heaven. Shouting short commands to adjust the play before the snap happens in real football, so it’s natual that gamers might want to do it at home. It should allow gamers the chance to feel a little bit more like a real quarterback.
Microsoft and EA also showed off Kinect voice controls for its FIFA series, but the pairing of the two seemed far less smooth. Players can call for subs during the game (“sub striker”) and call for passes from their computer-controlled teammates, but it’s hard to imagine actually wanting to use those features. Unlike American football, vocal commands just don’t play as significant a role in the European brand of the game.
Perhaps the weirdest thing we saw today was Kinect responding to a human player’s vocal outburst after a bad call in FIFA. If Kinect hears you complain about the ref, the ref will come over and scold your player on-screen.