Kinect martial arts
Kinect martial arts games and applications, are they on the horizon?
With all this new technology coming out which allows games to be so much more interactive, the Kinect will hopefully have some full-on martial arts games developed and there is already some evidence that this might just be the case. Game developer THQ, at E3 in 2010 unveiled 'UFC personal trainer' - which will be available on Kinect, Wii and Playstation move. THQ executive vice president of core gaming, to paraphrase made comments that they aren't willing to unveil this game until it is the best training game on the market and, the coolest fighting game with the least lag available.
There are some Kinect martial arts games out already, though titles such as 'Fight' are more to do with just boxing and not learning, alongside that, most of these titles seem to emphasise a sort of fitness program instead of martial arts. Even this game looks to have the all too familiar 'training game' feel to it, even though the technology does seem to warrant kinect martial arts training games. Kinect martial arts games don't have to be limited to 'Kinect pure application', and by that I mean... an RPG could be a great title where when you get into a Fight you're now in the first person fighting mode. Why not? I'd play a great RPG which switched into first person mode when you had to learn some new martial arts moves, or took on some bad guys, while the rest of the game had a lot of story and depth to it.
Personally, I think this kind of game could open up the door for martial arts games on Kinect, where you can to some degree 'learn karate' or other martial arts styles, even just the basics. That's better than nothing for people who perhaps, live in a country where the martial arts styles don't exist, or if clubs are too expensive as is sometimes the case - even for people who might fear the reality of a dojo - to get them into it. If the tracking is accurate enough then it would theoretically be capable of letting you know if you're doing the moves right... to an extent. I wouldn't really expect to see a Capoeira or similar style of martial art game on any of this generation of consoles, which requires some pretty interesting body positions - capable of really teaching you the moves. Also, no games console can 'hit-back' and teach what a real life experience can, or offer the feedback that a master in person can, so the value of martial arts games on Kinect may be a little lacking.
Aside from all of that, Kinect is probably the best console for a full-on martial arts game to appear on though, as both of the other consoles require you to be holding some sort of controller while you punch and can't track your kicks. Palm-striking on the Wii will surely just send a controller flying into the TV. I can definitely see a 'learn the basics of Tai Chi' game as a Kinect martial arts game, perhaps even a downloadable one through Xbox Live. It might just be decent enough to be something martial artists and gamers alike might get into.
In summary, while Kinect martial arts games such as the UFC personal trainer are likely to be incredibly limited. I'd like to think a game could be developed that could in theory teach some basic martial arts skills. It really depends on if Kinect's tracking is accurate enough...and if game developers can effectively capture a martial arts style on a Kinect game, which i feel could be done with a simple style, take Wing Chun's first form for instance, you stand in one spot, usually in front of a mirror and you make 108 movements. All of which Kinect could probably track, especially if it looked at it from different angles.