Dear Kinect... please forgive me

Opinion: Tom Pakinkis will have cream with his humble pie...

Dear Kinect,

It's Tom. How's it going? Saw you on TV last night. Looking good. Glad to see the career's still paying off.

Okay, I just want to get straight to the point: the reason I'm writing is because I wanted you to hear this from me rather than someone else. I want to be up front about it, because it's the grown-up thing to do. I think (hope) you'll respect that.

Here goes. Remember back at E3 2009, when Microsoft first announced that you were the new Xbox 360 motion controller? When you strutted out with your Short Circuit eyes and your military-style 'Project Natal' codename? When you started getting the thumbs up from big development names like Suda51 and Cliff Bleszinski?


While you were getting this big reveal, while you were being labelled as Microsoft's revolutionary console-complementing baby, I was kind of, sort of, calling you names behind your back.

When Microsoft boasted about how it was going to sell millions of you in 2010, how you weren't just an add-on but the equivalent of a whole new console - with a five year life-span no less - I rolled my eyes. I think you knew that happened, but never said. I was tagged doing it in a Facebook photo.

It gets worse. When 2010 came around and Microsoft said that you'd help revive the Japanese games industry, and Ubisoft described you as a "paradigm shift" I started to get a little bit indignant.

Then Peter Molyneux, of all people, claimed that you could be as revolutionary as the PC mouse and I just snapped. I became a full-on cynic.

I don't know why; maybe I didn't like the idea of losing my 360 controller, or maybe I was just jealous that no-one was referring to me as a paradigm shift. I just couldn't get my head around why everyone was fussing over you.

In my eyes you were a gimmicky piece of hardware with limited functionality. You seemed the sort of meathead that talks the big game but never really delivers. I suspected your family audience would catch me up, too - showing a passing interest in whatever it was you were meant to be, before chucking you in the loft.

At one point I might have said you'd be a "massive flop". Okay, I definitely did say that. Many times.

I want you to know that I never let it affect the way I spoke about you in public; I still had to give you the benefit of the doubt. But at about nine o'clock on a Friday night in the boozer? Well, let's just say I wasn't in your corner.


I'm not usually one to say "I told you so", but when reports first came out about you being laggy I nearly got all four words tattooed on my forehead.

Then Microsoft announced that you'd be waddling onto shelves with launch titles like Joy Ride. I felt like some lofty prophet sat high atop the clouds on a cynical stool of prediction.

When they slapped a price tag on you the wrong side of £100 I nearly choked on my lunch. That was it for me: they'd knocked you out before you'd even had chance to sing the bum note I was so sure you would.

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