Will Microsoft’s new console “Kinect” us to our favorite shows?
Here at Maxim, the only thing we love more than TV (and huffing glue) is video games. So when Microsoft announced the Xbox One and decided to show off how much better TV could be with it, we got pretty excited. Sure, we’re still waiting to find out how Xbox One will, y’know, handle actual video games (and that’s why we’ll be on the ground at E3 next month, so fingers crossed for some big announcements there), but for now, we’re letting our imaginations run wild with ideas about what Xbox One could potentially do for our favorite kinds of shows. Hey Microsoft - please feel free to steal these ideas!
This one is from Microsoft’s own mouth. Expect fantasy sports overlays to be a guaranteed addition, but we’d love to see historical stats, voting on coaches’ decisions, extra options for instant replays and, of course, trash-talking. We already scream at the TV when football is on, so we’d gladly wave our arms at it if it actually had the slightest chance of the coach seeing our advice.
If there was any television category that was made for interactivity, it’s this. Hell, they’ve been making Jeopardy games for computers since the '80s, it’s about damn time we’re able to show the Poindexter on TV that we’re smarter than him by playing along at home, especially if the Kinect 2.0’s voice recognition allows us to buzz in and speak answers. There’s a reason Microsoft kept using that Price is Right clip during the presentation yesterday - we yearn for the day when our TV tells us “[insert gamertag], COME ON DOWN!”
Sure, it’s the most groan-inducing genre of television and should have had the grace to die quietly five years ago, but there’s no category of television that’s more willing to try weird, novelty tactics than reality TV. The logical application of the Xbox One would be for voting: Choosing who will ruin the music industry next on The Voice, say, or which Kardashian we’d most like to see subjected to capital punishment could be good fun for the whole family. But they could get crazy with it! How about letting users give their own critiques of the acts in America’s Got Talent? They could even do Reddit-style up-voting when someone says, “I want the juggler to light himself on fire!” and then half a million people can “like” his comment. Or they could blend Kickstarter with Shark Tank and let people pledge Microsoft credits to the guy who made a wearable motorcycle. We’d give that guy at least 1250 points.
CONFUSING PLOT HELPER
The current Xbox Smartglass app already does an admirable job of giving on-demand information about exactly what the hell is going on in Westeros, so why not make it part of the Xbox One? We’re not saying to turn our favorite shows into Pop-Up Videos, but having the option to tell us where the scene is taking place, some bloodline context, or other pointed, useful information that was accessed with a voice command or a hand swipe, we’d probably use it on occasion when we’re
drunk totally confused (i.e., every single time we watch Lost or Game Of Thrones or, occasionally, Teen Mom 2).
Rockstar proved that crime dramas make good games when LA Noire pleasantly surprised everyone two years ago, so take that hard-drinking gumshoe mentality and let watchers in on the fun! Everyone enjoys a bit of sleuthing, but everyone likes guessing whodunit even more: Law and Order quickly becomes a game of Clue if you’re able to have a virtual notepad on screen to help organize your evidence. And if SVU episodes came packed with three endings to see whose DNA they found in that ear canal, well, at least their ratings would probably go up.
Booby-related plots + gesture controls + voice integration. Let’s just hope Kinect has an option to turn off motion tracking when it counts…
SOMETHING NEW AND AWESOME THAT WE HAVEN’T EVEN THOUGHT OF YET
Spielberg is going to take on Master Chief by producing a Halo TV series (please, please let this be awesome and not Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull) which includes exclusive interactive content for the console. Television is fundamentally a one-way medium, but the Xbox One has a ton of potential to blur the line between show and game. Choose-your-own-adventure shows could quickly become a viable medium, but we’d love to see things taken further - like the ability for a Madden Champ to take the reins as coach of an Arena Football team via Xbox One, say, or virtually stepping up to the table in the next World Series of Poker.
But, seriously, can we get that Cinemax integration already?